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Studio album by N.W.A
Released May 28, 1991 (1991-05-28)
Recorded 1990-1991
Audio Achievements,
Torrance, California [1]
Genre West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap, hardcore hip hop, g-funk
Length 55:35
Producer Eazy-E (exec.), Dr. Dre, DJ Yella
N.W.A chronology
100 Miles and Runnin'
Greatest Hits
Singles from Niggaz4Life
  1. "Alwayz into Somethin'"
    Released: April 15, 1991
  2. "Appetite for Destruction"
    Released: 1991

Niggaz4Life (also known as EFIL4ZAGGIN or 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 number 2 on the Billboard 200, selling over 954,000 copies, but in its second week peaked at number 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 2002, 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.


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 Outta 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 directors took the decision to defend N.W.A'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, for which it became notorious. The songs on the album's second half featured more profanity, sexist themes, and references to various sexual acts, provoking the ire of the PMRC,[2] liberal and conservative politicians, and civil rights activist C. Delores Tucker.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau C−[5]
Pitchfork Media 8.8/10[6]
RapReviews 9/10[7]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[9]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted number 2 on the US Billboard Top LPs chart, selling over 954,000 copies.[10] The second week it climbed up to number 1, making it the first hardcore rap album ever to do so. As of 1991 the album has sold 2.1 million copies in the US alone.

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella.

No. Title Writer(s) Performer(s) Length
1. "Prelude"   MC Ren MC Ren, Above The Law 2:27
2. "Real Niggaz Don't Die"   MC Ren, The D.O.C. MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E 3:40
3. "Niggaz 4 Life"   MC Ren, The D.O.C. MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E 4:59
4. "Protest" (interlude)     0:53
5. "Appetite for Destruction"   MC Ren, The D.O.C., Kokane MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E 3:22
6. "Don't Drink That Wine" (interlude)     1:07
7. "Alwayz into Somethin'"   MC Ren, The D.O.C. MC Ren, Dr. Dre 4:29
8. "Message to B.A." (interlude)     0:48
9. "Real Niggaz"   MC Ren MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E 4:27
10. "To Kill a Hooker" (interlude)     0:50
11. "One Less Bitch"   MC Ren, The D.O.C. MC Ren, Dr. Dre 4:47
12. "Findum, Fuckum & Flee"   MC Ren MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E 3:55
13. "Automobile"   MC Ren, Eazy-E Eazy-E, Dr. Dre 3:15
14. "She Swallowed It"   MC Ren MC Ren 4:13
15. "I'd Rather Fuck You"   MC Ren, Eazy-E Eazy-E 3:57
16. "Approach to Danger"   MC Ren, The D.O.C MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E 2:45
17. "1-900-2-Compton" (interlude)     1:27
18. "The Dayz of Wayback"   MC Ren, The D.O.C. MC Ren, Dr. Dre 4:15

Sample credits[edit]


Artist Notes
MC Ren performs on 11 tracks
Dr. Dre performs on 9 tracks
Eazy-E performs on 9 tracks
DJ Yella performs on 1 track
Above The Law performs on 1 track
The D.O.C. songwriter
Admiral Dancehall performs on 2 tracks
Warren G Uncredited vocals on "1-900-2-Compton"


Chart positions[edit]

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


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


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


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