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Eazy-E tragically never got to bask in the accolades his contribution as a whole brought to the Hip-Hop culture. The anointed “Godfather of Gangsta Rap” died on March 26, 1995 at the age of 31 after an expedient battle with AIDS and has recently been remembered in the light of the wildly successful N.W.A biopic, Straight Outta Compton.

VIBE magazine did a bit of digging beneath the surface on what the movie didn’t harbor on regarding the life and times of Eric “Eazy-E” Wright in a new cover feature titled “Eazy-E: The Ruthless Life Of An American Gangsta.”

Writer Keith Murphy profiled Lil Eazy-E, Krayzie Bone and attempted to contact the late rap icon’s widow, Tomica Woods-Wright several times.

Here’s an excerpt.

VIBE reached out to Wright several times during the making of this feature to get her thoughts on her husband’s industry impact and her pivotal involvement in the Straight Outta Compton film. Wright respectfully declined, pointing to scheduling conflicts. It’s little wonder why the Ruthless ambassador has been silent throughout the media swarm surrounding Straight Outta Compton. She has a reputation for being fiercely protective of her husband’s legacy.

Wright has fought unfounded past charges in and out of court that she gained control over Eazy’s empire following what some detractors described as a 1995 “deathbed” marriage. Then there is the truly repugnant and bizarre whispers that Wright played a role in her husband’s death. “Tomica really got an unfair bad rap,” says Felicia “The Poetess” Morris, former Interscope rapper, radio DJ, and friend of the Wrights. “She had a lot to handle…not only the label Eazy left behind, the questions of her own health, but then she had to deal with all of Eazy’s kids and their baby mamas. Tomica doesn’t let a lot of people into her circle because people have said some terrible things about her. She loved Eazy.”

Lil Eazy wants to set the record straight. Yes, he is appreciative of the good will that his father and N.W.A. have generated with the release of the Straight Outta Compton movie. He is tickled with irony that Oprah Winfrey, a noted opponent of gangsta rap, lauded Straight Outta Compton on Twitter, calling the film “powerful.” Lil E never forgets. “There has been a blatant level of disrespect for my father in the music business,” he states in a serious tone. “It’s a long time coming, but people are finally acknowledging who he was and what he did for this game.” Lil E says he plans to release a mixtape entitled Yellow Brick Road To Compton, an obvious tribute to his father who recited the very same line in the N.W.A. single “Appetite For Destruction,” as well as an Eazy-E documentary, alongside Tomica Woods-Wright. “I just want to reconnect with my father’s Ruthless Records legacy,” he says.

Read the rest of the article over at VIBE.

Photo: Dimitri Halkidis / WENN