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NWA, all band members.jpg
Complete N.W.A lineup in 1988
(left to right) Arabian Prince, MC Ren, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre
Background information
Origin Compton, California, U.S.
Years active1986–1991
1998–2000 (partial reunion)
Associated acts
Past members

N.W.A (an abbreviation for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) [1] [2] [3] was an American hip hop group from Compton, California. They were among the earliest and most significant popularizers and controversial figures of the gangsta rap subgenre, and are widely considered one of the greatest and most influential groups in the history of hip hop music. [4]

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.

Compton, California City in California, United States

Compton is a city in southern Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated south of downtown Los Angeles. Compton is one of the oldest cities in the county and on May 11, 1888, was the eighth city to incorporate. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 96,456. It is known as the "Hub City" due to its geographic centrality in Los Angeles County. Neighborhoods in Compton include Sunny Cove, Leland, Downtown Compton, and Richland Farms. The city is generally a working class city with some middle-class neighborhoods, and is home to a relatively young population, at an average 25 years of age, compared to the American median age of 38.

Gangsta rap or gangster rap is a style of hip hop characterized by themes and lyrics that generally emphasize the "gangsta" lifestyle. The genre evolved from hardcore rap into a distinct form, pioneered in the mid-1980s by rappers such as Ice-T, and popularized in the later part of the 1980s by groups like N.W.A. After the national attention that Ice-T and N.W.A attracted in the late 1980s and early 1990s, gangsta rap became the most commercially lucrative subgenre of hip hop. Many gangsta rap artists openly boast of their associations with various active street gangs as part of their artistic image, with the Crips and Bloods being the most commonly represented. Gangsta rap parallels other indigenous gang and crime-oriented forms of music, such as the narcocorrido genre of northern Mexico.


Active from 1986 to 1991, the rap group endured controversy owing to their music's explicit lyrics which many viewed as being mysogynist, as well as to its glorification of drugs and crime. [5] The group was subsequently banned from many mainstream American radio stations. In spite of this, the group has sold over 10 million units in the United States alone. Drawing on their own experiences of racism and excessive policing, the group made inherently political music. [6] They were known for their deep hatred of the police system, which sparked much controversy over the years.

Racism in the United States

Racism in the United States has existed since the colonial era, when white Americans were given legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights while these same rights were denied to other races and minorities. European Americans — particularly affluent white Anglo-Saxon Protestants — enjoyed exclusive privileges in matters of education, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure throughout American history. Non-Protestant immigrants from Europe, particularly Irish, Italians, and Poles, were also victims of xenophobic exclusion and other forms of discrimination in American society until the late 1800s and early 1900s. In addition, groups like Jews and Arabs have faced continuous discrimination in the United States, and as a result, some people who belong to these groups do not identify as white. East, South, and Southeast Asians have similarly faced racism in America.

The original lineup, formed in 1986, consisted of Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube. DJ Yella and MC Ren joined later in 1987. They released their first compilation album as a group in 1987 called N.W.A. and the Posse which peaked at #39 on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Arabian Prince eventually left shortly after the release of their debut studio album, Straight Outta Compton , in 1988 and Ice Cube following suit in December 1989. Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and Dr. Dre would later become platinum-selling solo artists in the 1990s. Their debut album marked the beginning of the new gangsta rap era as the production and social commentary in their lyrics were revolutionary within the genre. N.W.A's second studio album, Niggaz4Life , was the first hardcore rap album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 sales charts. [3]

Kim Renard Nazel, better known by his stage names Arabian Prince or Professor X, is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, and DJ. He is best known as a founding member of N.W.A.

Dr. Dre American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur and actor from California

Andre Romelle Young, known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, and was previously co-owner of Death Row Records. He has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including 2Pac, The D.O.C., Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, Knoc-turn'al, 50 Cent, The Game, Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak. He is credited as a key figure in the crafting and popularization of West Coast G-funk, a rap style characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. As of 2018, he is the third richest figure in hip hop, with a net worth of $770 million.

Eazy-E American rapper

Eric Lynn Wright, known professionally as Eazy-E, was an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. Dubbed the "Godfather of Gangsta Rap", he gained prominence for his work with N.W.A, where he has been credited for pushing the boundaries of lyrical and visual content in mainstream popular music.

Rolling Stone ranked N.W.A number 83 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". [7] In 2016, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following three previous nominations.

