Ruthless Records, N.W.A. and Eazy-Duz-It (1987–1991)-
In 1987, Eazy used the profits from his drug sales to co-found Ruthless Records with Jerry Heller. When Ruthless signees Dr. Dre and Ice Cube wrote “Boyz-n-the-Hood”, Eazy-E formed the group N.W.A. with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. (DJ Yella, MC Ren, and Arabian Prince were later added). 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 N.W.A collaborating with the Fila Fresh Crew, a West Coast rap group originally based in Dallas, Texas. N.W.A’s debut album, Straight Outta Compton was released in 1988. Eazy-E’s only solo recording was a remix of the song “8 Ball”, which originally appeared on N.W.A and the Posse. The album featured Eazy-E’s writing and performing, where he performed on eight of the songs, and helped write four songs. N.W.A released the EP 100 Miles and Runnin’, and released Niggaz4Life in 1991. Niggaz4Life featured seven out of eighteen songs where Eazy-E performed.
(For Eazy-E Bio: http://ruthlessrecords.net/eazy-es-bio/)
Eazy-E’s debut album, Eazy-Duz-It, was released on September 16, 1988, and featured twelve tracks. It featured the musical genres West Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap, and 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 Ice Cube, with contributions from MC Ren and The D.O.C.. After the release of Straight Outta Compton, Ice Cube left due to internal disputes, and the group had since continued as a four-piece. In March 1991, Eazy-E accepted an invitation to a lunch benefiting the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle, hosted by then-President George H. W. Bush. A spokesman for the rapper claimed that Eazy-E supported Bush for overseeing Operation Desert Storm.
Musical influences and style
Allmusic cites that Eazy-E’s influences include Ice-T, Redd Foxx, King Tee, Bootsy Collins, Run-D.M.C., Richard Pryor, The Egyptian Lover, Schoolly D, Too $hort, Prince, The Sugarhill Gang, and George Clinton. In the documentary The Life and Timez of Eric Wright, Eazy-E mentions on collaborating with many of his influences.
When reviewing for Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton, Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted “…Eazy-E sounds revitalized, but the music simply isn’t imaginative. Instead of pushing forward and creating a distinctive style, it treads over familiar gangsta territory, complete with bottomless bass, whining synthesizers, and meaningless boasts.” When reviewing Eazy-Duz-It Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic said “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.” Birchmeier also described Eazy’s style as “dense, unique, and funky,” and claimed that it sounded “absolutely revolutionary in 1988.” Steve Huey of Allmusic said “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.”
Eazy-Duz-It featured many members of N.W.A writing lyrics for the album: Ice Cube, The D.O.C., and MC Ren. In 5150: Home 4 tha Sick features a song written by Naughty By Nature. The track “Merry Muthaphuckkin’ Xmas” features Menajahtwa, Buckwheat, and Atban Klann as guest vocalists, and “Neighborhood Sniper” features Kokane as a guest vocalist. It’s On (
Dr. Dre) 187um Killa features several guest vocalists, including Gangsta Dresta, B.G. Knocc Out. Kokane, Cold 187um, Rhythum D, and Dirty Red. Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton also featured several guest vocalists, including B.G. Knocc Out, Gangsta Dresta, Sylk-E. Fyne, Dirty Red, Menajahtwa, Roger Troutman, and ex-N.W.A members MC Ren and DJ Yella.
Graffiti of Eazy-E in the Netherlands.
Eazy-E has been credited as the godfather of gangsta rap. MTV’s Reid Shaheem said that Eazy was a “rap-pioneer,”and is sometimes cited by critics as a legend. Since his 1995 death, many book and video biographies were produced, including 2002′s The Day Eazy-E Died and Dead and Gone .Jerry Heller and Gil Reavill wrote the book Ruthless: A Memoir, which was released August 28, 2007. It included information on his death, his signing off of Dr. Dre, his debut Eazy-Duz-It, and many of Heller’s experiences with Eazy. When Eazy was diagnosed with AIDS, many magazines like Jet,Vibe,Billboard, The Crisis, and Newsweek covered and released information on the topic. Although Eazy-E was never certified any awards and was never featured in a film cast, all of his studio albums and extended plays 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 US.On March 30, 1995, four days after Eazy-E’s death, Tom Elerwine, a Daily Arts editor for The Michigan Daily covered Eazy’s career in The Michigan Daily newspaper.
|1992||5150: Home 4 tha Sick|
|1993||It’s On (
|1995||Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton|
|2002||Impact of a Legend|
- With N.W.A
|1987||N.W.A. and the Posse|
|1988||Straight Outta Compton|
|1990||100 Miles and Runnin’|