September 7th – Eazy-E was born Eric Lynn Wright in Compton, California on this day in 1963.
Eazy-E founded Ruthless Records with longtime rock and roll manager and business partner Jerry Heller in 1987.
Ruthless was primarily a label to promote Eazy’s new group NWA, which at the time featured Ice Cube, DJ Yella, Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre and MC Ren.
Ruthless Records however would eventually also release hit records by other artists like J.J. Fad, The D.O.C. and Michel’le.
But it would be with NWA that Eazy-E would make music history.
The group’s debut album, “Straight Outta Compton”, released in 1988, would put the group on the musical map as they would now share the torch of West Coast hip-hop with Ice-T and Too $hort.
The legendary album would feature the hit title track, which would introduce the group’s neighborhood of Compton to the world, as well as depict life and the struggle of Black and Latino People in inner city Los Angeles.
The album also contained the legendary controversial track “F Tha Police”, which caught the attention of both the FBI and The U.S. Secret Service, who both sent letters of disapproval to Ruthless.
The group became legendary and still holds an influence on contemporary hip-hop until this very day.
Eazy-E would release two more successful albums with NWA, minus Ice Cube, who left the group to pursue a solo career in 1990.
Eazy-E also released five solo albums between 1988 and 1995, most notably 1988’s “Eazy-Duz-It” and 1993’s “It’s On”.
NWA disbanded in 1992, with Dr. Dre joining Death Row Records as an artist and producer, MC Ren pursuing a solo career as well as joining The Nation Of Islam and DJ Yella becoming a director and producer in the adult film industry.
Eazy would continue to run Ruthless Records, which by now had quite a lucrative catalogue.
Eazy would also be responsible for discovering Ruthless platinum-selling Cleveland, Ohio group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
Eazy- E died from complications of the AIDS virus on March 26th 1995, at age 31.
His death would be a catalyst for awareness of HIV and AIDS in the hip-hop world.