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

"The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time" is a special issue published by the American magazine Rolling Stone in two parts in 2004 and 2005 and updated in 2011. The list presented was compiled based on input from musicians, writers, and industry figures and is focused on the rock & roll era. It predominantly features American and British musicians.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Hall of fame located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie, recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Ahmet Ertegun, founder and chairman of Atlantic Records. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame's permanent home.


N.W.A logo NWA-Logo.png
N.W.A logo

Formation and "Panic Zone" (1986–88)

Poster for one of N.W.A's first concerts at a Compton skating rink, 1988 Uncle Jam's Army - Eazy-E and N.W.A. 1988 Skateland Concert Poster.jpg
Poster for one of N.W.A's first concerts at a Compton skating rink, 1988

N.W.A was assembled by Compton-based Eazy-E, who co-founded Ruthless Records with Jerry Heller. Eazy-E sought an introduction to Steve Yano. Although initially rebuffed, Yano was impressed by Eazy-E's persistence and arranged a meeting with Dr. Dre. [8] Initially, N.W.A consisted of Eazy-E and Dr. Dre. Together with fellow producer Arabian Prince, Ice Cube was added to the roster after he had started out as a rapper for the group C.I.A. [9] Dre would later bring DJ Yella on board as well. [10] Dre and Yella were both formerly members of the World Class Wreckin' Cru as DJs and producers. Ruthless released the single "Panic Zone" in 1987 with Macola Records, which was later included on the compilation album N.W.A. and the Posse . N.W.A was still in its developing stages, and is only credited on three of the eleven tracks, notably the uncharacteristic record "Panic Zone", "8-Ball", and "Dopeman", which marked the first collaboration of Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Mexican rapper Krazy-Dee co-wrote "Panic Zone", which was originally called "Hispanic Zone", but the title was later changed when Dr. Dre advised Krazy-Dee that the word "hispanic" would hinder sales. [11] Also included was Eazy-E's solo track "Boyz-n-the-Hood". [12]

Ruthless is an American record label, founded by Eric "Eazy-E" Wright and Gerald "Jerry" Heller. The record label was founded in Compton, California in 1986. Ruthless Records since its inception has been a subsidiary of Parent company Comptown Records, Inc. All Ruthless Records trademarks are also owned by Comptown Records Inc. The label's acts over the years have earned RIAA certifications of Platinum or higher on 15 of its released albums, including releases by N.W.A, Eazy-E, MC Ren, The D.O.C., Michel'le, J.J.Fad, and Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony.

Jerry Heller American music manager

Gerald Elliot "Jerry" Heller was an American music manager and businessman. He was best known for managing West Coast rap and gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A and Eazy-E. He rose to prominence in the 1960s and '70s, importing Elton John and Pink Floyd for their first major American tours, and representing Journey, Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison, War, Eric Burdon, Crosby Stills and Nash, Ike & Tina Turner, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Otis Redding, the Who, REO Speedwagon, Black Sabbath, Humble Pie, Styx, the Grass Roots, and the Standells, among many others.

Ice Cube American hip hop artist, music producer and actor

O'Shea Jackson Sr., known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper, writer and actor.

Straight Outta Compton, Eazy-Duz-It (1988–89)

N.W.A co-headlined Public Enemy's 1988 "Bring the Noise" concert tour. Bring the Noise Tour at Joe Louis Arena 1988-12-10 (ticket).jpg
N.W.A co-headlined Public Enemy's 1988 "Bring the Noise" concert tour.

N.W.A released their debut studio album, Straight Outta Compton , in 1988. With its famous opening salvo of three tracks, the group reflected the rising anger of the urban youth. The opening song "Straight Outta Compton" introduced the group, "Fuck tha Police" protested police brutality and racial profiling, and "Gangsta Gangsta" painted the worldview of the inner-city youth. While the group was later credited with pioneering the burgeoning subgenre of gangsta rap, N.W.A referred to their music as "reality rap". [13] Twenty-seven years later, member and co-producer of the Straight Outta Compton film, Ice Cube, commented "they were talking about what really led into the style that we ended up doing, which is now called hardcore gangster rap." [14] Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, as HighPowered Productions, composed the beats for each song, with Dre making occasional rapping appearances. The D.O.C., Ice Cube, and MC Ren wrote most of the group's lyrics, including "Fuck tha Police", perhaps the group's most notorious song, which brought them into conflict with various law enforcement agencies. Under pressure from Focus on the Family, [15] Milt Ahlerich, an assistant director of the FBI sent a letter to Ruthless and its distributing company Priority Records, advising the rappers that "advocating violence and assault is wrong and we in the law enforcement community take exception to such action." This letter can still be seen at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. [16] Policemen refused to provide security for the group's concerts, hurting their plans to tour. Nonetheless, the FBI's letter only served to draw more publicity to the group.

