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Music / Eazy-E

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Original Gangsta

You ask why
Am I like this?
cause you wanna hear about shit like this!
So I tell it
How I know it.
Just hope the fuck I don't show it.
— "Eazy — Chapter 8 Verse 10"

Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 - March 26, 1995), better known by the gang name Eazy-E, was an American rapper, producer, and record executive from Compton, California. Widely regarded as one of the founders of the gangsta rap subgenre, he rose to fame as the founder and member of the group N.W.A and later achieved critical and commercial success as a solo artist. Eazy-E's vocal style was marked by his youthful, high-pitched voice and his lyrics focusing on the elements of urban street life such as guns, drugs, relations between residents and the police, and sexual activity. He had also for some time hosted a hip-hop radio show on Los Angeles-based radio station KKBT.

Eric Wright was born to Richard and Kathie Wright on September 7, 1964 in Compton, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. His father was a postal worker and his mother was a grade school administrator. Eric dropped out of high school in the tenth grade and supported himself by selling drugs. He was also a member of the Kelly Park Compton Crip during his teen years, and he openly associated himself with other Crips. He later received a high school equivalency diploma.

In 1987, Eazy used the profits from his drug sales to co-found Ruthless Records with Jerry Heller. When Ruthless signees Dr. Dre and Ice Cube wrote "Boyz-n-the-Hood", Ahmed Saaoud and Eazy-E formed the group N.W.A with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. (DJ Yella and Arabian Prince were later added.) In this period, Ruthless Records released the compilation N.W.A and the Posse (1987), and N.W.A's proper debut Straight Outta Compton (1988). One month later, Eazy-E released his first solo album, Eazy-Duz-It. The album sold two million copies, certifying it as a double platinum album, and spawned the hit singles "We Want Eazy" and "Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn". The album was produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and largely written by Ice Cube, with contributions from MC Ren and The D.O.C.. In March 1991, Eazy-E accepted an invitation to a lunch benefiting the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle, hosted by then-President George H. W. Bush. A spokesman for the rapper claimed that Eazy-E supported Bush for overseeing Operation Desert Storm. On the final N.W.A album, Niggaz4Life (1991), some of the lyrics provoked outrage from many liberals and conservatives alike. According to Eazy he's not a Republican. He claimed he just donated 15,000 dollars for a million dollars worth of press. It still didn't stop people from calling him a sell out. Particularly WillieD of the Geto Boys.

Disputes about money caused N.W.A. to break up in 1991, as it was thought Eazy-E and Jerry Heller were stealing money from the group. Ice Cube is believed to have left N.W.A. for this reason, which he later referenced in his diss song, "No Vaseline". Subsequently, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre started feuding - a feud that grew to embroil most of Ruthless Records and Dr. Dre's new label, Death Row Records with Merrill. Eazy-E released two Extended Play's during this period, 5150: Home 4 tha Sick (1992), and It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa (1993), the latter was a response to Dr. Dre's The Chronic (1992).

On February 24, 1995, Eazy-E checked himself into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with what he believed at the time was chronic asthma. Following comprehensive tests, it was discovered that he was suffering from AIDS, and his condition deteriorated rapidly. On March 16, he publicly announced his illness, and during the week of March 20, already having made amends with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, Eazy-E drafted what would be his last message to his fans. On March 26, 1995, one month after being admitted into the hospital, Eazy-E died at the age of 30. On his death bed days before, Eazy married long-term girlfriend and mother of his child Tomica Woods, and she inherited his share of Ruthless Records. He was buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California in a gold casket.

In November of 1995, shortly after Eazy-E's death, Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton was released posthumously. The album was set to have up to 60 tracks on two discs, but Eazy-E died before he could finish it.

Eazy-E solo albums:

  • Eazy-Duz-It, released September 16, 1988
  • 5150 - Home 4 tha Sick, released December 28, 1992 (An EP. It's now bundled with current prints of Eazy-Duz-It)
  • It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killanote , released October 25, 1993
  • Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton, released posthumously on November 24, 1995
  • Impact of a Legend, released posthumously on March 26, 2002 to coincide with a documentary with the same name.

