N.W.A (abbreviation for Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was an American hip hop group from Compton, California, widely considered one of the seminal acts of the gangsta rap sub-genre, sometimes credited as the most important group in the history of hip hop. Active from 1986 to 1991, the rap group endured controversy due to the explicit nature of their lyrics, and was subsequently banned from many mainstream U.S. radio stations. In spite of this, the group has sold over 10 million CD units in the U.S. alone.
The original lineup consisted of Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, the late Eazy-E, Ice Cube,and MC Ren; Arabian Prince embarked on a solo career in 1989 and Ice Cube left in December of that year 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."