<i>Straight Outta Compton</i> 1988 studio album by N.W.A

Straight Outta Compton is the debut studio album by American hip hop group N.W.A, released August 8, 1988, on group member Eazy-E's record label Ruthless Records. Production for the album was handled by Dr. Dre with DJ Yella. The album has been viewed as the pioneering record of gangsta rap with its pervasive graphic profanity and violent lyrics. This was the group's only release with rapper Ice Cube prior to his 1989 departure. It has been considered to be one of the greatest and most influential hip-hop records by music writers and has had an enormous impact on the evolution of hip hop.

"Straight Outta Compton" is a song by American hip hop group N.W.A. It was released on July 10, 1988 as the lead single from their debut album of the same name. It also appears on N.W.A's Greatest Hits with an extended mix and The Best of N.W.A: The Strength of Street Knowledge. It was voted number 19 on About.com's Top 100 Rap Songs, and is ranked number 6 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

"Fuck tha Police" is a protest song by American hip-hop group N.W.A that appears on the 1988 album Straight Outta Compton as well as on the N.W.A's Greatest Hits compilation. The lyrics protest police brutality and racial profiling and was ranked number 425 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Straight Outta Compton was also one of the first albums to adhere to the new Parental Advisory label scheme, then still in its early stages: the label at the time consisted of "WARNING: Moderate impact coarse language and/or themes" only. However, the taboo nature of N.W.A's music was the most important factor of its mass appeal. Media coverage compensated for N.W.A's lack of airplay and their album eventually went double platinum. [17] One month after Straight Outta Compton, Eazy-E's solo debut Eazy-Duz-It was released. The album was dominated by Eazy's persona (MC Ren was the only guest rapper) but behind the scenes it was a group effort. Music was handled by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella; the lyrics were largely written by MC Ren, with contributions from Ice Cube and The D.O.C. The album was another double platinum success for Ruthless [18] (in addition to girl group J.J. Fad in 1988 and singer Michel'le in 1989). 1989 saw the re-issue of N.W.A and the Posse and Straight Outta Compton on CD, and the release of The D.O.C.'s No One Can Do It Better . His album was essentially a collaboration with Dr. Dre and notably free of "gangsta rap" content, including the N.W.A posse cut "The Grand Finalé". It would become another #1 album for the record label.

100 Miles And Runnin' and Niggaz4Life (1989–91)

Ice Cube left the group in December 1989 over royalty disputes; [3] having written almost half of the lyrics on Straight Outta Compton himself, he felt he was not getting a fair share of the profits. [19] A lawsuit brought by Ice Cube against band manager Jerry Heller was settled out of court. [20] He wasted little time putting together his solo debut, 1990's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted , but he avoided mentioning his former label mates. N.W.A's title track from their 1990 EP 100 Miles and Runnin' , however, included a diss of Ice Cube: "We started with five, but yo / One couldn't take it—So now it's four / Cuz the fifth couldn't make it." The video for the song depicted the remaining members of N.W.A together in a jail cell, while an Ice Cube look-alike is released. Also heard on the EP (which found its way on the Efil4zaggin album) was "Real Niggaz", a full-blown diss on Ice Cube where the remaining members accuse him of cowardice, and question his authenticity, longevity and originality: "How the fuck you think a rapper lasts / With your ass sayin' shit that was said in the past / Yo, be original, your shit is sloppy / Get off the dick, you motherfuckin' carbon-copy", and "We started out with too much cargo / So I'm glad we got rid of Benedict Arnold, yo." The song "100 Miles and Runnin'" was Dr. Dre's final uptempo recording, which had been a common feature of late 1980s hip hop. After this, he focused on a midtempo, synthesizer based sound which would become known as G-funk, starting with "Alwayz Into Somethin'" from Efil4zaggin in 1991. The G-funk style dominated both the West and East Coast hip hop music scene for several years to come. N.W.A is referenced on Ice Cube's 1990 EP, Kill at Will , where he name-checks his former group (likely in a mocking manner) on the song "Jackin' For Beats". On "I Gotta Say What Up!!!", Ice Cube gives shout-outs to his rap peers at the time, among them Public Enemy, Geto Boys, and Sir Jinx. At the end of the track, in what appears to be an on-the-phone interview, Ice Cube is asked, "Since you went solo, what's up with the rest of the crew?" and the phone is abruptly hung up on the interviewer.

