May 28, 2022

N.W.A. "EFIL4ZAGGIN" (May 28, 1991)

N.W.A. doesn't rap about life in the ghetto. N.W.A. is life in the ghetto. They're not reporters, interprets, or spokesmen. They're Real N!ggaz With Attitude, Compton's finest, and they don't give a you-know-what about nothin'. So shut up and listen closely, because N.W.A.'s second album, EFIL4ZAGGIN, is out, and it's gonna be the scariest ride of your life. After a two-year wait, MC Ren, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella have created nothing less than the world's most explosive album. EFIL4ZAGGIN is a descent into America's dirty backyard, where black males over the age of 30 are statistical miracles, where gangs are family, where guns and crack rule the streets, and where women are just things to f#ck. If you don't like it, guess what? It's reality, it's happening now in your town, and if the evening news doesn't make you care, maybe N.W.A. will. Still not sure how to feel? Then hold your breath and jump in feet first; EFIL4ZAGGIN, about an hour in length, has something terribly important to say... "Murder created by the streets of Compton/Now get it from an underground poet/I live it, I see it, and I write it because I know it." In keeping with N.W.A.'s style, the album not only seethes with anger, but ripples with sarcasm too. EFIL4ZAGGIN marks the band's singing debut with "Automobile" (perhaps the first-ever ghetto country song) and "I'd Rather F#ck You," a revamped version of Parliament's "I'd Rather Be With You." Since all pop love ballads are, in essence, about sex, N.W.A. simply brings it out front - way out front! - on these two utterly descriptive songs. Punctuated with real-life phone calls from fans, revealing in-studio chatter and dramatic vignettes about encounters with the police, EFIL4ZAGGIN covers a lot of ground. Cont'd...

Since their emergence with Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A.'s 1989 debut album, the group has carved a singular niche as the angriest and most forceful rap group on either coast. It all started in 1986 when Eazy-E decided to launch his own company, Ruthless Records. He and his friends recorded "Boyz-N-The-Hood," and it took off. A year later, N.W.A. was officially formed, and their 12" single "Dope Man" became a success. But N.W.A. blew off the roof with the release of their debut album, Straight Outta Compton, which took rap to a level never seen before. Songs like "Gangsta Gangsta" and "____ Tha Police" offered a searing portrait of life in the inner-city, told so realistically that some people weren't sure where real life ended and art began. N.W.A. met with immediate controversy. Several of their concerts were cancelled by fearful city councils, parents were terrified by the stark image of these strong young black men in Raiders caps, and even the FBI sent an ominous letter to Priority Records, stating the law enforcements "took exception" to the song, "___ Tha Police." The band was featured in scores of articles, some applauding N.W.A.'s brutal honesty, others decrying what they viewed as the band's musical mayhem. But fans don't listen to pundits. The group sold millions of albums, and became enormously popular around the world with whites as well as blacks. Meanwhile, every member of the band has been active with a variety of other projects, making them, collectively and individually, probably the most influential musicians in the hard-core hip-hop world. But for all four, the main event has always been N.W.A. Now, the long wait is over, and EFIL4ZAGGIN becomes an album for the ages. As the saga continues, so surely will the controversy, the protests, and the outrage. But as the band has tried to show all along, the outrage against them is misdirected. N.W.A. points to the appalling conditions in the cities of America and asks whether or not the focus should lie there. As they say in "Approach The Danger" on the new album: "No prison/Nobody makes bail/Everybody got to go, but you see it ain't no jail/I approach the danger/Cuz I don't give a f#ck if somebody got to get f#cked up/So you might as well kiss your ass goodbye/Cuz in the run/We all die." Have a nice day. - Press Kit, 1991. Still one of the most bone-chilling groups of all-time and a great record indeed.