The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


N.W.A

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N.W.A is one of the most important groups in hip-hop history. Their aggressive, boundary smashing, don’t-give-a-fuck perspective was made clear by their name, which stands for Niggaz Wit Attitude. Their most famous single was “Fuck The Police,” a minimalist classic that described the frustration and anger young black men felt toward the LAPD, years before the Rodney King riots broke out. Some call them the Beatles of hip-hop because of their massive influence, sonic power and their place as a launching pad for several critical solo careers. Dr. Dre, the greatest producer in hip-hop history, created the G-Funk sound he would become known for while he was in N.W.A. The G-Funk sound, built on P-Funk samples, synthesizer-heavy, cinematic and ominous themes would shape a generation of hip-hop. Ice Cube, who would become one of the most important MCs in hip-hop history was also in the group as was Eazy-E, an unforgettable figure. The group also included MC Ren, a formidable MC and DJ Yella, an important producer. N.W.A is the prime influence for the sound, ideology, vibe and look of gangsta rap and the L.A. hip-hop sound. They attracted nationwide attention for their albums Straight Outta Compton and Niggaz4Life. Indeed, the FBI sent the group a warning letter that is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.