Vibe details the Compton native’s entrepreneurial genius and how N.W.A forever changed rap. Eazy was a large part of the business and marketing brains behind the World’s Most Dangerous Group, as well as other Ruthless Records artists, making him a trailblazer in his own right.
“The line, ‘Cruising down the street in my 64,’ created gangsta rap,” notes TDE president Terrence “Punch” Henderson. “If any other person would have said those words that Ice Cube wrote, history would be completely different. [But] Eazy was what Gangsta Rap and the West Coast looked like. Decades later, he IS the image of Southern California.”
For all the controversy N.W.A battled due to their outspoken rhymes about police brutality and their openly misogynistic lyrics, Eazy didn’t take the backlash very seriously. According to Nelson George, he was in on the joke. George, who produced the Chris Rock comedy CB4, which was loosely based on N.W.A, says Eazy had no problem laughing it all off. “I showed him a picture of Chris as MC Gusto, who is basically wearing an Eazy-E outfit with the Jheri curl and Locs sunglasses,” he recalls. “Eazy chuckled…he totally got it! I discovered that Eazy thought the whole thing was a joke. Not just CB4, but the outrage N.W.A was generating. I just got the sense from him that he really enjoyed the theater part of it.”
Thanks to Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A is once again the talk of rap, some 20-plus years after they impacted the culture. The feat has been a longtime coming for Lil Eazy, who pointed out that Oprah Winfrey even praised the biopic, despite openly opposing N.W.A’s music back in the ‘90s.
“There has been a blatant level of disrespect for my father in the music business,” says Lil Eazy. “It’s a long time coming, but people are finally acknowledging who he was and what he did for this game.”
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(Photo: VIBE Magazine, September 2015 Issue)