Late West Coast rapper Eric “Eazy-E” Wright‘s son has written an open letter speaking on his father’s passing 15 years ago.
In the letter, Lil Eazy also reflects on the landmarks his father made as a hip-hop CEO in the 1990’s.
“My father’s legacy means everything to me, as well as my brother Derrick, and we’re continuing his legacy in music,” he wrote. “Our father meant so much not just to us two, but what it means to the world, to the West Coast and especially our city, Compton, California. Not only that but his impact is felt across the world, in Germany, France, Japan… Everywhere! He was and still is recognized as a legend in the music industry, laying the blueprint to being an artist/CEO. My father contributed a big piece to hip-hop, which he doesn’t get a lot of credit for with the inspiration he gave to a lot of artist out now–from the old generation to the new, as well as producers, also giving them the freedom of speech in what they can say [in their music]. Bottom line, without my pops you don’t have a lot of hip-hop icons people give respect and credit to–period…Really, it’s all personal so to the respect of the fans, if I had a chance to talk to my father one last time I would tell him that he is a real icon, the Godfather of Gangsta Rap and the real hip-hop thugsta and still loved by all his fans…” (XXL Mag)
Eazy is remembered for being the leader in iconic rap group N.W.A. (N*ggaz Wit Attitude).
As the story goes, Eazy E became a rapper by accident. In 1987, the man then known as Eric Wright hired his future N.W.A bandmate Ice Cube to write a song called “Boyz-n-the-Hood” for another group signed to his upstart label, Ruthless Records. One of the guys in the other group balked at rapping the lurid lyrics, so Eazy, who’d been listening to a demo version of the song for days on end, stepped into the booth and laid it down himself. As a rapper, that was probably Eazy’s peak. Those verses weren’t only the first he put on wax, they were probably the best. (Phoenix New Times)
His legacy is also still carried on by the likes of current West Coast rap stars including Snoop Dogg and Game.
Wright’s music shall reign supreme forever thanks to the copious number of MCs who cite him as a reference point, such as the Game, Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. Even Eazy’s son Eric Wright Jr. (aka Lil Eazy-E, who was ten years old at the time of his dad’s death) has followed the same career path his father created. (MTV)
The rapper passed away in the mid-1990’s from AIDS.
Following N.W.A.’s breakup, E’s street credibility took a major beating, though his recordings continued to sell well when they appeared; unfortunately, he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1995, and died not long after. (All Music)
Check out a past Eazy-E interview below: