Eazy-E Unisex T-Shirt
Finally, a way to show your respect for some of the greatest icons, legends and pioneers that paved the way past and present. Rock this gear in style and bring back the moments that made you, memories they gave you and/or lessons they taught you. Scroll down for a history lesson with some of our favorite clips.
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Eazy-E: The Life and Timez of Eric Wright (2002) Documentary
Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known professionally as Eazy-E, was an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur who propelled West Coast rap and gangsta rap by leading the group N.W.A and its label, Ruthless Records, pushing the boundaries of lyrical content.
Born and raised in Compton, California, Wright had several legal troubles before founding Ruthless in 1987. After a short solo career with frequent collaboration with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, they joined, forming N.W.A, later that year.
N.W.A’s debut studio album, Straight Outta Compton, was released in 1988. Controversial upon release, it is now ranked among the greatest and most influential albums. The group released its third and final studio album, Niggaz4Life, in 1991, and soon after disbanded.
During N.W.A’s splintering, largely by disputes over money, Eazy-E became embroiled in bitter rivalries with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who had departed for solo careers in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Resuming his solo career, Eazy-E released two EPs. Yet he remained more significant behind the scenes, signing and nationally debuting the rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony from 1993 to 1994.
Eazy E – Boyz-n-the-Hood (Music Video)
N.W.A and Eazy-Duz-It (1986–1991)
N.W.A‘s (also named as “the world’s most dangerous group”) original lineup consisted of Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube. DJ Yella and MC Ren joined later. The compilation album N.W.A. and the Posse was released on November 6, 1987, and would go on to be certified Gold in the United States. The album featured material previously released as singles on the Macola Records label, which was responsible for distributing the releases by N.W.A and other artists like the Fila Fresh Crew, a West Coast rap group originally based in Dallas, Texas.
Eazy-E’s debut album, Eazy-Duz-It, was released on September 16, 1988, and featured twelve tracks. It was labeled as West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap and, later, as golden age hip hop. It has sold over 2.5 million copies in the United States and reached number forty-one on the Billboard 200. The album was produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and largely written by MC Ren, Ice Cube and The D.O.C.. Both Glen Boyd from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and MTV‘s Jon Wiederhorn claimed that Eazy-Duz-It “paved the way” for N.W.A’s most controversial album, Straight Outta Compton. Wright’s only solo in the album was a remix of the song “8 Ball”, which originally appeared on N.W.A. and the Posse. The album featured Wright’s writing and performing; he performed on seven songs and helped write four songs.
Ice Cube left N.W.A in 1989 because of internal disputes and the group continued as a four-piece ensemble. N.W.A released 100 Miles and Runnin’ in 1990 and Niggaz4Life in 1991. A diss war started between N.W.A and Ice Cube when “100 Miles and Runnin'” and “Real Niggaz” were released. Ice Cube responded with “No Vaseline” on Death Certificate. Wright performed on seven of the eighteen songs on Niggaz4Life. In March 1991, Wright accepted an invitation to a lunch benefiting the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle, hosted by then-U.S. President George H. W. Bush. A spokesman for the rapper said that Eazy-E supported Bush because of his performance in the Persian Gulf War.
End of N.W.A and feud with Dr. Dre (1991–1994)
N.W.A began to split up after Jerry Heller became the band’s manager. Dr. Dre recalls: “The split came when Jerry Heller got involved. He played the divide and conquer game. Instead of taking care of everybody, he picked one nigga to take care of and that was Eazy. And Eazy was like, ‘I’m taken care of, so fuck it’.” Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. sent Suge Knight to look into Eazy-E’s financial situation as they began to grow suspicious of Eazy-E and Jerry Heller. Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. asked Eazy-E to release him from Ruthless, but Eazy-E refused. The impasse led to what reportedly transpired between Suge Knight and Eazy-E at the recording studio where Niggaz4life was recorded. After he refused to release Dr. Dre and The D.O.C., Suge Knight told Eazy-E that he had kidnapped Jerry Heller and was holding him prisoner in a van. This did not convince Eazy-E to release Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. from Ruthless, and Suge Knight threatened Eazy-E’s family: Suge Knight gave Eazy-E a piece of paper that contained Eazy’s mother’s address, telling him, “I know where your mama stays.” Eazy-E finally signed Dr. Dre and The D.O.C.’s releases, officially ending N.W.A.
In 1993, Eazy E regularly attended court in the prosecution of the officers involved in the beating of Rodney King, often standing alongside Theodore J. Briseno, who he had met through sharing the same lawyer. Eazy E said, “The difference is that 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.’ 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.” This caused controversy in the hip-hop community, with Willie D calling Eazy E a “sellout”.
The feud with Dr. Dre continued after a track on Dre’s debut album The Chronic, “Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)“, contained lyrics that insulted Eazy-E. Eazy responded with the EP, It’s On
(Dr. Dre) 187 Killa, featuring the tracks “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s” and “It’s On”. The album, which was released on October 25, 1993, contains pictures of Dre wearing “lacy outfits and makeup” when he was a member of the Electro-hop World Class Wreckin’ Cru.
Eazy-E – We Want Eazy (N.W.A)
Eazy-E (Cruisin’ In My 64)
Eazy-E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s (Music Video) HD
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