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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dense, Nightmarish, and Unforgettable Album Takes Listeners to Compton and Back!
I'm going to state a very unpopular opinion, but one that I happen to believe in passionately. If you ask me, this album is NWA's best effort, equaling, and then SURPASSING the legendary "Straight Outta Compton." In 1991, NWA was a changing group, and the musical bond that kept the Fab Five of Compton together as a hitmaking machine was proving increasingly tenuous. On...
Published on July 21, 2005 by P. B. Reynolds

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars gangster (c)rap
Great production, some good 'rapping' but lyrically and content-wise it's below average. Does include 100 miles EP which is a plus but those songs are the same, sound good but poor message.
Years later, it continues to seem almost 'too hardcore' and not nearly enough substance.
Published on June 23, 2012 by deeznuts


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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dense, Nightmarish, and Unforgettable Album Takes Listeners to Compton and Back!, July 21, 2005
By 
This review is from: Niggaz4life (Audio CD)
I'm going to state a very unpopular opinion, but one that I happen to believe in passionately. If you ask me, this album is NWA's best effort, equaling, and then SURPASSING the legendary "Straight Outta Compton." In 1991, NWA was a changing group, and the musical bond that kept the Fab Five of Compton together as a hitmaking machine was proving increasingly tenuous. On top of mounting commercial demand and performance obligations, the group had suffered the loss of one of its most articulate and profound lyrical voices in Ice Cube, who left suddenly out of creative differences and clashes with the group's new management (for Cube's version of the story, check out the track "No Vaseline" from his Death Certificate album.)

Still, the group forged on and, somehow, overcame Cube's absence to craft and release one of the most harsh, brilliantly dissonant, and criminally underrated hip-hop albums in the entire West Coast G-funk canon. Of course, if you listen to the detractors (of which there are many), you'll hear that Cube's departure left the group at a lyrical disadvantage, and this is true to an extent. Gone are the morality tales and poetic "street knowledge" tracks of the previous album. The songs here are pure ghetto nightmares. The lyrics are haunting, ominous, and as raw as anything that could have been allowed on record shelves in 1991.

I can understand what scares some people away when they hear this album. Tracks like "One Less B*tch" are very disturbing for sensitive listeners, especially for folks who are new to hip-hop, as I was when I first heard the album a few months ago. But for "Efil4zaggin"'s apparent lack of lyrical depth, poeticism, or subtlety, there's also a boatload of fresh, if not revolutionary attributes to the album, and if you're open-minded, there's plenty to recommend it.

First of all, even the folks who hate this album are the first to admit that the production is some of the best ever heard at this time. I'll go one step further and proclaim that this album, not Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" is the first time that Dre flirted with musical elements of what would later become known as G-Funk, the signature sound that marked all of Dre's work in the 1990's as the frontman and impresario of the talented stable of rappers at Deathrow Records. In essence, this is Dre's album, and it marks the exact point at which his talents as a producer came into full bloom.

That devoted group of diehard "Straight Outta Compton" fanatics (including myself) needs to face facts and admit that the prodcution on that album was somewhat lackluster compared to most of the other great hip-hop releases from 1988, and mostly consisted of synthesizers and drum machines. But with "Efil4zaggin", the bar is raised several notches for top-tier sampling, arranging, and all those other -ings that hip-hoppers crave.

Speaking of the many -ings in this album, copulat-ing and fornicat-ing all increase tenfold, thanks to the amorous musings of my favorite NWA member, Eazy-E. In fact, the entire second half of this album is devoted to songs celebrating the physical act of love, and many of these are highlights of the album for their comical, if slightly juvenile observations. In "Straight Outta Compton", Eazy never really got to show his skills much, which was a shame. "Efil4zaggin" rights this wrong by giving the charismatic and oversexed founder of the group full reign on four great tracks.

If you consider buying this album, please keep an open mind and know ahead of time that this is NOT "Straight Outta Compton," which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But this album is an entirely different species, and should be accepted as such. If you view it with an eager ear and a primed imagination, you just may find that you'll enjoy the listening experience that much more.

And Now For The Track-By-Track!

1. Prelude - 4/5. The perfect opener for the album. Right out of the gate, the boys from the CPT come out with a raging west-coast beat to let us know that they've only gotten harder since "Straight Outta Compton" and "100 Miles and Runnin'." They also take a few moments to bash whack MC's and love-song-writing softies.

