Remembering a Hip Hop Icon - Eric 'Eazy-E' Wright Print
Written by Keith ID3497   
Monday, 26 March 2007 06:48

On this day March 26, in 1995, at 6:35 p.m. the world of hip hop was rocked by the passing of the ‘Godfather’ of gangsta rap / hip hop culture icon Eazy-E aka Eric Wright, from AIDS-related pneumonia. Hip Hop culture was personally touched by this deadly disease.

The 5 foot 5 man from Compton, California became a giant in the hip hop community, not only as a rap artist but as an entrepreneur; building the Ruthless Records Empire; a heavy competitor to Marion ‘Suge’ Knights Death Row Records. Ruthless Records was on of the biggest and most successful ‘black owned’ record companies ever. As Eazy-E said in an interview just before his death when asked about misconceptions about Ruthless Records: “Number one that it's my company. I''m the sole owner. There's no investors, there's no partners. It's my company.”

Many different things developed among Eazy-E and fellow members of the gangsta rap group NWA and other ‘controversial’ music business people in those days. A lot of ‘he said and he did this and that’ went back and forth during Eazy’s day, but one thing is clear Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright was a genius when it came to making music and knowing what the culture needed and wanted. In the aforementioned interview Eazy-E also said when asked about Ice Cube “Me and Cube is cool. That's all I can say. We''ve sat down an'' talked a couple of times. I''ve got nothing against him.”

Eazy-E was the first major hip hop and rap music figure who was not openly gay to die from AIDS. His passing took many by surprise and opened the eyes of many to the seriousness of the AIDS disease.

The tragic loss of Eric, before his time; is often over shadowed by the passing of Tupac Shakur (2Pac) and Notorious B.I.G.; for what reason is not really known or understood. It seems Eric does not get the full credit and admiration he deserves nor is he remembered for his accomplishments in the music and entertainment fields. In many ways Eazy-E set the ‘bar’ for the direction of the hip hop and gangsta rap genre.

Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright made the city of Compton famous, not just in hip hop culture, but all over the world – people knew and know Eric was proud of where he came from. He is truly Compton's favorite son.

Please remember not only the gangsta rapper, hip hop legend Eazy-E today but remember the man Eric Wright – family man and father. He is truly missed, appreciated and loved by many.

R.I.P. Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright – your contributions and place in hip hop history will remain part of your legacy forever. May you always remain ‘Eternal E’.

For more on the life and death of Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright please visit -

Listen to some great ‘Classic’ Eazy-E tracks and other ‘Classics’, visit -