Today's Artist is Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), known was an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. Dubbed the "Godfather of Gangsta Rap", he gained prominence for his work with N.W.A, where he has been credited for pushing the boundaries of lyrical and visual content in mainstream popular music. ....... N Joy
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Whether as a member of N.W.A, a solo act, or a label head, Eazy-E was one of the most controversial figures in gangsta rap. While his technical skills as a rapper were never the greatest, his distinctive delivery (invariably described as a high-pitched whine), over the top lyrics, and undeniable charisma made him a star. Following N.W.A's breakup, E's street credibility took a major beating, though his recordings continued to sell well when they appeared; unfortunately, he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1995, and died not long after.
Eric Wright was born to Richard and Kathie Wright on September 7, 1964, in Compton, California, a Los Angeles suburb noted for gang activity and crime. His father was a postal worker and his mother was a grade school administrator. Wright dropped out of high school in the tenth grade, but later received a high-school general equivalency diploma (GED). No one survived on the streets without a protective mask. No one survived naked. You had to have a role. You had to be "thug," "playa," "athlete," "gangsta," or "dope man." Otherwise, there was only one role left to you: "victim."
Wright supported himself primarily by selling drugs, introduced to the occupation by his cousin. Wright's friend Jerry Heller admits that he witnessed Wright selling marijuana, but says that he never saw him sell cocaine. As Heller noted in his book Ruthless: A Memoir, Wright's "dope dealer" label was part of his "self-forged armor". Wright was also labeled as a "thug". Heller explains: "The hood where he grew up was a dangerous place. He was a small guy. 'Thug' was a role that was widely understood on the street; it gave you a certain level of protection in the sense that people hesitated to fuck with you. Likewise, 'dope dealer' was a role that accorded you certain privileges and respect." In 1986, at the age of 22, Wright had allegedly earned as much as US$250,000 from dealing drugs. However, after his cousin was shot and killed, he decided that he could make a better living in the Los Angeles hip hop scene, which was growing rapidly in popularity. He started recording songs during the mid-1980s in his parents' garage.
The original idea for Ruthless Records came when Wright asked Heller to go into business with him. Wright suggested a half-ownership company, but it was later decided that Wright would get eighty percent of the company's income and Heller would only get twenty percent. According to Heller, he told Wright, "Every dollar comes into Ruthless, I take twenty cents. That's industry standard for a manager of my caliber. I take twenty, you take eighty percent. I am responsible for my expenses and you're responsible for yours. You own the company. I work for you." Along with Heller, Wright invested much of his money into Ruthless Records. Heller claims that he invested the first $250,000 and would eventually put up to $1,000,000 into the company
N.W.A's 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.
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. 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) 187um Killa, featuring the tracks "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" and "It's On". The EP, 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.
On February 24, 1995, Wright was admitted to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with a violent cough. He was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. He announced his illness in a public statement on March 16, 1995. It is believed Wright contracted the infection from a sexual partner. During the week of March 20, having already made amends with Ice Cube, he drafted a final message to his fans. On March 26, 1995, Eazy-E died from complications of AIDS, one month after his diagnosis. He was 30 years old (most reports at the time said he was 31 due to the falsification of his date of birth by one year). He was buried on April 7, 1995, at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California. Over 3,000 people attended his funeral, including Jerry Heller and DJ Yella. He was buried in a gold casket, and was dressed in a flannel shirt, jeans, and his Compton hat. On January 30, 1996, ten months after Eazy-E's death, his final album, Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton was released.
In 2015, the critically acclaimed, Academy-Award-nominated N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton was released in theaters. Focusing on the creation and rise of the seminal gangsta rap crew, Compton was dedicated to Eazy. It went on to make over $200 million worldwide at the box office and inspired a cultural resurgance for N.W.A. With increased mainstream recognition of N.W.A.'s legacy in the history of rap and hip-hop, Eazy received a posthumous honor for his contribution to music with his posthumous induction into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
Wright had a son, Eric Darnell Wright (known as Lil Eazy-E), in 1984. He also had a daughter named Erin who has legally changed her name to Ebie. In October 2016 she launched a crowd-funding campaign to produce a film called Ruthless Scandal: No More Lies to investigate her father's death. It ended unsuccessfully in December 2016. Wright met Tomica Woods at a Los Angeles nightclub in 1991 and they married in 1995, twelve days before his death. They had a son named Dominick and a daughter named Daijah (born six months after Wright's death). After Wright's death, Ruthless was taken over by his wife. According to Jerry Heller, Wright had 11 children with eight different women. According to his son Lil Eazy-E, Eazy-E was worth an estimated USD$50 million at the time of his death.
