Niggaz4Life

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Niggaz4Life
Studio album by N.W.A
Released May 28, 1991
Recorded July 1990–March 1991
Genre Gangsta rap, g-funk
Length 55.35
73.41 (2003 re-release)
Label Ruthless/Priority
Producer Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella
N.W.A chronology
100 Miles and Runnin'
(1990)
Niggaz4life
(1991)
Greatest Hits
(1996)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Blender 5/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork Media 8.8/10[3]
RapReviews 9/10[4]
Robert Christgau C−[5]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[7]

Niggaz4Life (also known as EFIL4ZAGGIN), is the second and final studio album by gangsta rap group N.W.A, released in 1991. It was their final album, as the group disbanded later the same year after the departure of Dr. Dre and songwriter The D.O.C. for Death Row Records; the album features only four members of the original line-up, as Ice Cube had already left the group in 1989. Niggaz4Life debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, but in its second week reached No. 1.

In 1992, several months after the release of the album, N.W.A released a video entitled Niggaz4Life: The Only Home Video, which chronicled the making of the album and its three music videos, "Alwayz into Somethin'", "Appetite for Destruction" and "Approach to Danger".

In 2003, the CD was re-released in two formats. Both had the EP 100 Miles and Runnin' appended to the end of the original track listing, but one was available with a DVD copy of Niggaz4Life: The Only Home Video.

Title[edit]

On the cover the title appears as a mirror-image of the text "NIGGAZ4LIFE". The name of the new album had been revealed in "Kamurshol" from N.W.A's previous release 100 Miles and Runnin', but only by playing a vinyl copy backwards could the otherwise unintelligible sound be deciphered as "niggaz for life". Since the album contained the word "Nigga" in it, on some publications it had to be edited out as Straight Out of Compton 2.

While "Niggaz 4 Life" was the original title, it was likely changed on the cover to its reversed form due to political (and financial) considerations. The corruption of the word "nigga" as used in the album title was perhaps influenced by censorship measures in the US music industry introduced at the time. Controversy surrounding the content of heavy metal and hip hop music in general, in particular N.W.A, had been directed by Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center, which had resulted in the adoption of self-censorship measures in the US music industry, including the Parental Advisory sticker. Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A's previous full-length, which also contained the song "Parental Discretion Iz Advised", was one of the first to be branded. By obfuscating the offensive word, the group were able to leverage a small measure of artistic freedom. At the time of release, the album was removed from music stores in the United Kingdom.

In 1991, Island Records UK (who licensed the record outside the USA) were charged under section two of the UK's obscene publication act for wilfully releasing efil4zaggin in the UK. Given the chance to withdraw the album by the police and avoid prosecution the board of director took the decision to defend NWA's right of free speech. Island president Marc Marot was personally threatened with prosecution under section 1 of the act as the 'controlling mind' behind Island records at the time of the case. Island engaged Geoffrey Robinson QC as a barrister and were rewarded with a famous win at Redbridge magistrate court on 7 November 1991, with all charges dismissed and costs awarded against the Crown prosecution services. This was to be the last obscenity trial levelled against the UK music industry.

In comparison to its predecessor, the album was also heavier on misogyny, which it became notorious for. The album's final nine songs were laden with more sexist profanity and references to various sexual acts; provoking the ire of the PMRC,[8] liberal and conservative politicians, and civil rights activist C. Delores Tucker.[9]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Performer(s) Length Samples
1 Prelude MC Ren, Eazy-E, Above the Law 2:27
2 Real Niggaz Don't Die Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Eazy-E 3:40
3 Niggaz 4 Life MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E 4:58
4 Protest (interlude) 0:53
5 Appetite for Destruction Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Eazy-E 3:22
  • "Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins
  • "Funky Stuff" by Kool and the Gang
  • "Get Me Back on Time, Engine No. 9" by Wilson Pickett
  • "Niggers vs. the Police" by Richard Pryor
6 Don't Drink That Wine (Interlude) 1:07
  • "I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body)" by Parliament
  • "If It Ain't Ruff " by N.W.A.
7 Alwayz into Somethin' Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Admiral D 4:25
8 Message to B.A. (Interlude) 0:48 "Prelude" by N.W.A
9 Real Niggaz MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy E, DJ Yella 4:27
  • "Give it Up" by Kool & the Gang
  • "Got to Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn
  • "Gashman" by The Last Poets
  • "The Lovomaniacs" by Boobie Knight & the Universal Lady
10 To Kill a Hooker (interlude) 0:50
11 One Less Bitch MC Ren, Dr. Dre 4:47
12 Findum, Fuckum & Flee Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, CPO 3:55
13 Automobile Eazy-E, Dr. Dre 3:15
  • "My Automobile" by Parliament
14 She Swallowed It MC Ren 4:13
  • "Cardova" by The Meters
  • "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Babe" by Barry White
  • "That Girl is a Slut" by Just-Ice
  • "Slack Jawed Leroy" by Leroy & Skillet with LaWanda Page
15 I'd Rather Fuck You Eazy E 3:57
  • "I'd Rather Be with You" by Bootsy Collins
16 Approach to Danger MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E 2:45
17 1-900-2-Compton (Interlude) 1:27
  • "P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)" by Parliament
18 The Dayz of Wayback MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Admiral D 4:15

Appearances[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
position
Billboard 200 1
Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 2

Singles[edit]

Year Song Chart positions
US R&B
Singles
US Rap
Singles
1991 "Appetite for Destruction" 45 2
1991 "Alwayz into Somethin'" 37 1

References[edit]

Preceded by
Spellbound by Paula Abdul
Billboard 200 number-one album
June 22–28, 1991
Succeeded by
Slave to the Grind by Skid Row