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N.W.A.

N.W.A, the unapologetically violent and sexist pioneers of gangsta rap, are in many ways the most notorious group in the history of rap. Emerging in the late '80s, when Public Enemy had rewritten the rules of hardcore rap by proving that it could be intelligent, revolutionary, and socially aware, N.W.A capitalized on PE's sonic breakthroughs while ignoring their message. Instead, the five-piece crew celebrated the violence and hedonism of the criminal life, capturing it all in blunt, harsh language. Initially, the group's relentless attack appeared to be serious, vital commentary, and it even provoked the FBI to caution N.W.A's record company, but following Ice Cube's departure in late 1989, the group began to turn to self-parody. With his high-pitched whine, Eazy-E's urban nightmares now seemed like comic book fantasies, but ones that fulfilled the fantasies of the teenage white suburbanites who had become their core audience, and the group became more popular than ever. Nevertheless, clashing egos prevented the band from recording a third album, and they fell apart once producer Dr. Dre left for a solo career in 1992. Although N.W.A were no longer active, their influence -- from their funky, bass-driven beats to their exaggerated lyrics -- was evident throughout the '90s, while their story was told in the critically acclaimed 2015 film Straight Outta Compton.

Ironically, in their original incarnation N.W.A were hardly revolutionary. Eazy-E (born Eric Wright), a former drug dealer who started Ruthless Records with money he earned by pushing, was attempting to start a rap empire by building a roster of successful rap artists. However, he wasn't having much success until Dr. Dre (born Andre Young) -- a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru -- and Ice Cube (born O'Shea Jackson) began writing songs for Ruthless. Eazy tried to give one of the duo's songs, "Boyz-n-the Hood," to Ruthless signees HBO, and when the group refused, Eazy formed N.W.A -- an acronym for N**gaz With Attitude -- with Dre and Cube, adding World Class Wreckin' Cru member DJ Yella (born Antoine Carraby), the Arabian Prince, and the D.O.C. to the group. N.W.A's first album, N.W.A. and the Posse, was a party-oriented jam record that largely went ignored upon its 1987 release.

In the following year, the group added MC Ren (born Lorenzo Patterson) and revamped its sound, bringing in many of the noisy, extreme sonic innovations of Public Enemy and adopting a self-consciously violent and dangerous lyrical stance. Late in 1988, N.W.A delivered Straight Outta Compton, a vicious hardcore record that became an underground hit with virtually no support from radio, the press, or MTV. N.W.A became notorious for their hardcore lyrics, especially those of "F**k tha Police," which resulted in the FBI sending a warning letter to Ruthless and its parent company, Priority, suggesting that N.W.A should watch their step.

Most of the group's political threat left with Cube when he departed in late 1989 amid many financial disagreements. A nasty feud between N.W.A and the departed rapper began that would culminate with Cube's "No Vaseline," an attack on the group's management released on his 1991 Death Certificate album. By the time the song was released, N.W.A, for all intents and purposes, were finished. In the two years between Cube's departure and the group's dissolution, N.W.A were dominated by Eazy's near-parodic lyrics and Dre's increasingly subtle and complex productions. The group quickly released an EP, 100 Miles and Runnin', in 1990 before following it up early the next year with Efil4zaggin ("N**gaz 4 Life" spelled backward). Efil4zaggin was teeming with dense, funky soundscapes and ridiculously violent and misogynist lyrics. Naturally, the lyrics provoked outrage from many critics and conservative watchdogs, but that only increased the group's predominately male, white suburban audience. Even though the group was at the peak of its popularity, Dre began to make efforts to leave the crew, due to conflicting egos and what he perceived as an unfair record deal.

Dre left the group to form Death Row Records with Suge Knight and The D.O.C. in early 1992. According to legend, Knight threatened to kill N.W.A's manager Jerry Heller if he refused to let Dre out of his contract. Over the next few years, Dre and Eazy engaged in a highly publicized feud, which included both of the rappers attacking each other on their respective solo albums. Ren and Yella both released solo albums, which were largely ignored, and Eazy continued to record albums that turned him into a complete self-parody until his tragic death from AIDS in March 1995. Before he died, Dre and Cube both made amends with Eazy. With his first solo album, 1992's The Chronic, Dre established himself as the premier hip-hop producer of the mid-'90s, setting the pace for much of hardcore rap with its elastic bass and deep, rolling grooves. Gangsta rap established itself as the most popular form of hip-hop during the '90s -- in other words, N.W.A's amoralistic, hedonistic stance temporarily triumphed over the socially conscious hip-hop of Public Enemy, and it completely rewrote the rules of hip-hop for the '90s. A 2015 biopic, the critically acclaimed, Academy-Award-nominated Straight Outta Compton, made over $200 million worldwide at the box office and inspired Dr. Dre's third solo album, Compton, released that same year. With N.W.A.'s cultural resurgence and mainstream recognition of their legacy in the history of rap and hip-hop, the group received another honor with their induction into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Best Of N.W.A: The Strength Of Street Knowledge