The group's second full-length release, 1991's Efil4zaggin ("Niggaz4Life" spelled backwards), re-established the band in the face of Ice Cube's continued solo success. The album is considered by many Dr. Dre's finest production work, and it heralded the beginning of the G-Funk era. It also showed a clear animosity towards their former member, and derogatory references to Ice Cube are found in several songs. The interlude "A Message to B.A." echoes the beginning of his song "Turn Off the Radio" from AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted : Ice Cube is first addressed by the name Benedict Arnold (after the infamous traitor of the American Revolution) but then named outright in a torrent of abuse from both the group and its fans: "When we see yo' ass, we gon' cut yo' hair off and fuck you with a broomstick" spoken by MC Ren. The N.W.A–Ice Cube feud eventually escalated, both on record and in real life. AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted had avoided direct attacks on N.W.A, but on Death Certificate , Ice Cube's second full-length release, he retaliated. He sampled and mocked the "Message to B.A." skit before embarking on a full-blown tirade, the infamous "No Vaseline". In a series of verses, Ice Cube verbally assaulted the group: "You lookin' like straight bozos / I saw it comin' that's why I went solo / Kept on stompin' / When y'all Muthafuckas moved Straight outta Compton / You got jealous when I got my own company / But I'm a man, and ain't nobody helpin' me." He also responded to members MC Ren, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E individually to "100 Miles and Runnin'", claiming "I started off with too much cargo / Dropped four niggaz and now I'm makin' all the dough", using homophobic metaphors to describe their unequal business relationship with Jerry Heller, who became the target of harsh insults: "Get rid of that devil real simple / Put a bullet in his temple / Cuz you can't be the 'Niggaz 4 Life' crew / With a white Jew tellin' you what to do." The song attracted controversy for its antisemitism (the beginning of such accusations against Ice Cube during his affiliation with the Nation of Islam), based on the bashing of Heller's religion. [21] The track was omitted from the UK release, and later pressings included a censored version of the song. In September 1990, members of hip hop act Above the Law clashed with Ice Cube and his posse Da Lench Mob during the annual New Music Seminar conference, forcing the latter to flee the premises of Times Square's Marriott Marquis, the venue of the event. [22] On January 27, 1991, Dr. Dre assaulted Dee Barnes, host of the hip hop show Pump It Up, after its coverage [23] of the N.W.A/Ice Cube beef. According to Rolling Stone reporter Alan Light:

He picked her up and "began slamming her face and the right side of her body repeatedly against a wall near the stairway" as his bodyguard held off the crowd. After Dre tried to throw her down the stairs and failed, he began kicking her in the ribs and hands. She escaped and ran into the women's rest room. Dre followed her and "grabbed her from behind by the hair and proceeded to punch her in the back of the head." [24]

In response, Dre commented: "People talk all this shit, but you know, if somebody fucks with me, I'm gonna fuck with them. I just did it, you know. Ain't nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain't no big thing—I just threw her through a door." [24]

The end of N.W.A (1991–95)

Eazy-E (pictured in 1993) feuded with the other former members of the group until his death in 1995 Eazy-E.jpg
Eazy-E (pictured in 1993) feuded with the other former members of the group until his death in 1995

1991's Niggaz4Life would be the group's final album. After Dr. Dre, The D.O.C. and Michel'le departed from Ruthless to join Death Row Records and allegations over Eazy-E being coerced into signing away their contracts (while however retaining a portion of their publishing rights), a bitter rivalry ensued. [3] Dr. Dre began the exchange with Death Row's first release, 1992's Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin') , and its accompanying video featured a character named "Sleazy-E" who ran around desperately trying to get money. The insults continued on The Chronic with "Bitches Ain't Shit". Eazy-E responded in 1993 with the EP It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa on the tracks "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" and "It's On". Eazy-E accused Dr. Dre of being a homosexual, calling him a "she thang", and criticizing Dre's new image by calling him and Snoop "studio gangsters". The music video for "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" showed a still of Dre wearing make-up and a sequined jumpsuit. The photos dated back to Dr. Dre's World Class Wreckin' Cru days, when such fashion was common among West Coast electro hop artists, prior to N.W.A's popularization of gangsta rap. Eazy-E kept dissing Dre and Death Row on most of his songs until his AIDS-related death on March 26, 1995.

