American group, seminal purveyors of the gangsta rap sub-genre. NWA stands for "Niggaz Wit Attitudes". They were active from 1986 to 1991, and for a short period in 1999/2000.
NWA released "Panic Zone / Dope Man / 8-Ball" in 1987 on Macola Records, which was later included on the compilation "N.W.A. And The Posse". The group was still in its developing stages, and only credited on four of the eleven tracks, notably the uncharacteristic electro-hop record "Panic Zone", "8-Ball", and "Dopeman", which marked the first collaboration of The Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Hispanic 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. Also included was Eazy-E's solo track "Boyz-n-the Hood".
In 1988, rapper MC Ren joined NWA, and later that year the group released their debut album "Straight Outta Compton". Though not a success at first, "Straight Outta Compton" helped pave the way for the emerging gangsta rap scene in the 1980s, and reached number 37 in the Billboard Top 200 in May 1989, while it reached number 9 on Billboard's Top Soul LPs. The album managed to sell over three million copies without any airplay, and spawned three singles, two of them charting successfully: "Straight Outta Compton", "Gangsta Gangsta", and "Express Yourself".
Ice Cube left in December 1989 over royalty disputes; having written almost half of the lyrics on "Straight Outta Compton" himself, he felt he was not getting a fair share of the money and profits. He wasted little time putting together his solo debut, "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" (1990), but he avoided mentioning his former label mates. Instead of breaking up, NWA decided to continue without Ice Cube, releasing the EP "100 Miles And Runnin'" (1990), which went platinum. Their 1991 follow-up album "Efil4zaggin" (also referred to as "Niggaz4Life") was the first hip-hop full-length album to reach number one on the Billboard 200. Shortly after the release of "Efil4zaggin", NWA disbanded.
All members continued making music since then, with Dr. Dre going solo, and Eazy-E running Ruthless Records and releasing more music, until he died of AIDS in 1995.