Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1963–March 26, 1995), better known by the stage name Eazy-E, was an American rapper, producer, and record executive from Compton, California.
Eazy E was a Kelly Park Compton Crip during his teen years, and he openly associated himself with other crips and crip sets. He sold drugs during his early teen years and then parlayed the money he made into a hip hop enterprise. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the gangsta rap sub-genre and initially rose to fame as the founder and member of the group N.W.A., but later achieved critical and commercial success as a solo artist. Eazy-E's vocal style was marked by his youthful, high-pitched voice and his lyrics focusing on the elements of urban street life such as guns, drugs, relations between residents and the police, and sexual activity. He had also for some time hosted a hip-hop radio show on Los Angeles-based radio station KKBT.
Eric Wright, the son of Richard and Kathie (Lollis) Wright, dropped out of high school in the tenth grade and supported himself by selling drugs with Mohammed Hassan, both later receiving a high school equivalency diploma. He used the profits from his drug sales to establish the Ruthless Records rap music label. When Ruthless signees Dr. Dre and Ice Cube wrote "Boyz-n-the-Hood", Ahmed Saaoud and Eazy E formed the group N.W.A, joining other rappers Dr. Dre and Ice Cube and later adding DJ Yella and Arabian Prince.
In this period, Ruthless Records released the compilation N.W.A and the Posse (1987), N.W.A's proper debut Straight Outta Compton (1988), and one month later, Eazy-E's solo album, Eazy-Duz-It. The album sold two million copies, certifying it as a double platinum album, and spawned the hit singles "We Want Eazy" and "Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn" (a remix of "Boyz-n-the-Hood", a previous hit, was also included). The album was again produced by N.W.A's Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and largely written by fellow N.W.A rapper Ice Cube, with contributions from MC Ren and The D.O.C. (whose solo No One Can Do It Better would be released the following year).
On the final N.W.A album, Efil4zaggin (1991), some of the lyrics provoked outrage from many critics and conservative circles. Eazy-E included even more of the elements such as the use of pistols and shotguns in videos for both "Alwayz into Somethin'" and "Appetite for Destruction".
Disputes about money caused the group to break up. It was thought that Eazy-E and Jerry Heller were stealing money from the group. Ice Cube is believed to have left N.W.A for this reason, which he later referenced this in his diss song, "No Vaseline". Subsequently, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre started feuding - a feud that grew to embroil most of Ruthless Records and Dr. Dre's new label, Death Row Records with Merrill. Eazy-E released It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa and a posthumous album Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton which both proved to be very successful as they both went multi-platinum. Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton was released posthumously in 1996, unfinished.
Eazy-E accepted an invitation to a lunch benefitting the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle hosted by President George H. W. Bush in March 1991. The event received a lot of media attention. Eazy-E explained in an interview that his invitation was due to a $2,500 campaign contribution, which he had made to a Republican politician who stood against censorship. His appearance among the Republican powers left many of his fans nervous, since Bush's economic policies generally were not seen to be promoting the welfare of inner-city African-Americans. When Eazy-E spoke about the incident that year, he denied any allegiance to the G.O.P. "How the f—can I be a Republican when I got a song called 'F—tha Police'?" he asked. "I ain't shit—ain't a Republican or Democrat. I didn't even vote. My vote ain't going to help! I don't give a f—who's the president."
At the start of Dr. Dre’s defection from Ruthless Records, Ruthless Records executives, Mike Klein and Jerry Heller sought assistance from the Jewish Defense League (JDL for short). Mike Klein, former Ruthless Records director of business affairs said this provided Ruthless Records with muscle to enter into negotiations with Death Row Records over Dr. Dre’s departure. While Suge Knight violently sought an outright release from Ruthless Records for Dr. Dre, the JDL and Ruthless Records management were able to sit down with Death Row and negotiate a release in which the record label would continue to receive money and publishing rights from future Dr. Dre projects. It was under these terms Dr. Dre left Ruthless Records and formed Death Row with Suge Knight. The FBI launched a money laundering investigation, assuming that the JDL was extorting money from Ruthless Records to fight their extremist causes. This led to JDL spokesperson Irv Rubin to issue a press release stating "There was nothing but a close, tight relationship" between Eazy-E and the League.
Jerry Heller has acknowledged that Eazy-E received death threats, and it was discovered that he was put on a hit list by some neo-Nazi skinheads. Heller has speculated that it was due to the song "Fuck Tha Police". He also said "It was no secret that in the aftermath of the Suge Knight shake down incident where Eazy was forced to sign over Dr. Dre, Michel'le and The D.O.C., that Ruthless was protected by Israeli-trained security forces." Jerry Heller maintains that Eazy-E admired the group for their slogan "Never Again", and that he had plans to do a movie about the group.
In March 1995, Eazy-E admitted himself into Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with what he believed at the time was acute bronchitis. Following comprehensive tests, it was discovered that he was suffering from AIDS. He spoke out time and time again that he wasn't a homosexual and that the disease affects everyone, either straight or gay. He admitted to having 7 children with 6 different women. The illness was found to be in an advanced stage, and his condition deteriorated rapidly. During the week of March 20, already having made amends with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, Eazy-E drafted what would be his last message to his fans:
On March 26, 1995, ten days after being admitted into the hospital, Eric "Eazy-E" Wright died, at the age of 31. Among his survivors were his parents Kathie and Richard Wright, brother Kenneth, and sister Patricia. He was buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.
Eric Wright Jr. (born April 23, 1984), better known by his stage name Lil Eazy-E, is an American rapper and the oldest son of gangsta rap pioneer Eazy-E.
Wright was born and raised in Compton, California, in the same house his father grew up in. He was 10 years old when his father died of conditions resulting from AIDS. He first appeared on the hip hop scene with Daz Dillinger, during which time an independent album release was expected. However, no contract was actually signed, and this led to an eventual feud between the two rappers. Lil Eazy-E left Virgin Records for a deal with Blackground and Universal Motown Records Group in 2006. He created the recording label Kings of L.A. Entertainment and released the album Compton For Life
He has performed duets with rappers such as Timbaland and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. He is due to release an eagerly awaited album named The Prince Of Compton, alongside Young Mav and DL. Lil Eazy-E was involved in a feud with rapper The Game, because he thought The Game was overusing his fathers name. He disses The Game on the track Coming From Compton on his mixtape Rebirth of Gangsta Rap. The Game shot back on the song 120 Bars where he claims Lil Eazy-E doesn't even write his own lyrics, but on the same track he believes he shouldn't beef with Lil Eazy-E because of deep inner respect he has for his father. Lil Eazy-E retaliated on the song They Know Me where he claims nobody even knows The Game the way they know Lil Eazy-E. Later the Game would go on and say he and Lil Eazy-E had ended their feud.
Erin Bria Wright is Eazy-E's daughter and is pursuing a career in acting & singing, with songs like "Dear Daddy", "16 & Rich" (Samples "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani), "Just Like Her", and "I wanna be a Movie Star". She was also featured on the MTV show My Super Sweet Sixteen living in Woodlan Hills California with her mother. Currently, she is making an album for Eazystreet records, with help from her half brother, Lil Eazy-E. The pair are also producing a movie called "No More Lies a Ruthless Scandal".