N.W.A. - Express Yourself (1989)
- 80's score: 1.19
"Express Yourself" is a song recorded by American hip hop group N.W.A, performed solo by Dr. Dre. The song, off their 1988 ...
"Express Yourself" is a song recorded by American hip hop group N.W.A, performed solo by Dr. Dre. The song, off their 1988 album Straight Outta Compton, samples Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band's song of the same name. Unlike most songs on the album and by N.W.A, the song is devoid of profanity and violence. "Express Yourself" was released in 1989 as the album's last single, the album version of the track features rap vocals from Dr. Dre only whereas the 2002 reissue, single edition and video version features small verses from MC Ren and Ice Cube, the writer of the song. The song reached number 26 in the UK in September 1989.
The music video starts with a black and white video of slaves working on a plantation. As they escape, the video transitions to the ghetto, as the band members walk through it and dance with the local residents. A "No Rapping" sign is shown. A mounted officer (played by Skeeter Rader) enforces the law on the crowd. Occasionally band members are depicted rapping in a prison environment. Later on Dr. Dre plays the role of the US president. At one point he is talking on the phone with Mikhail Gorbachev, and a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. can be seen in the background. One of King's quotes, the famous "I Have a Dream", also appears on a large sign that the band members walk through as the song properly begins. A parody of the assassination of John F. Kennedy follows. The video ends with Dr. Dre being executed in an electric chair. In the version appearing on the EMI YouTube channel and on N.W.A's official VEVO channel on YouTube, numerous parts are blurred out including logos and faces. Despite this, the complete uncensored video can still be found online.