N.W.A (an acronym for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton, California, widely considered one of the seminal acts of the gangsta rap and west coast hip hop sub-genres, sometimes credited as the most important group in the history of rap music. Active from 1986 to 1991, the rap group endured controversy due to the explicit lyrics that many considered to be disrespectful to women, and glorifying drugs and crime. 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.
The original lineup consisted of Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube. MC Ren joined in 1988, with Arabian Prince leaving the group later that same year. Ice Cube left in December of 1989 over royalty disputes. Several members would later become platinum-selling solo artists in the 1990s. Their debut album Straight Outta Compton marked the beginning of the new gangsta rap era as the production and social commentary in their lyrics were revolutionary within the genre. Rolling Stone ranked N.W.A number 83 on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time." In October 2012, N.W.A were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.