1. Straight Outta Compton (2002 Digital Remaster)

2. Appetite For Destruction

3. Dope Man (2002 Digital Remaster)

4. F**k The Police (Edited)

5. Real N**gaz

6. 8 Ball

7. Express Yourself (Digital Remaster 00)

8. Alwayz Into Somethin'

9. A B**ch Is A B**ch

10. Gangsta Gangsta (2002 Digital Remaster)

11. 100 Miles And Runnin'

12. Boyz-N-The-Hood

13. Real N**gaz Don't Die

14. Compton's N The House (Remix; 2002 Digital Remaster)

15. Approach To Danger

16. Chin Check

17. If It Ain't Ruff (2002 Digital Remaster)

x

Track List: Efil4zaggin (Explicit)

1. Prelude

2. Real N**gaz Don't Die

3. N**gaz 4 Life

5. Appetite For Destruction

7. Alwayz Into Somethin'

9. Real N**gaz

11. One Less B**ch

13. Automobile

14. She Swallowed It

15. I'd Rather F--- You

16. Approach To Danger

17. 1-900-2-COMPTON

18. The Dayz Of Wayback

x

Track List: 100 Miles And Runnin' (Explicit)

1. 100 Miles And Runnin'

2. Just Don't Bite It

4. Real N**gaz

5. Kamurshol

x

Track List: Straight Outta Compton

1. Straight Outta Compton

2. Gangsta Gangsta

3. If It Ain't Ruff

4. Parental Discretion Iz Advised

5. 8 Ball (Remix)

6. Something Like That

7. Express Yourself

8. Compton's N The House (Remix)

9. I Ain't Tha 1

10. Dopeman (Remix)

11. Quiet On Tha Set

12. Something 2 Dance 2

13. Express Yourself (Extended Mix)

14. Bonus Beats

15. Straight Outta Compton (Extended Mix)

16. A B**** Iz A B****

x

Track List: Straight Outta Compton (Explicit)

1. Straight Outta Compton

2. F**k Tha Police

3. Gangsta Gangsta

4. If It Ain't Ruff

5. Parental Discretion Iz Advised

6. 8 Ball (Remix)

7. Something Like That

8. Express Yourself

9. Compton's N The House (Remix)

10. I Ain't Tha 1

11. Dopeman (Remix)

12. Quiet On Tha Set

13. Something 2 Dance 2

Comments

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RIP eazy E ������
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We used to play the ishh out of this in '88 until our tapes popped! ����
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You have a gangster as station my brothers Sirr and Teaorangi all ways listen you your songs
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i guess the person who wrote the description was a feminist.
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Some say s
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ramon.marisc a l
N**ga mumble but never wanna rumble
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mleonardmr
Memories in Carpintería CA 93013
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Chin check ur a** n**ga
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f u c k the police n i g g a they b i t c h e s
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Cruisen down the street in my 64
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Best music ever rip eazy
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F**k tha police comin straight from the underground, a young n!gg@ got it bad cuz im brown
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ralvarez1019
F**k the police
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ralvarez1019
This my s**t
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gloriacernas
I was busted and I sad f**k the poles
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Nice
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Love u cuz
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Live u cuz eazy e rip
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love this station
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cube eazy and dre were the group
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123gotmailbo y
Did anyone now who is still in nwa
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Don't read this you will kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life now you've started reading this don't stop this is freaky. But if you read this and ignore this then you will have bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen. This actually works
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Lovin nwa since 2011 eazy 2 cube.
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Yee
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Don't read this you will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life tomorrow will be the best day of your life don't stop this is freaky but if you read this and ignore it you will get bad luck put this on 25 songs and 143 minutes when your done press the spacebar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on your screen this is so creepy it actually works
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I love nwa
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i love this group
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Cube made the group relevant
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It was all great
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Idk what music was better NWA'S dres solo career or ice cubes solo career
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This was back when rap was rap
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Love it!!!
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N.W.A is bae
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rodjay923
Don't read this you will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life tomorrow will be the best day of your life don't stop this is freaky but if you read this and ignore it you will get bad luck put this on 25 songs and 143 minutes when your done press the spacebar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on your screen this is so creepy it actually works
Report as inappropriate
Love Straight outta Compton but I'm still a child Rip easy .E love you
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Yes jawill2469 I'm 11 and i love them and my friend
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F**K You YOU WHITE BOY Oliverjhaas probly donalds trump supoter
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Portia_woote n ice cube isn't dead dumass or Dr.Dre
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Hi
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2005vjp
RIP EAZY E
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chelsietwyma n
Bow bow bow eazy e
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chelsietwyma n
Nwa
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chelsietwyma n
Eazy is the man
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Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Now that you have been reading this don't stop. If you ignore it you will have bad luck. Post this on 15 other songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on your screen. It's freaky cause it actually work
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This bio is completely bias probably written by a white boy. Completely not what nwa is all about. Police harassment and life in Compton
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What's with the bio .. It's all opinionated .. Is that even allowed ? It's not that factual and unbiased .. It's okay .. I know their story .. Read better and bought all their joints as they were released, so worth it !
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Love me some NWA!!! I was in highschool when they came out and I've managed to continue to follow Dre and Cube!!! Love em all!!! R.I.H Eazy E!!!
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NWA U REALLY R SOMETHING ELSE, THATS 4 SURE REAL TALK
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Awesome
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