Even Eazy-E's longtime friend MC Ren voiced his dislike for Eazy-E in 1994, calling Eazy-E a "big-head" and "wannabe mega-star", and even suggesting that N.W.A should reunite without Eazy-E. [25] MC Ren later said that the only relationship he had with Eazy-E was through Ruthless Records, where he released several gold and platinum selling albums, including Kizz My Black Azz and Shock of the Hour . Eazy-E and MC Ren would squash their beef shortly before Eazy-E's death in their 1995 duet '"Tha Muthaphukkin' Real" after two years of not talking to each other. All bad blood finally ceased within the rest of the group. Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Ice Cube would later express their re-evaluated feelings to their old friend on 1998's "Ruthless for Life", 1999's "What's the Difference" and "Chin Check", 2000's "Hello", 2006's "Growin' Up", and in the 2011 music video "I Need a Doctor".

Reunions and legacy (1995–present)

Having both parted with Ruthless Records on bad terms, tensions between Ice Cube and Dr. Dre eventually eased on their own. After Ice Cube made a cameo appearance in Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride" video in 1993, the two recorded the hit song "Natural Born Killaz" for Snoop Doggy Dogg's 1994 short film and soundtrack Murder Was the Case . Ice Cube also later appeared on MC Ren's album Ruthless for Life on the track "Comin' After You". MC Ren appeared on Dre's 1999 album 2001 , and the three remaining N.W.A emcees would reunite for "Hello" on Ice Cube's 2000 album War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) , and the song "Chin Check" for the Next Friday soundtrack, a movie starring Ice Cube.

The West Coast and "gangsta" music scene had however fallen out of the spotlight since the death of Tupac Shakur in 1996, and it was only after Dr. Dre's successful patronage of Eminem and Dre's ensuing comeback album 2001 that the genre and its artists would regain the national spotlight. 2000's all-star Up In Smoke Tour would reunite much of the N.W.A and Death Row families, and during time spent on the road, Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, guest star Snoop Dogg and Eminem began recording in a mobile studio. A comeback album entitled Not These Niggaz Again was planned [26] (and would include DJ Yella, who had not been present on the tour).

However, due to busy and conflicting schedules as well as the obstacles of coordinating three different record labels (Priority, No Limit and Interscope), obtaining the rights to the name N.W.A and endorsing the whole project to gain exclusive rights, the album never materialized. [27] Only two tracks from these sessions would be released: the aforementioned "Chin Check" (with Snoop Dogg as a member of N.W.A) from 2000's Next Friday soundtrack and "Hello" from Ice Cube's 2000 album War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) . Both songs would also appear on N.W.A's remastered Greatest Hits . There would also be partial reunions on other projects, notably "Set It Off", from Snoop Dogg's Tha Last Meal (2000), which featured MC Ren and Ice Cube, and The D.O.C.'s "The Shit", from his 2003 album Deuce , featuring MC Ren, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Six-Two. Dr. Dre and DJ Yella were present in the studio for the latter song.

In addition to the Greatest Hits initially released by Priority in 1996, Capitol and Ruthless Records jointly released The N.W.A Legacy, Vol. 1: 1988–1998 in 1999, a compilation that contained songs by other rap artists and only three songs from the actual group but various solo tracks from the five members. The success of the album prompted a second volume, The N.W.A Legacy, Vol. 2 , three years later. It emulated the format of its predecessor, containing only three genuine N.W.A tracks and many solo efforts by the crew members. In 2007, a new greatest hits package was released, entitled The Best of N.W.A: The Strength of Street Knowledge .

