Eric Wright, aka Eazy-E, is a little-known music artist to the current generation. Born on September 7, 1964, the rapper was one of America’s greatest rappers in the 80s. Eazy was born and raised in Compton, California. His father worked at the post office, and his mother was a school administrator. He dropped out of school in 9th grade and went on the streets selling drugs.
Eazy grew up in a neighborhood notorious for gangs and drug dealers. On learning that his cousin had been shot because of drugs, Eazy turned a new leaf and used the proceeds of his illegal business to set up his music career. He decided to focus on his hip hop career and started recording music in his parent’s garage. Despite his little education, Eazy was a “street smart” entrepreneur; he struck a deal with his manager, Jerry Heller, and started “Ruthless records.” Heller was a minority in the company, with Eazy being the C.E.O.
Eazy teamed up with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre and started the group N.W.A. He released his first solo album of 12 tracks, “Eazy-Duz-It,” which Dr. Dre and DJ Yella produced. Eazy sold over 2.5 million records and was no. 41 in the charts. The album largely contributed to N.W.A’s success. Eazy became popular and was invited to a luncheon for the republic secretariat hosted by former US president George W Bush. Eazy said he supported former president Bush because of his excellent performance in the Gulf War.
N.W.A. released their first album, “Straight Outta Compton,” in 1988 and “Niggaz4Life,” later in 1991, produced by Eazy’s Ruthless Records. N.W.A was nicknamed “the world’s most dangerous group”. Their music made a mark in the Hip-hop industry, and the trio are known as the godfathers of gangster hip-hop. Unfortunately, the group split up because Eazy had a falling out with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
Eazy was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in February 1995 and died a month later due to AIDS-related complications. His music shot up in the charts when several magazines reported his AIDS diagnosis. He was reportedly worth $50 million at the time of his death. The film “Straight Outta Compton” (2015) was a tribute to Eazy-E, with Jason Mitchell playing Eazy.
Eazy was a man who stood for what he believed in and did not care what people said. He stood by officer Theodore J. Briseno in the Rodney King trial. Officer Briseno was Mexican American, and Eazy defended him, saying that the officers who beat up Rodney King were white. His involvement in the case drew so much criticism, branding him a traitor.
Many people saw Eazy as just a gangster rapper, but he also had a soft spot for children. He donated lots of money to charities in support of needy children. Eazy contributed to society by filming a documentary showing the realities of his neighborhood, Compton. His death saddened Eazy’s fans because he was a kind-hearted man. His music pioneered the growth of hip hop worldwide. Eric Wright put his neighborhood on the map as the origin of hip-hop music.