Eazy-E was a rapper from the West Coast and the co-founder of a record label. He was a member of the group N.W.A., who became famous for records such as ‘Straight Outta Compton.’
Who Was Eazy-E?
Rappers Ice Cube and Dr. Dre recruited Eazy-E to join them in forming the group that would later become known as N.W.A. Eazy-E was a co-founder of Ruthless Records. Straight Outta Compton was one of the albums released by the controversial band, which is well known for its lyrics that glorify violence and objectify women. Eazy also released material under his name as a solo artist. On March 26, 1995, he passed away due to problems associated with AIDS. He was also a radio show host.
Background and Early Career
Eric Wright, better known by his stage name Eazy-E, was born on September 7, 1963, in the city of Compton, which is located in Los Angeles County, California. After failing to graduate high school, he got a job as a dealer of illegal substances. He used the money he made to start a record label called Ruthless Records with an established figure in the music business named Jerry Heller. O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, two additional young people from the area, joined forces with him to begin writing songs for Wright’s record business.
Wright joined up with Jackson and Young to form Niggaz With Attitude, better known simply as N.W.A. after another Ruthless group declined to record a song written by Jackson and Young. The song in question was titled “Boyz-n-the-Hood.”
Hit With ‘Straight Outta Compton’
The group’s debut album, N.W.A., and the Posse were published in 1987. Other rap artists like DJ Yella, MC Ren, and the D.O.C. had joined the act when the album was released. The group’s next album, Straight Outta Compton, was released the following year. The record also included a tune titled “F—- tha Police,” which resulted in the FBI writing a warning letter to the firm responsible for housing Wright’s record label. The record went on to achieve sales of double platinum.
In the same year, Eazy-E released his solo album titled Eazy-Duz-It. This album was a collaborative effort between various members of N.W.A., with Eazy serving as the main performer. Following Ice Cube’s departure from the group in 1989, N.W.A. issued the extended play “100 Miles and Runnin'” in 1990 and the full-length album “Efil4zaggin” the following year, which debuted at number one on the Billboard charts.
Misogyny and Violence
The group became notorious for its extremely violent and misogynistic lyrical content, with a large portion of its sales being driven by adolescent males living in the suburbs. This group is widely regarded as a major influence on the gangsta rap themes that would later dominate commercial hip-hop.
At the beginning of the 1990s, N.W.A. disbanded because of Eazy and Dr. Dre’s engagement in contentious legal battles, which resulted in the two of them attacking and lampooning each other in their works of art. Eazy, a shrewd entrepreneur who discussed how controversies surrounding rap music might be leveraged to boost album sales, continued to operate Ruthless Records, where he was responsible for finding acts such as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. 1992 saw the publication of his first solo extended play (EP), 5150 Home 4 tha Sick. The following year saw the release of his second EP.
Eazy incited controversies of a different kind when he attended a Republican fundraiser in 1991 that featured President George H.W. Bush (the rapper was invited after his name was reportedly pulled from a list associated with charitable donations), as well as when he defended one of the officers who were involved in the beating of Rodney King. By 1994, he had already established himself as the host of a music show broadcast on KKBT-FM in Los Angeles.
In 1995, after Eazy had been admitted to the hospital for serious respiratory problems, it was discovered that the rapper had been infected with AIDS. He promptly disclosed his condition to the public. Just a few weeks after receiving his diagnosis, on March 26, 1995, at 31, he passed away due to complications associated with the disease.
In 1995, a posthumous release of an album that Eazy had been working on was made available. On the seventh anniversary of his passing, an extended play (EP) comprising previously unreleased music was made available. A Ruthless Scandal is a documentary produced by one of his children, the singer E.B. Wright. It is about the dying days of her father’s life. Straight Outta Compton, released in 2015 and a biopic about N.W.A. and directed by F. Gary Gray, also tells his life.
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