March 26, 1995, Hip-Hop lost a captivating figure in N.W.A. mastermind Eric “Eazy-E” Wright, a key creator of Gangsta Rap and the early blueprint for artists who aspired to be moguls, to A.I.D.S. On the 19th anniversary of his passing, Hip-Hop Wired spoke with a list of individuals, including his daughter Erin “E.B.” Wright, about the rapper’s influence on the culture.
“I can’t even believe that it’s been 19 years. That’s crazy to me,” said E.B., who lost her father at the tender age of four-years-old. The Los Angeles native recalls living with Eazy, which she dreams about sometimes. Despite spending a short time with her father, E.B. says “I can close my eyes and picture him coming home and giving me a kiss in the bed; little things like that.”
Rising West Coast rapper Problem chimed into the discussion with a level of admiration for Eazy. “There’s no West Coast rap. There’s no me sitting here. There’s no Dr. Dre. There’s no Ice Cube. There’s no Snoop Dogg. There’s no nothing if Eazy-E doesn’t push the line he pushes,” the fellow Compton native admitted.
Many would agree, as Eazy and N.W.A.’s authentic depiction of issues like the racism, classism, and police brutality plaguing Los Angeles created a rebellious voice for the downtrodden and unheard. Years later, the rap pioneer’s presence remains felt, as fans await the upcoming N.W.A. biopic.
Hear E.B., Problem, and Yung Joc speak more about the legend in the visual below. Rest in power Eazy-E.
Photo: Hip-Hop Wired