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Although the story of N.W.A has been approved by several varying parties ahead of Straight Outta Compton’s release, the hollowness of Eazy-E’s absence still isn’t an emotion to sweep under the rug.

The founding member of N.W.A lost his life 20 years ago to complications with AIDS and has gone on to become a cultural symbol for gangsta rap.

In a new video by HipHopDX, surviving group members Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray all explain how Eazy-E’s genius was the gel to make their rise to prominence such a swift one.

“Eazy is the reason why this thing really worked,” Dr. Dre says in the video.

“He’s one of the most courageous dudes I ever met,” Ice Cube added “and hopefully this is a tribute to him and what he built.” MC Ren also vouches for the notion that Eazy-E would have loved seeing Straight Outta Compton on the big screen.

Eminem is slated to fill the Eazy-E void, at least, for a European tour.

Watch the video below and go see the film on August 14.

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Photo: Complex