- Applicability: While the group in general averts No Communities Were Harmed, the police they rebel against in "Fuck tha Police" is simply referred to as "The Police Department", with no mention of which police department they are referring to. This was done to make it a protest song against police in general and not just towards the police in the Los Angeles area.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment / Gainax Ending: After an album's worth of heavy beats and angry lyrics, Straight Outta Compton ends with the more uptempo, electro-influenced "Something 2 Dance 2", a showcase for the otherwise absent Arabian Prince. Something Awful mockingly described this as "like a bloody gangster movie cutting to a glowstick rave during the closing credits".
- Crowning Moment of Funny: From "Fuck tha Police", where the NWA pretend to be a court session, with Dr. Dre as the Judge, and MC Ren, Ice Cube, Eazy-E as the prosecution. The comedy comes from the NWA talking in court-speak, but also throwing in their usual proficiency of profanity: "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help your black ass?"
Dre: "Get him out of here!"Cop: "I want justice!"Cop: "I want justice!!"
- From the climax of the song, when Judge Dre convicts the police department;
Person 1: Ah shit. Man, them black gangstas are at it again. I wonder who they fucked up today?Person 2 You, motherfucker! (gun shots)Dr. Dre: ''Got him.'
- The opening of "Gangsta Gangsta":
It tempts me so with temptation
- This gem from "Quiet on the Set":
I still express, yo I don't smoke weed or sess, 'cause it's known to give a brother brain damage....
- The fact that Dr. Dre of all people raps about how smoking weed is bad for you on "Express Yourself".
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: This would be a perennial trope within Gangsta Rap for a long time to come, and N.W.A. was no different. The dark tales of gritty urban lifestyles went over huge, and it's no secret that middle-class white teenagers were prominent amongst their fans.
- Face of the Band: Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and...? ...
- MC Ren and D.J. Yella/Yellow Boy; Arabian Prince maybe, considering he only showed up on one track.
- First Installment Wins: Straight Outta Compton is an undisputed classic, and a vital piece of hip-hop history. Niggaz4life, while still a pretty popular album with gangsta rap fans, isn't nearly as universally cherished.
- Genre Original Sin: N.W.A. often get the blame for making Rap synonymous with "Gangsta" themes in the eyes of the public.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In 1991, the members of NWA talk about the dangers of STDs, and Eazy-E, in particular, stresses the importance of wearing a condom. In 1995, Eazy-E died from AIDS due to years of dangerous sexual activity.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The cover art of Niggaz4Life depicts the ghost of Eazy-E rising from a body bag. Sure, he wasn't murdered like the cover suggests - rather, he died of AIDS - but it's still pretty eerie. It's also pretty eerie listening to Eazy brag so much about his promiscuity, when you know that that's very likely what did him in.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: One of Eazy-E's lines from "Real Muthapuckkin G's" mocks rumours about Death Row Records thusly:
But at Death Row, I hear you're gettin' treated like boot campGotta follow ya sergeant's directions, or get your ass pumped with a Smith & Wesson
"I still express, yo I don't smoke weed or sess, 'cause it's known to give a brother brain damage..."
- Three years later, Dr. Dre left Death Row and it turned out that the label's owner Suge Knight was in fact a dictatorial, violent prick.
- Before that, here's a line from "Express Yourself":
- Love It or Hate It: Depending on who you ask, Niggaz4life is either an awesome, fun gangsta rap classic and that NWA did just fine without Ice Cube, or a huge step down from Straight Outta Compton that is hurt by Ice Cube's absence and lyricism that's denser, lacking in social commentary, and a little too shocking and offensive for its own good. That said, one thing that everyone agrees on is that Dr. Dre's production on the album is excellent.
- Memetic Mutation: "Fuck The Police", as the (usually relatively lame) troublemaker's unofficial battlecry.
- Moment of Awesome: In the official video for "100 Miles And Runnin'", MC Ren is being chased by a squad car. When the car catches up to him, he does a flip over it, resulting in a collision with another car, and consequently causing the explosion of the second car. Ren then proceeds to continue running, seemingly oblivious to what has happened.
- Narm: Eazy-E gives us this gem in "Appetite For Destruction"
"Always gotta fuck out of wedlock, I like it when the pussy goes Snap, Crackle and Pop.