Did Eazy-E Create Gangsta Rap?

By: Mic Cool

Eric “Eazy-E” Wright grew up in Compton, California selling drugs, and not too long after that he formed the supergroup NWA aligned with other legends Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and Dj Yella. They bursted on the scene with Straight Outta Compton, a hard hitting album and title track describing the environment they came from which depicted police brutality, racism, and other political topics. Circa 1986 E met Jerry Heller, a white business man who believed in him and saw his vision. At the tender age of 22 Eric earned $250,000 dollars from hustling but, after his cousin was shot and killed, he decided to record music in the newly budding L.A. rap scene.

After the success of NWA’s debut, it was obvious Eric was a breakout star. In less than 8 months after the groups mega stardom his debut CD Eazy-Duz-It was out for distribution. The remix of the song “8-Ball” was written by Ice Cube who wrote most of Eazy’s songs in the early NWA days. After Cube left the group in 1989, NWA put out their 2nd LP Niggaz4Life in 1991. At this time E accepted and invitation to a lunch at the White House benefitting George Bush Sr. who was our U.S. president at the time.

Dr. Dre got suspicious of funds within the click then in turn connected with Suge Knight, who got him out of the Ruthless Records contract Dre had with Eazy and Jerry. The emergence of Death Row Records allowed Dre to dis Eazy on records like “ Dre Day” but E would respond on “Real Muthafuckin G’s”, basically claiming his ties to gang banging while exposing Dre for just making beats, not living the life he portrayed in his music, and for The Doc wearing lipstick before he smoked Chronic at picnics.

Eazy was also a big entrapenuer co founding the aforementioned Ruthless Records, a label which spawned Cleveland’s mega group Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony among other acts. In 1995 Eric was admitted to Cedars Sinia Medical Center in L.A. with what he believed to be asthma instead finding out it was the HIV virus AIDS. During the final week of his life he made amends with Ice Cube, Dre and even Snoop Dogg who had come at him in the past. Over 3000 people attended Eazy’s funeral, he was buried in a gold casket dressed in his signature flannel shirt, a Compton hat, and jeans. The Godfather of Gangsta Rap had been finally laid to rest in his 64 Chevy Empala driving straight to heaven.