The Legacy of Eazy E

“So when I die, Niggas bury me, Make sure my shit read Eazy Muthafuckin E and thats a fact/ To be exact/ My tombstone should read, He put Compton on the map.

What made me want to do a touch up on Eric Eazy E Wright is that I feel that his impact in not only hip hop but in music period is heavily overlooked. It seemed that the deaths of Tupac, and Biggie overshadowed Eazy E’s death and for a long period of time, It seemed that he was forgotten in hip hop. It wasn’t until the Game came out and started praising him on songs, tatting his logo and carrying his legacy so the new generation can see where all of this gangsta music come from and it comes from Eazy and NWA.

Many people may say that Schooly D, Ice T, and KRS One started it. They may have but Eazy and NWA popularized it and took it to the next level. They came out around a time where Hip Hop was basically disco/dance music. Everything was nothing but partying and having fun but as the 80’s took a dark turn for the worst with Reaganomics along with the rising of crime, drugs, and violence in the black community. Hip Hop needed a voice to point out these concerns and report these issues to the masses and this is where NWA came in.

The NWA Days

After hustling in the streets for a long period of time, Eazy wanted to do something legitimate with his money so he partnered up with Jerry Heller and formed Ruthless Records. Eazy went ahead and recruited an all-star cast of the best rappers from Compton and formed NWA (Niggaz with Attitude) and it’s just what the game needed at the time.

NWA automatically stood out from their peers At a time where many rappers dressed like pop singers with the bell bottoms, and tight outfits. NWA came into the game with all black, Raider hats and gold chains. Their hard-core demeanor went along with the music and people could feel the rebelliousness. The Album’s Straight Outta Compton and Eazy Duz it were two albums that changed the game forever. NWA’s content was unheard of at the time with not only their attitude but their controversial subject manner as they were the first group to yell “Fuck The Police” which sent the FBI and Police force into a frenzy.

What made NWA different from the groups of today is that their material also included street commentary and didn’t come across as too glorfiable of the gangster lifestyle but more like a Van Gogh painting a sordid picture which maybe too dirty and too complicated for people to understand but had a meaning behind it.

With the success of the two albums, Eazy continued to build his brand of Ruthless Records thus opening the door for rappers to start their own labels and sign their own acts. He took alot of these people out of the ghetto and gave them jobs at working for Ruthless whenever it be singing, rapping, doing production, or body-guarding. Eazy opened the door and showed these guys how to get their money before eventually starting to get greedy himself.

Tensions amount
While such a brilliant entrepreneur and hustler. There was never no denying that Eazy was a money hungry individual. He used a lot of those hustler tactics that he learned in the streets and tried to bring it into the group. He hustled the D.O.C. into selling him his publishing for a gold watch and a chain, He got paid as a CEO, A rapper, and as a group member of NWA while underpaying Dr Dre and Ice Cube who at the time were heavy contributors to Ruthless being Dre with the beats and Cube with writing the songs for Eazy and Dre. Ice Cube was the first to catch Eazy and Jerry Heller in the act demanding more compensation. Eazy refused so Cube left the group and started his solo career.

Hoping to rebound from Cube’s departure from the group. NWA started to work on Niggaz 4 Life and gave their fans an appetizer with a 100 miles and Running where they decided to go into a harsher route content wise. Despite the EP’s success. The group still Felt betrayed by their band mate Ice Cube leaving. NWA started to fire shots at Ice Cube on their first single titled 100 Miles and Runnin. Cube shot back on Jackin 4 Beats and a war of words pursued.

Niggaz 4 Life
This was NWA’s second and final studio album. Even though Cube was sorely missed, It seemed that the group didn’t miss a beat with his absence. Niggaz 4 Life was an album that guaranteed to cause much more controversy than Straight Outta Compton. Eazy was the type that loved controversy so the route he took with this album pretty much offended a lot of people. Ice Cube’s street conscious influence isn’t felt and you can tell by listening to this album

The songs on the first half of the album were more violent and harsher in terms of the language, The second half of the album was filled with some of the most disgusting and disrespectful songs towards women ever recorded and in the process drop an even harder diss on Ice Cube on the track Real Niggaz.

Overall while the album was getting panned left and right from political activists, feminist groups, and black leaders who felt offended by the constant usage of the N word. Eazy could have cared less as Niggaz 4 Life would be the first album to top soundscan and proving that they can drop a great album without Ice Cube. But their success would be short-lived.

No Vaseline and the destruction of NWA
On October 31st 1991, Ice Cube released his 2nd album the Death Certificate and with that album became America’s most feared black man. He basically within that one album took all of NWA’s thunder and basically brought the people who felt NWA’s with Niggaz 4 Life made Caricatures of themselves embraced Ice Cube loading up his AK and going cracker hunting. Not only did he take their title of Most Dangerous group but he also took them out lyrically on No Vaseline in possibly the top 3 most effective diss record to ever drop.