In 2014, Ice Cube appeared on MC Ren's remix for "Rebel Music". This was the first time the duo had worked together since the N.W.A reunion in 2000. [28]

On June 27, 2015, MC Ren and DJ Yella joined Ice Cube during his solo set as part of the BET Experience show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This marked the first reunion performance of the group (minus Dr. Dre) in 15 years. Following a 27-year hiatus, the group reunited with surviving members Ice Cube, MC Ren, Dr. Dre and DJ Yella taking the stage during the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2016, just days following the group's Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame induction. [29] [30]




New Line Cinema representatives announced to Entertainment Weekly's "Hollywood Insider Blog" that N.W.A's story was in development to become a feature film for theatrical release in 2012. However, it was delayed to sometime in 2014. The script was researched and written by filmmaker S. Leigh Savidge and radio veteran Alan Wenkus, who worked closely with Eazy-E's widow, Tomica Woods-Wright. [31] Ice Cube and Dr. Dre act as producers of the film. In September 2011, John Singleton [32] was selected as director. Ice Cube and Singleton previously collaborated on Boyz n the Hood , a movie that was nominated for an Academy Award, and Ice Cube also played the part of the character "Fudge" in Singleton's Higher Learning . Casting calls began in the summer of 2010. There were rumors of Lil Eazy-E playing his late father Eazy-E, and Ice Cube's son and fellow rapper O'Shea Jackson Jr. playing his father as well. Ice Cube stated of the movie, "We're taking it to the nooks and crannies, I think deeper than any other article or documentary on the group," he said. "These are the intimate conversations that helped forge N.W.A. To me, I think it's interesting to anybody who loves that era and I don't know any other movie where you can mix Gangster Rap, the F.B.I., L.A. riots, HIV, and fucking feuding with each other. This movie has everything from Darryl Gates and the battering ram." [33]

In August 2012, F. Gary Gray was selected as director rather than Singleton. [34] The film, named Straight Outta Compton , had been picked up by Universal Pictures who hired Jonathan Herman [35] in December 2013 to draft a new script and brought in Will Packer to executive produce. [36] [37] On February 21, 2014, director F. Gary Gray announced a March 9, 2014 open casting call for the film via his Twitter account. [38] There were also open casting calls in Atlanta and Chicago. [39] [40] Rapper YG auditioned to play MC Ren in the film. [41] The project was scheduled to start filming in April 2014 but was pushed backed due to casting delays. [42] [43] [44]

On June 18, 2014, Universal officially announced that the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton would be released August 14, 2015. It was also confirmed that Ice Cube's son, O'Shea Jackson Jr., would play a younger version of his father in the movie. O'Shea Jr. joined Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins who will portray group members Eazy-E and Dr. Dre, respectively, in the film. [45] To round out the cast of N.W.A, Aldis Hodge plays MC Ren and Neil Brown Jr. portrays DJ Yella. [46] [47] In early July 2014, casting directors for the N.W.A biopic issued a casting call for extras and vintage cars in the Los Angeles area for scenes in the movie. According to the casting call release, the film began filming in August 2014 and was released a year later on August 14, 2015. The film received positive reviews and grossed over $200 million worldwide. [48]


"Fuck the police" graffiti in Cairo, 2011 Fuck the police very much! (6265498914).jpg
"Fuck the police" graffiti in Cairo, 2011

Although the group disbanded in 1991, they remain one of the greatest and most influential hip-hop groups, leaving a lasting legacy on hip hop music in the following decades.[ citation needed ] Their influence, from their funky, bass-driven beats to their exaggerated lyrics, was evident throughout the 1990s and even into the present, and is often credited as bridging the white/black American musical lines with their appeal to white Americans in the late 1980s. [49] In Dr. Dre's 1999 single "Forgot About Dre", Eminem pays homage to the group, rapping "So what do you say to somebody you hate or anyone tryna bring trouble your way, Wanna resolve things in a bloodier way, Then just study a tape of N.W.A" referring to the negative reception of N.W.A's works by the mainstream radio, which considered their songs to be violent. [50] A scene in the music video for the 2005 single "Hate It or Love It" by The Game featuring 50 Cent shows Tequan Richmond and Zachary Williams (portraying a youthful Game & 50 Cent respectively) being caught spraypainting "N.W.A" on a wall, resulting in their subsequent arrest by two policemen. The Game also has a tattoo that says "N.W.A" on the right side of his chest. [51]


N.W.A graffiti Logo N.W.A grafit.JPG
N.W.A graffiti

Studio albums

Compilation albums

Extended plays

See also

Related Research Articles

MC Ren American rapper

Lorenzo Jerald Patterson, better known by his stage name MC Ren, is an American rapper, songwriter and record producer from Compton, California. He is the founder and owner of the record label Villain. His moniker is derived from the middle letters in his first name (Lorenzo).

West Coast hip hop is a regional genre of hip hop music that encompasses any artists or music that originate in the West Coast region of the United States. The gangsta rap subgenre of West Coast hip hop began to dominate from a radio play and sales standpoint during the early 1990s with the birth of G-funk and the emergence of Suge Knight and Dr. Dre's Death Row Records.