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Released only a month after Straight Outta Compton (1988), Eazy-Duz-It was the first N.W.A spin-off album. Years before Ice Cube went solo with Amerikkka's Most Wanted (1990), before Dr. Dre changed the rap game with The Chronic (1992), before MC Ren struggled to establish himself with Shock of the Hour (1993), and before Yella simply fell into obscurity, Eazy-E rose to immediate superstar status with this solo debut. It's no wonder why, for the album plays like a humorous, self-centered twist on Straight Outta Compton with Eazy-E, the most charismatic member of N.W.A, front and center while his associates are busy behind the scenes, producing the beats and writing the songs. In terms of production, Dr. Dre and Yella meld together P-Funk, Def Jam-style hip-hop, and the leftover electro sounds of mid-'80s Los Angeles, creating a dense, funky, and thoroughly unique style of their own. In terms of songwriting, the D.O.C., Ice Cube, and MC Ren are each credited; plus, Ren performs raps of his own on five of the 12 songs. The collaborative nature of the music -- with Dre and Yella producing; the D.O.C., Ice Cube, and MC Ren writing the songs; MC Ren featured as a guest on half of them; and Eazy-E performing -- fortunately makes Eazy-Duz-It more of an N.W.A effort than a true solo album. This is fortunate because as charismatic as he may be, Eazy-E isn't an especially gifted MC. He's at his best here when he's cracking wise and also when he's overshadowed by Dr. Dre's productions, particularly on the four-song sequence of "Eazy Duz It," "We Want Eazy," "Eazy-er Said Than Dunn," and "Radio" -- all heavily produced songs with layers upon layers of samples and beats competing with Eazy-E's rhymes for attention. Straight Outta Compton is no doubt the more revolutionary album, yet Eazy-Duz-It is a great companion, showcasing N.W.A's sense of humor and, despite the often violent subject matter, casting them in a lighter, more humorous mood. When Eazy-E would return with a second solo release, 5150 Home 4 tha Sick, his N.W.A associates would be M.I.A. and the difference would be stark.
Eazy-E - Eazy-Duz-It (flac 325mb)
01 (Prelude) / Still Talkin' 3:50
02 Nobody Move (Feat MC Ren) 4:49
03 Ruthless Villain 2:59
04 2 Hard Mutha's (Feat MC Ren) 4:26
05 Boyz-N-The Hood (Remix) 6:22
06 Eazy-Duz-It 4:21
07 We Want Eazy (Feat MC Ren, Dr. Dre) 5:01
08 Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn 3:41
09 Radio 4:58
10 No More ?'s 3:55
11 I'mma Break It Down 3:29
12 Eazy Chapter 8 Verse 10 2:10
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Distanced from Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, the two artists most responsible for his own success, Eazy-E doesn't have a lot going for him on 5150 Home 4 tha Sick. Released in late 1992, two weeks after Dr. Dre reinvented himself on The Chronic, this brief EP finds Eazy-E in a desperate scenario. He hadn't released any solo material since his 1988 debut album, Eazy-Duz-It, and the runaway success of his former N.W.A associates no doubt left many to wonder what had happened to Eazy-E, who at one point had been the star of the group. The five songs on 5150 unfortunately don't do much to reclaim Eazy's once mighty stature among the gangsta rap scene, especially since "Intro: New Year's E-Vil" clocks in under a minute and "Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas" is a novelty. The remaining songs ("Only If You Want It," "Neighborhood Sniper," "Niggaz My Height Don't Fight") are thankfully good and, above all, curious for how they differ in style from Eazy-E's past work, which had been exclusively produced by Dr. Dre. Three good songs isn't much more than a teaser, however, or more cynically, a stopgap. Overall, there's not much to 5150 Home 4 tha Sick (which, to be fair, prints "maxi-single" in large print on the cover), for the absence of Dr. Dre's production and Ice Cube's and MC Ren's ghostwriting reveals Eazy-E to be a much different, less creative artist than before -- and in a rather uncomfortable position, commercially.