Eazy-E music videos

Don't trope me boy, cause I ain't said shit:

  • Alternate Music Video: Eazy planned to put out two versions of his "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" video, but scheduling conflicts with director Marty Thomas, and Eazy's premature death scuttled that plan until 2015, when Thomas finished it, and released it as a "director's cut"; featuring alternate scenes, behind the scenes shots, and outtakes.
  • Anti-Christmas Song: Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas.
  • Anti-Hero: Behind his gangsta, street-hustling persona, Eazy-E was a soft-spoken, mellow, charismatic, reasonable, kind-hearted and smart man.
  • Ax-Crazy: On the song "Sorry Louie".
  • Badass Boast: No More ?'s.
  • Bank Robbery: "Nobody Move", with Eazy and MC Ren as the robbers.
  • Battle Rapping: It's On is essentially a battle EP, with nearly every single song being aimed at Dr. Dre and Death Row Records. According to Yella, Eazy also had a song aimed at Ice Cube, but Yella refused to release it out of respect.
  • Black Comedy: In several songs.
  • Cool Shades: As seen in the picture.
  • The Diss Track: "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" and "It's On" were digs at Dr. Dre, calling him and Snoop Dogg "studio gangsters". This was in response to tracks dissing him on The Chronic.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Turned on its head in "No More ?'s". He believes everyone is a target:
    Ruthless, my style as a juvenile
    Ran with a gang, slanged in the meanwhile
    Bankin', I specialized in gankin'
    Whites, Mexicans, brothers and others
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: During his well-known feud over Dr. Dre with Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight, Knight gave Eazy a piece of paper with his mom's address on it and said to him "I know where your mama stays". This caused Eazy to cave in and sign Dre over to Death Row.
  • Horrorcore: The album "Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton" has songs Darker and Edgier than his earlier songs.
  • Iconic Outfit: Raiders gear, sunglasses locs, and Jheri curl.
  • Insult Backfire: As Eazy pointed out on "Real Muthaphuckkin' G's", "'Dre Day' only meant Eazy's payday!" Dre's insults and posturing on The Chronic didn't mean much, since Eazy got a 20% cut of anything Dre made, even a diss, at Death Row for six years; which eventually amounted to a tidy $1.5 million in profit for Eazy.
  • Intercourse with You: "Automobile," "Gimme That Nutt," and the aptly named "I'd Rather Fuck You".
  • Marked Bullet: In the music video of Neighborhood Sniper, he is shown etching his moniker on the shell of an AK-47 round.
  • Meaningful Name: His stage name represented his easy, casual demeanour.
  • The Mentor: To Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
  • N-Word Privileges: In an interview with journalist Marc Watts, Eazy opines that he doesn't mind the casual use of the n-word by white people towards Afican-Americans so as long as it isn't used in a demeaning manner:
    "If you say 'what's up, nigga?' then that's cool. But if you say, 'Nigger!', then I'mma take it different."
    • African-American author and social commentator Earl Hutchinson did however rebuke Eazy in the same interview, asking "Why would you be a nigga for life? Why can't you be a human being for life?"
  • Older Than They Look: Due to his short stature, youthful face, and high-pitched voice, he was often thought to be the youngest NWA member, even though he was the oldest.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: He was 53 and his NWA stage manager revealed in an interview that he knocked out a 300 pound guy with one punch.
  • Really Gets Around: He was known for having a very promiscuous lifestyle, which unfortunately ended his life.
  • Self-Deprecation: Eazy frequently referenced his height, or lack thereof. From "(Prelude) Still Talkin'":
    Old Fart #1: I knew him when he was knee-high!
    Old Fart #2: He still is knee-high, motherfucker!
  • Short-Lived, Big Impact:invoked Eazy-E had his life cut short by AIDS, but his career was one of the most influential in the Gangsta Rap genre.
  • Signature Headgear: There aren't many pictures of him where he's not wearing a baseball cap.
  • Villain Protagonist: "Nobody Move" and "Sorry Louie" are just two of the most notorious examples from a man who made a music career out of this.
  • We Used to Be Friends: All of his relationships with the rest of NWA's members, sans Yella, completely imploded by 1994. Ice Cube and Dre accused him and group manager Jerry Heller of robbing them of royalties, while MC Ren, despite staying with Ruthless, eventually got sick of Eazy's inflated ego, and stopped speaking to him. All parties eventually buried the hatchet after Eazy was diagnosed with AIDS.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Doubled with Would Hit a Girl in "Sorry Louie":
    "Bitch tried to call the cops, fuck that,
    I gotta take the girl out with my motherfuckin' bat
    Cause I ain't doin' ten in the pen,
    For a bitch and her dead-ass boyfriend
    So I gotta kill the ho,
    I'm reachin' for my weapon slow,
    That's when I notice some nigga standin' by the door
    The little nigga said 'don't kill my mother',
    So I bashed his head in with my Louisville Slugger."
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz:
    • His name,
    • As this page evidences, all of his album titles featured this trope - as well as Letters 2 Numbers in 5150 - Home 4 tha Sick and Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton,
    • Some of Eazy's song titles exhibited this trope - Boyz-N-The-Hood, Real Muthaphuckkin' G's, Eazy-er Said Than Dunn, Wut Would U Do...

"We fucked up!"
"It's cool."
"No it ain't!"