The Compton-born rapper shot to fame in the late eighties with controversial group, N.W.A, but what was his first song?
Eazy-E’s first song was titled Boyz-n-the-Hood, and was released as a debut single in 1987. The song was originally supposed to be performed by a New York group, but when they rejected it, Eazy-E decided to record it himself.
Read on to learn more about the history and tragic rise and fall of Eazy-E.
Straight Outta Compton
There are few rap groups that exist – or have existed – with more notoriety than N.W.A. In the late nineties, a group of talented young men assembled in Compton, set to make history. By 1987, these six men had formed the group and began to take the hip hop scene by storm.
They are extremely well known for their introduction of ‘gangsta rap’ to the industry. They included lyrics in their songs that weren’t just revolutionary, but controversial. The group were very outspoken about their hatred for the criminal justice and police system, above all else.
Across the United States, their music was banned from countless radio stations, most of them mainstream. Almost every song was explicit, and viewed as glorification of crime, drugs and misogyny.
However, that didn’t stop the group rocketing to fame and notoriety. Their debut compilation album was released in 1987, titled N.W.A and the Posse. In 1989, their first studio album would be released to a substantial reception. This album, titled Straight Outta Compton, became infamous.
It was at this point the foundations of the group became fractured, however. There were tensions among the group, and they started to split. The first to go was Arabian Prince, shortly after the release of Straight Outta Compton. Then, he was followed by Ice Cube, also in 1989. By 1991, the group would have disbanded.
While there were partial or brief reunions, such as in 1999 – 2000, the group never fully reformed. In 1991, they released their second and final album with just four members on the setlist. It would be just four years later that Eazy-E, considered the leader of N.W.A, would tragically pass away.
Keeping It Eazy
Eazy-E unwittingly founded his musical performing career when working as the founder of his own record label. Together with Dr. Dre, Arabian Prince and Ice Cube, the song had been created.
The team – dubbed Ruthless Records – attempted to have a New York City rap group record the track, but they declined. In response, Eazy-E (then named Eric Wright) recorded the track himself.
Shortly after, N.W.A would be formed and history would be made. This first ever track was titled Boyz-n-the-Hood, and served as Eazy-E’s debut single. In 1988, Eazy-E went on to release his debut album, titled Eazy-Duz-It.
Tragically, Eazy-E would pass away in 1995, after spending just over a half dozen years in the business. His final studio album was released posthumously. Reportedly, Eazy-E was diagnosed with AIDS in early 1995, and deteriorated extremely rapidly.
By March of the same year, he’d publicly announced his condition, and began making reparations with his estranged band mates. At the end of March, just one week after his proclamation, Eazy-E passed away.
He came a long way since Boyz-n-the-Hood, however. His legacy would impact the rap and hip hop industries for years to come. He was immortalized in the 2015 movie, Straight Outta Compton, which was dedicated to him. In 2004, a Grand Theft Auto title was released with a character that closely mirrored Eazy-E.
You can see the theatrical trailer for the movie on YouTube.
Thanks to their hard work and infamy, N.W.A would be the opening act for many of its members. The most successful of the group would go on to lead fruitful and lucrative careers. In fact, Dr Dre – arguably the most successful of the group – would be worth almost one billion dollars by 2020.