Eric Lynn Wright, better known by his stage name Eazy-E, was a rapper who performed solo and in the legendary rap group N.W.A. Wright is affectionately called “The Godfather of Gangsta rap”. After dropping out of high school in the 10th grade, he supported himself primarily by selling drugs before investing in Ruthless Records and becoming a rapper.
When Ruthless artist Ice Cube wrote “Boyz-n-the-Hood”, Dr. Dre, Cube, and Eazy formed N.W.A. After DJ Yella, MC Ren, and Arabian Prince joined the group, N.W.A released N.W.A. and the Posse.
In 1988, they released their most controversial album, Straight Outta Compton. The group released two more albums and then disbanded after Eazy released Dr. Dre from his contract.
Eazy’s main influences included 1970s funk groups, contemporary rappers, and comedians. When reviewing Eazy’s albums, many critics noted his unique overall style, with Steve Huey of the All Music Guide remarking: “While his technical skills as a rapper were never the greatest, his distinctive delivery…over-the-top lyrics, and undeniable charisma made him a star.”
LEGACY: ?Eazy-E has been called the godfather of gangsta rap.
?MTV’s Reid Shaheem said that Eazy was a “rap-pioneer,” and he is sometimes cited by critics as a legend.
?Steve Huey of AllMusic said that he was “one of the most controversial figures in gangsta rap.”
?Since his 1995 death, many book and video biographies have been produced, including 2002’s The Day Eazy-E Died and Dead and Gone.
?When Eazy was diagnosed with AIDS, many magazines like Jet, Vibe, Billboard, The Crisis, and Newsweek covered the story and released information on the topic.
?All of his studio albums and EPs charted on the Billboard 200, and many of his singles—”Eazy-Duz-It”, “We Want Eazy”, “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s”, and “Just tah Let U Know”—also charted in the U.S.
?In The Netherlands, a graffiti mural of Eazy-E is dedicated to him.
?In 2012 a Eazy-E documentary was released by Ruthless Propaganda, called Ruthless Memories. The documentary featured interviews from Jerry Heller, MC Ren and B.G. Knocc Out.
?In the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton, Eazy-E is played by Jason Mitchell, and the film is dedicated in his honor.