Released a year after his previous EP (5150 Home 4 tha Sick, 1992) and a long five years since his one and only album to date (Eazy-Duz-It, 1988), It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa was both a stopgap release for Eazy-E and a response to the runaway success of Dr. Dre's The Chronic (1992). Eazy had been lambasted on that Dr. Dre album (and especially in the "Dre Day" video), so it's no surprise that he returns the favor here on "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" and "It's On," dissing not only Dre but also Snoop Doggy Dogg. This ugly, mudslinging conflict aside, Eazy truly shines on these eight songs. Granted, eight songs isn't a lot of music, especially since one of the eight is only a minute-long intro and another is yet another remake of "Boyz-in-the Hood" (and too because Eazy had been so AWOL in previous years -- five years and still no follow-up album to Eazy-Duz-It!?!). On the little bit of music that is here, however, Eazy proves that he's still one of the best gangsta rappers out there in the early '90s. Sure, he's not an especially gifted MC, and he's not nearly as witty or perversely humorous as he had been previously on Eazy-Duz-It, either, but he has such a singular style and such attitude, he stands out amid the innumerable other gangstas out there at the time. And to elaborate upon his attitude, Eazy seems downright bitter here. The success of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube outside of N.W.A, not to mention the dissolution of that group, seems to have really upset him. So in a way, It's On feels cathartic, as if Eazy were venting all his frustrations. It results in a sharp group of songs: there are the Dre disses, of course, but also the murder fantasy of "Any Last Werdz," the f*ck-the-world nihilism of "Still a Nigga," the sexist porno-dance of "Gimmie That Nutt," and the smoke-out of "Down 2 tha Last Roach." In other words, pretty much what you'd expect from Eazy. Yet there's an underlying current of irony here that makes It's On all the more poignant in retrospect. For one, Eazy may be dissing Dre to the extreme here, but pretty much all of the production work is straight from the Chronic playbook -- textbook G-funk, to the point it seems almost parodic. And secondly, the heedless promotion of sexism here is downright haunting in the aftermath of Eazy's subsequent death from AIDS complications little more than a year later. So while on the surface It's On may seem like a simple stopgap EP, it's so much more, shedding light on what came of Eazy following his 15 minutes of fame with Eazy-Duz-It.
Eazy-E - 5150 Home 4 tha Sick + It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa (EP) (flac 380mb)
5150 Home 4 tha Sick (EP)
01 Intro: New Year's E-vil 0:49
02 Only If You Want It 3:03
03 Neighborhood Sniper 5:12
04 Niggaz My Height Don't Fight 3:14
05 Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas 5:54
It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa (EP)
06 Exxtra Special Thankz 1:06
07 Real Muthaphuckkin G's 5:33
08 Any Last Werdz 5:11
09 Still A Nigga 4:10
10 Gimmie That Nutt 2:59
11 It's On 5:02
12 Boyz N Tha Hood (G-Mix) 5:36
13 Down 2 Tha Last Roach 7:51
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At the time of his death, Eazy-E was completing a comeback album that was intended to restore his street credibility, which had taken a savage beating in the early '90s. Str8 Off tha Streetz of Muthaphu**in Compton, the album he left unfinished, does show more ambition than his previous It's On, but it's unlikely that it would have made him a star again. Eazy's final album is definitely a grower. At first I was thrown off by it, because it was slightly different than his other material, but as far as posthumous albums go, I wasn't expecting much. Well, on my 2nd listen I was already loving it. True, this isn't quite as good as it could have been, but if you take it for what it is, you have a pretty solid gangsta rap album. Eazy's rapping is still excellent on here, as he kills every track with his hilarious style that we love him for. Similar to Niggaz4Life, Eazy-E is just nihilistic and misogynistic here. On one half of the album he brags about murder and sometimes even gets psychopathic like with "Sorry Louie" and on the rest of the album he disses his baby mama, hookers and bitches in general. Eazy-E is now also writing his own lyrics and he's not as bad as one would expect a rapper that has just picked up a pen. His Ruthless proteges appear throughout, but it's still Eazy who's dominating this. Never really a gifted rapper, he made up for his limitations with the energy, attitude and unique high-pitched voice that can never be duplicated. The production which is done by in-house Ruthless producers like DJ Yella, Rhythm D and (I think) Cold 187um balances between the pre-The Chronic funk west coast sound and g-funk. Some beats are chaotic with the aggressive, raw funk sound that Dr. Dre sort of debuted in Niggaz4Life while the rest of the beats are on the g-funk tip with heavy synthesizers. The beats are pretty good and Eazy-E is not bad at all. What really holds this album back is it's incomplete feel in general.Sadly, the album isn't the graceful departure it might have been.