DJ Yella American DJ

Antoine Carraby, better known by his stage name DJ Yella, is an American rapper, DJ, record producer and film director from Compton, California. He was a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru along with Dr. Dre. He later joined the pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A.

<i>100 Miles and Runnin</i> 1990 EP by N.W.A

100 Miles and Runnin' is the only extended play by American hip hop group N.W.A. It was released on August 14, 1990 by Ruthless Records and Priority Records. Though released to mixed reviews, the album reached platinum status in the United States by September 1992 and ultimately sold over 1,500,000 copies worldwide.

<i>Eazy-Duz-It</i> 1988 studio album by Eazy-E

Eazy-Duz-It is the debut studio album by American hip hop artist Eazy-E, released on September 13, 1988, by Ruthless Records and Priority Records.

"We Want Eazy" is a song by West Coast American rapper Eazy-E. It was released as the third and final single from his debut album, Eazy-Duz-It. The song features fellow N.W.A members Dr. Dre and MC Ren and was produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella. "We Want Eazy" also appears on his greatest hits, Eternal E; a 12-inch remix of this song was released as a single in 1989 and appeared on the rapper's posthumous compilation, Featuring...Eazy-E.

Boyz-n-the-Hood single by Eazy-E

"Boyz-n-the-Hood" is the debut single by Eazy-E as a part of N.W.A. The song is the lead single from N.W.A. and the Posse. The song samples "I'm a Ho" by Whodini and vocal samples from, "Hold It, Now Hit It" by Beastie Boys as well as "Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight and, near the end, the opening of "I'll Take You There" by The Staple Singers. It was remixed and featured on Eazy's debut album Eazy-Duz-It, which was released in 1988. It was remixed again and was featured on Eazy-E's third album, It's On 187um Killa (1993) under the name "Boyz N Tha Hood (G-Mix)".

<i>The N.W.A Legacy, Vol. 1: 1988–1998</i> 1999 compilation album by N.W.A

The N.W.A Legacy, Vol. 1: 1988–1998 is a compilation of various tracks by N.W.A and its solo members Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and Yella. There are only three tracks by the group collectively, and most of the tracks are by N.W.A members' solo work and collaborations with other rappers, including "It Was a Good Day (Remix)" and "Dead Homiez" from Ice Cube, "Boyz-n-tha Hood (Remix)" and "We Want Eazy" by Eazy-E, "California Love," "Natural Born Killaz," and "Let Me Ride" by Dr. Dre.

<i>The Best of N.W.A: The Strength of Street Knowledge</i> 2006 greatest hits album by N.W.A

The Best of N.W.A: The Strength of Street Knowledge is a greatest hits compilation of N.W.A material. It contains some of their old hits and remixes. There is also a Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition with a bonus DVD. The title is a reference to the quote from the intro to "Straight Outta Compton".

"No Vaseline" is a diss track by Ice Cube from his second album, Death Certificate. The song was produced by Ice Cube and Sir Jinx. The UK release of Death Certificate omitted this song, along with the 46-second long "Black Korea".

The discography of N.W.A, an American hip hop group, consists of two studio albums, six compilation albums, one extended play (EP), eight singles, one video album and five music videos. N.W.A was formed in Compton, California in 1986 by Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, Arabian Prince and Ice Cube, with The D.O.C. and MC Ren joining later. The group's first release was the compilation album N.W.A. and the Posse in 1987, which also featured songs by The Fila Fresh Crew, Rappinstine and Ron-De-Vu. Their debut album Straight Outta Compton followed the next year, which initially reached number 37 on the US Billboard 200; it has since reached number four, and has sold over 3.5 million copies in the US alone. "Straight Outta Compton", "Gangsta Gangsta" and "Express Yourself" were released as singles from the album, all of which registered on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

<i>Straight Outta Compton</i> (film) 2015 film directed by F. Gary Gray

Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical drama film directed by F. Gary Gray, depicting the rise and fall of the gangsta rap group N.W.A and its members Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre. The members were involved in the production, including Ice Cube and Dr. Dre as producers, as was Eazy-E's widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, while MC Ren and DJ Yella served as creative consultants. Ice Cube is played by his real-life son, O'Shea Jackson Jr., with Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E. Paul Giamatti also stars as N.W.A's manager Jerry Heller.


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