The group that spearheaded West Coast rap as we know it is going down in history. It was announced today that Compton’s own N.W.A will be preserved in the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress — specifically, theirStraight Outta Compton album released almost three decades ago in 1988. The record is one of 25 additions chosen for preservation; it’s joined by an array of influential works including Judy Garland’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” the original cast album of The Wiz, and the first broadcast of NPR’s All Things Considered.
“This year’s exciting list gives us a full range of sound experiences,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. “These sounds of the past enrich our understanding of the nation’s cultural history and our history in general.”
N.W.A’s lasting impact on music and American culture has been recognized in recent years. The 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton chronicled the crew’s beginnings, setbacks and triumphs as authentic representatives of inner city Los Angeles, and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Just last year, N.W.A was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. New school West Coast rap leader Kendrick Lamar presented the group with its award at the ceremony.