N.W.A. became one of the most influential hip-hop artists of all time and became one of the first rap groups to reach platinum status with their debut album Straight Outta Compton. In 1989, they took the stage in front of a crowd of over 20,000 fans in Detroit, Michigan. But the group had been forbidden from performing one of their most controversial songs. When they chose to do so anyway, all hell broke loose.
“The real story behind N.W.A.’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Detroit riot” by Lee DeVito for Detroit Metro Times, August 17, 2015.
“Retired Detroit Sergeant recalls telling N.W.A. they couldn’t play ‘F*** tha Police’ at 1989 concert” by John Counts for Michigan Live, August 27, 2015.
“The famous 1989 Detroit concert by N.W.A., then and now” by Julie Hinds for Detroit Free Press, August 13, 2015.
“The True Story of N.W.A. Playing ‘Fuck Tha Police’ Live in Detroit” by Steve Knopper for GQ, July 21, 2020.