2. Real N*ggaz Don't Die - 5/5. This track SMOKES!!! The hardest beat in any NWA track, period. Also makes sinister and delightfully ironic use of a sample from Rare Earth's "I Just Want to Celebrate."

3. N*ggaz 4 Life - 4/5. Dizzying track that makes a great point about the social ills plaguing the black community. The closest thing to a "message song" on this entire album.

4. Protest - 3/5. Just a sketch detailing a television news reporter making an on-location broadcast of an NWA concert, in which pandemonium ensues.

5. Appetite for Destruction - 4/5. Another tight beat (noticing a pattern here?), and a terrifying summation of NWA's street philosophy.

6. Don't Drink That Wine - 5/5. This is another sketch, but I happen to really enjoy it, because it features a soul-singing group detailing the dangers of alcohol in a catchy doo-wop style.

7. Always Into Somethin' - 5/5. My very favorite song on the entire album, and one of my absolute favorite hip-hop songs in general. No words can describe how much this song rules, and the production is without peer. How can a four-note background synth whine be so dang catchy?!?!

8. Message to B.A. - 5/5. Just a brief collage of answering machine messages attempting to shed light on Ice Cube's implied lack of street cred and testicular fortitude, plus a strict warning detailing what the gang will to to him if they find him. It lasts a mere 18 seconds, but it's pretty funny.

9. Real N*ggaz - 4/5. Another Ice Cube diss, and a mighty good one if you ask me. If I had been Ice Cube at this time, I'd be terrified. The world's most dangerous group sound pretty mad, and they make it obvious that they'll show no mercy. This song features some of the most impassioned and downright enraged flow from Dre. He spits venom here.

10. To Kill a Hooker - 3/5. Pretty routine stuff here, and one wonders why they chose to include this sketch, wherein a money-hungry lady of the evening spurns the gang, only to be captured and, presumably, killed.

11. One Less B*tch - 3/5. I don't like this track, but I have to give the guys kudos for realism and fearlessness. They really dance on thin ice commercially when they rejoice in killing prostitutes who try to "gank" them, or sometimes, just for the fun of it. And to think, this is a decade before those Grand Theft Auto games portrayed the same activity, to be met with a firestorm of controversy.

12. Findum, F---um & Flee - 4/5. I don't care what anybody says. I love this song. Eazy makes it one of the few occasions in which you feel compelled to LAUGH during a gangster rap song. This track also features a loving tribute to the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight", but with that certain NWA touch!

13. Automobile - 5/5. Eazy and Dre rry their hand at SINGING! This is a very fun (and hilarious) track, and it's obvious that the guys had a great time with it, but I'm definitely glad that they didn't quit their day jobs!

14. She Swallowed It - 4/5. Again, Eazy's enhanced contributions to the album result in some of the funniest hip-hop ever laid to vinyl or disc. This is a musical tribute to women who...well, you know where this is going. To add to the total ridiculousness of this track, the voice of LaWanda Page (Aunt Esther on Sanford & Son) punctuates every line of the chorus with her inimitable comic delivery.

15. I'd Rather F*ck You - 5/5. Another funny and catchy sex tune, with a melody ripped right from Bootsy Collins' "I'd Rather Be With You" and altered lyrics that will have you rolling on the floor...with laughter.

16. Approach to Danger - 3/5. An ominous melody with somewhat half-hearted delivery from MC Ren and Dr. Dre. One of the only weak tracks on the album.

17. 1-900-2-Compton 4/5. A mock ad for a phone service tailor made for those who get locked up in Compton with nobody to post bail.

18. The Dayz of Wayback - 4/5. A very good track, but in my opinion, this shouldn't have been the album's closer. It's the gentlest and most peaceful moment present in the work, and it leaves a bit of a confused taste on the musical palette when this slow-rolling, mournful tune carries out the very last NWA album, and therefor, serves as the death knell of the group.

