Eazy-E, a rap pioneer and N.W.A member respected by the West Coast, has a legacy that went down in the hip-hop history books. Today Eazy-E would have turned 55 years old on September 7, but his legacy as a “The Godfather of Gangsta Rap” lives on.
The MC born Eric Wright had an uncanny ability to portray the notorious gang activity and crime in Compton with vivid precision. As part of the group N.W.A., alongside Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella, he helped gangster rap gain national exposure. It would later become a groundbreaking phenomenon where hip-hop pundits accepted a pure and unapologetic style. There was nothing like it at the time. And it's impossible to imagine where hip-hop would have gone without the impact of the immortal 1988 album 'Straight Outta Compton' When N.W.A.’s debut album, 'Straight Outta Compton', came out in 1988, it struck a nerve within the rap community and with young people of all stripes.
From the late 1980s to early 1990s, Eazy was also viewed as one of the most controversial figures in rap. His fallout with Dr. Dre was highly publicized, as the two went back in forth on a number of tracks. Dre’s 1992 debut The Chronic contained jabs at Eazy, while “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s” resonated for its straightforward shots at the whole Death Row label.
Eazy was diagnosed with AIDS in February 1995 and succumbed to the disease only a month later in March. He was 31 years old. Eazy left behind seven children and made amends with all his former rap foes like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre before he passed. Like many other legends that passed away too soon, Eazy will always be forever remembered for his contributions. Spin some of these cuts in honor of “The Godfather of Gangsta Rap.”
Listen to Eazy-E's classic album Eazy-Duz-It below.