Eazy-E - Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton (flac 355mb)
01 First Power 0:46
02 Ole School Shit 4:00
03 Sorry Louie 4:03
04 Just Tah Let U Know 4:08
05 Sippin' On A 40 4:29
06 Nutz On Ya Chin 3:09
07 Tha Muthaphukkin Real 4:20
08 Lickin, Suckin, Phuckin 2:24
09 Hit The Hooker 2:52
10 My Baby'z Mama 3:43
11 Creep N Crawl 4:11
12 Wut Would You Do 5:51
13 Gangsta Beat 4 Tha Street 3:40
14 Eternal E 5:26
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Eazy-E enjoyed only a brief recording career, but the few albums and EPs he did release -- on his own as well as with his group, N.W.A -- were tremendously influential, setting the stage for the proliferation of West Coast gangsta rap in the early '90s. Showcasing some of the pioneering gangsta's most influential recordings, Eternal E serves as a summary of Eazy's solo highlights, including a couple N.W.A songs but only ones that were solo showcases. You get the standout songs from Eazy's debut album, Eazy-Duz-It (1988), as well as the bulk of his follow-up EP, 5150 Home 4 tha Sick (1992). But Eternal E stops there, unfortunately not including anything from the first-rate It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa EP or the third-rate Str8 off tha Streetz album. (Eazy's label, Ruthless, left its parent label, Priority, at this point, and Eternal E is a Priority release, meaning that post-Priority recordings such as those on It's On would have to be licensed for inclusion here -- a price the label seems unwilling to pay.) Even if Eternal E doesn't round up a full career retrospective, it does feature Eazy's key songs, namely his earliest ones, which boasted cutting-edge production work by Dr. Dre. So this best-of does serve its purpose fairly well, and might be the only Eazy album you'll need. Still, if it's one and only one Eazy album you want, you'd be better off with Priority's Eazy-Duz-It reissue from 2002, which includes that entire album plus the entire 5150 EP appended as bonus tracks -- giving you mostly everything here and much more. Either way though, you're getting a good portrait of Eazy's best solo music, with the exception of the It's On EP, which you'll definitely want to hear if you're a fan.
Eazy-E - Eternal E (Gangsta Memorial Edition) (flac 508mb)
01 Boyz-N-The-Hood (remix) 6:22
02 8 Ball 4:52
03 Eazy-Duz-It 4:21
04 Eazy-er Said Than Dunn 3:41
05 No More ?'s 3:56
06 We Want Eazy 5:01
07 Nobody Move 4:48
08 Radio 4:59
09 Only If You Want It 3:02
10 Neighborhood Sniper 5:12
11 I'd Rather Fuck You 3:59
12 Automobile 3:18
13 Niggaz My Height Don't Fight 3:17
14 Eazy Street 4:27
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A hodgepodge of both obscure and well-known Eazy-E recordings, Featuring...Eazy E is ostensibly a compilation of tracks on which the late rapper was featured as a guest. That explains the inclusion of "Trust No Bitch" (Penthouse Players Clique), "Get Yo Ride On" (Mack 10), "Foe tha Love of Money" (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony), and "P.S. Phuk U 2" (Penthouse Players Clique), which are all tracks on which Eazy-E was a featured guest. However, every other song on this 16-track compilation was originally credited to either Eazy-E or his group, N.W.A, so Featuring...Eazy E falls far short of fulfilling its literal billing. If anything, the compilation functions well as a clearinghouse of obscure Eazy-E material in remastered sound: the two aforementioned Penthouse Players Clique tracks, from the long out of print DJ Quik-produced Paid the Cost (1992); "L.A. Is the Place" and "Fat Girl," both produced by Dr. Dre, from the formative N.W.A and the Posse (1987); the 12" remix of "We Want Eazy," which clocks in at nearly seven minutes; "Luv 4 Dem Gangsta'z," a latter-day one-off contribution to the Beverly Hills Cop III soundtrack (1994); and a pair of posthumous productions by L.T. Hutton, "24 Hrs to Live" and "Black Nigga Killa," originally released on the double-disc retrospective Ruthless Records Tenth Anniversary: Decade of Game (1998). Besides this obscure material and the aforementioned guest features, Featuring...Eazy E also includes well-known songs from Eazy-Duz-It (1988) and Niggaz4life (1991) that are among the best songs here, but because they've been so often compiled, they essentially serve as filler. To further muddy the logic of the material compiled, Featuring...Eazy E is sequenced non-chronologically.
VA - Featuring... Eazy-E (flac 483mb)
01 Eazy-E - Luv 4 Dem Gangsta'z 4:35
02 Eazy-E With M.C. Ren - 2 Hard Mutha's 4:25
03 Penthouse Players Clique - Trust No Bitch 5:03
04 Eazy-E With Ron-De-Vu - L.A. Is The Place 4:34
05 N.W.A. - Findum, Fuckum & Flee 3:56
06 Mack 10 - Get Yo Ride On 3:31
07 Eazy-E -Black Nigga Killa 4:48
08 Eazy-E - We Want Eazy (12" Remix) 6:39
09 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Foe Tha Love Of $ 4:11
10 N.W.A. - I'd Rather Fuck You 3:58
11 Eazy-E - 24 Hrs To Live 4:43
12 Eazy-E - Boyz In Tha Hood (G Mix) 5:39
13 Eazy-E With Ron-De-Vu - Fat Girl 2:50
14 N.W.A. - Automobile 3:17
15 Penthouse Players Clique - P.S. Phuk U 2 3:24
16 Eazy-E With M.C. Ren - Ruthless Villain 2:58
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