In summation, forget what you've heard. This album IS worthwhile, and in some ways, is the crowning achievement in NWA's far too brief career.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Gangsta Rap CD of all time!!!, January 18, 2006
By 
S. Shepherd (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Niggaz4life (Audio CD)
This is a must have CD for any rap enthusiast. It's gangsta rap at its purest; full of violence, misogyny, but also lots of humor, and pathos. Don't take it too seriously . . . the guys of NWA clearly loved women or they wouldn't have spent so energy trashing them. Pop this CD into your stereo, roll a fat one, kick back and enjoy the ride.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why everybody keep hatin on this album? (My name is O.I.), June 21, 2005
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Niggaz4life (Audio CD)
Everybody always hates on this album just because of the stupid narrow one minded reason cause Ice Cube wasn't there, and becuase it was just about Money and misogyny. This album is vicious. For yall faggot haters, this was the first gangsta rap album to hit #1 in the charts. This album is the father of G-Unit, Nas, Jay-Z, Biggie, 2pac, 50 Cent, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Nelly, Fat Joe, Mobb Deep, and all tehse gangsta rapper that are here now. This album is a straight up masterpiece. I remember jammin this joint in '92. In '92, this album, 2pac's 2pacalypse Now, and A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory were the ones I always used to listen to. So what if Ice Cube asn't here. don't get me wong, Ice Cube is tha bomb, but I even like Efil4zaggin much better than Straight Outta Compton. I would recommend this album for a rap masterpiece collector, you know, somebody who likes classics like Illmatic, All Eyez On Me, CHronic, Doggystyle, E 1999 Eternal,and all that other crap.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Runnin' Strong today, February 9, 2006
This review is from: Niggaz4life (Audio CD)
When Niggaz4life was released and I picked it up the day it was released, I was a bit dissapointed. Ice-Cube was no longer a member of the group, and I really thought that his presence was missed. As the years went on though, and I started listening to it more, I realized how ahead of the time it was. Maybe it was just a little to much to absorb when I first got it, (believe it or not, it actaully took me a while to get to enjoy Dre. Dre's "The Chronic" I think it was because hip-hop was getting so much more complex as the the 1990's rolled in, and gone was simple beats and rapping over a couple of simple samples. When I listen to this album today, it blows almost everything released today outta the water. Its a great CD, and even w/o Cube, its still really strong. Hip-Hop fans should add this one to their collection, to really have a feel for what Hip-Hop was like when it was getting a complete make over. This album is a classic and its not to be missed. Sure there are some poor songs on here, but I still give it a 5 star rating because the songs that are good, are THAT GOOD...ENJOY
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5.0 out of 5 stars NWA defies the odds and makes a better album without Cube............, January 13, 2007
By 
This review is from: Niggaz4life (Audio CD)
I meant the production is better on Niggaz4life. The lyrics are tight as well with Ren , Eazy and Dre picking up the slack of Cube leaving. The lyrics also take a turn for the worse topic wise which consist of killing hookers, gang raping a 14 year old girl and getting duck sick. An album like this could never be made again, at least I doubt it.

Top Joints:
Dayz of Wayback
Appetite to Destruction
Niggaz4life
Intro
Approach to Danger
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5.0 out of 5 stars NIGGAZ4LIFE is awesome, July 14, 2014
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This review is from: Niggaz4life (Audio CD)
got it quick and everything was just what was listed as! very satisfied!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars NWA HITS, July 2, 2014
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This review is from: Niggaz4life (Audio CD)
TAKES ME BAK TO THE OLD SCHOOL DAYS
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gangsta, June 13, 2014
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This review is from: Efil4zaggin [Explicit] (MP3 Music)
While not quite the classic of "Straight Outta Compton" still a great album from the group started the gangsta rap era. A must have for every rap fans collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The World's Most Dangerous Group!, April 21, 2014
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This review is from: Niggaz4life (Audio CD)
While I don't like the title of this album or much of the subject matter, it is one of the best produced rap albums I have ever heard. It doesn't get as much credit as it deserves, as it is rarely mentioned in the pantheon of great rap albums. The first track, "Prelude", immediately draws you in with its high octane beat and charismatic raps performed by MC Ren.

I could talk all day about how great this album is, but I won't waste much of your time. If you are a fan of rap, pick it up. It's one of Dr. Dre's finest production works, as it is cohesive from top to bottom. There is some content related issues but if you can withstand what comes wit gangster rap, pick it up. It'll blow your mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Only on Amazon, March 21, 2014
By 
CHRISTOPHER JORDAN (LAWNDALE, CALIFORNIA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Efil4zaggin [Explicit] (MP3 Music)
Couldn't find this album anywhere. Amazon surprised me again when I was able to buy it. Especially since it was the electronic version.
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Niggaz4life
Niggaz4life by N.W.A. (Audio CD - 2002)
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