There’s never been a time when Jada Pinkett Smith was too shy to speak up about the issues and causes that she holds near and dear to her heart, even if it meant a one-on-one with another Hollywood industry mate like the late N.W.A. rap star Eazy-E.
You won’t be surprised, then, to know that the big and silver screen A-list star did just that back in April 1992 when she confronted Eazy about the misogynistic content in his music during the LIVE L.A. morning news program.
Jada, Eazy and a handful of other prominent Hollywood and L.A. figures joined the special segment on this particular day, which was also the date of the hotly controversial Rodney King verdict. The participants held an open forum of sorts to discuss the politics, viewpoints and approaches of uplifting urban communities, especially in such critical times. The then-21-year-old Jada spoke to this topic as it related to some of Eazy’s widespread hip-hop music, which she said she spoke to him about prior.
“I was telling him that before I met him today, I would have thought that he was a woman hater because of his music that he writes and that he owning his own record company can make a change starting from there within his community to uplift us,” she said. “When I listen to his music, I want to feel good about myself. I want to feel good about my people, and I said, ‘Eric, you have the power to do that.’”
When the hostess asks E to address her concern for the viewers, probing him on whether her concerns might impact his music and songwriting moving forward, he shyly replies yes — but only to a certain extent. Fortunately, he later added, he wouldn’t fold under any pressure from record labels or other stakeholders should they push him to do away with less popular-selling subject matters in his music.
Among the discussion, Jada reminds him that people shouldn’t sacrifice their own “self-being, self-esteem, and spirit for money” anyway. The two continue the dialogue when Eazy gets put back on the spot, insisting that he does “say nice things about sistas.” Jada held her position, though.
“To me, Eric,” she replied, “but you’ve got to say it on the record — where me being a young sista, I told Eric, ‘I cannot listen to your music and feel good about myself, now come on.'”
26 years later, the Girls Trip actress now celebrates such a pivotal moment in history with the L.A. rap icon by celebrating their first-ever meeting via Instagram. Jada shared the throwback clip with a loving caption for her late friend, adding that the two had even fostered a closer relationship after the show.
“This is the day I met Eazy!” she captioned the video. “We became the best of friends after this program.”
Check out Jada’s salute to the “Boyz-N-the-Hood” emcee and the full LIVE L.A. segment below.
(Photos from left: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)