NWA never warranted a response and by then Dr Dre was starting to see the writing on the wall and wanted to leave. He felt the same way Ice Cube did and thats under compensated for the hard work he’s put in for producing these albums for Ruthless. Eazy knowing that he couldn’t lose Dre or else thats their entire sound. So he tried to give Dre a higher position at Ruthless but it was too late, Suge Knight was already in his ear and was able to persuade Dre to come start Death Row Records with him.

Controversy and a feud with a former friend.
Eazy E like I stated before, Loved and relished controversy. In his mind, Controversy sells and he loved being in the middle of it. He made a very bold and risky move by actually showing up to the White House and broke bread with George Bush Sr. A move that many people saw as a “Sell Out” move because Bush was hated entirely by Minorities. Eazy saw it as a way of gaining power and claimed that “he paid a 1,000 dollars for a million dollars worth of press”

If that didn’t do it. His comments on the horrendous Rodney King beating by 4 white officers lit a fire storm within the black and hip hop community:

It’s nothing short of high treason in the rap world. Eazy-E, formerly of the hard-core group N.W.A., appears to be standing behind one of the defendants in the second Rodney King beating trial, which goes to the jury today. “Most people look at the video and say four white officers were responsible for the beating of this helpless, innocent black man. I say, `Wrong,’ ” he told the Los Angeles Times. “Three white officers were responsible for beating Rodney King. The other officer {Theodore J. Briseno} happens to be Mexican-American, and he tried to stop them.”

Whatever this was a PR move or not. This wasn’t a good look for Eazy and it gotten worse as Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg were gaining heavy momentum in the hip hop world with the heavy anticipation of Dre’s solo album The Chronic. To make matters worse, Dre and Snoop shot a video clowning both Eazy and Jerry Heller. The video depicted Eazy E as an uncle tom, being chased everywhere by gangsters and holding a will rap for food sign outside of Compton.

A new revamped Ruthless Records

1992 was a rough year for Ruthless. Between NWA breaking up, Dre, D.O.C., and Michell’e leaving for Death Row with Dre having success with the Chronic over Eazy’s expense. Eazy rebounded by dropping the 187 Dr Dre Killa EP which was a EP going at the whole Death Row camp. The EP featured one of hip hop’s best comeback records in Real Compton City Gz which exposed what happened behind the scenes with Dre and Snoop at Death Row. The Track was hard-hitting and would soon turn out factual. He even responded by shooting a very humorous video:

Even though it didn’t sell monster copies like The Chronic and Doggystyle. The album was strong enough to put Ruthless back into the streets as the record went on to sell 2 million copies. Eazy continued to scout and sign new talent throughout 1993 going into 1994. He started Ruthless Radio in late 1993 to promote his music and artists along with giving other artists a platform to speak their minds. Eazy also discovered what would be a diamond in the ruff: 5 hungry young rappers by the name of Bone Thugs N Harmony

Bone Thugs N Harmony and his death

Bone Thugs N Harmony was the group that Eazy E needed to put Ruthless back in the mainstream level. Their style was very unique and different from anything that was coming out around that time and they were street enough to appeal to the hood so Eazy signed them, Released their debut single Thuggish Ruggish Bone and soon their EP Creepin on the Come Up. The album was a smash success making Bone Thugs the face of Ruthless records as it would reach platinum within months.

By the time Eazy started to work on his double LP Str8 out the Streetz of Muthafukkin Compton and Bone’s sophomore album East 1999. Eazy started to make drastic changes with the label which soon led to his strange death. Starting from when he met up with Ice Cube in New York to talk about a possible NWA Reunion. Cube and Eazy squashed their feud and was gonna reach Dre but Dre got in some trouble at the time and couldn’t be reached.

Cube also suspected that in order for this to happen, He would have to cut Jerry Heller out of the equation. Shortly after the meeting, It was revealed that Heller was taking advantage of Eazy and taking money so he had Heller fired shortly afterwards.

His Death

Eazy’s death remains a mystery to this day. Although the cause of AIDS is obvious. How he got it and died so quick remains a mystery, There have been many conspiracies linked to his death.Many felt that there was an inside job to eliminate Eazy and if you really think about it. The theories sort of make sense: From having being injected a HIV effected needle by one of Heller’s associates to the Government conspiracy to eliminate Eazy knowing that he had too much power(Starting from him meeting with the President) to his chilling last words ever recorded. Its obvious in Eazy’s last words that he knew there was a force after him and it goes deeper than rap. Heres his last words:

The Legacy
Eazy’s legacy should never go unmentioned. Much like Puff Daddy for New York, Eazy opened up doors for West Coast and made Ruthless one of the last successful Indie labels before his demise.Eazy’s business savvy showed that you don’t have to be just an artist but you can also be a CEO and control your ship. He wasn’t afraid to take chances as a artist or as a business man nor was he afraid of rubbing people the wrong way with his words. The mindset that Eazy brought is sorely missed in the game today but he will always be remember as the original O Dog of the Industry: America’s Nightmare, Young, Black and didnt give a fuck!

About Vic Da Rula

What more can I say? I enjoy Hip Hop, Sports, and living the good life! var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname = "Escobar300(Covering Hip Hop Culture, Sports, and Events)"; a2a_config.linkurl = "";
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