Eazy- E and the entire N.W.A. clan has seen a resurgence in popularity since the release of their box-office hit, Straight Outta Compton. Now, everyone is obsessed with knowing more about the five men who changed rap forever.
With rap historians, people who were there with Cube, Dre, Eazy, Yella and MC Ren through their rise and various stories resurfacing online, their story is all anyone can talk about these days. The two and a half hour film reportedly told a fraction of their story and now, other sources are doing their best to fill in the missing pieces.
In a bold move, VIBE Magazine decided to focus on Eazy-E the cover story of their newest issue. The article cites memories and various moments of a few people who knew him best.
Here are 5 things we learned:
1. Eazy saved $250,000 of his drug money to use a portion of that to start Ruthless records. We saw a snippet of that in the movie but the amount was never discussed. Eazy was the authenticity of NWA because he actually was selling drugs and living the life he rapped about just before he was rapping. Dre and Cube had different stories to tell.
2. Eazy E discovered Will.i.Am. Yes, the same Will.i.Am from the super-group, The Black Eyed Peas. Eazy was a visionary with an impeccable eye for talent. Will recalls in the article:
‘Your songs don’t match the energy of your freestyles,” remembersWill.i.am. “Eazy signed me because I could freestyle and make beats. Think about what Black Eyed Peas became. Years later we would sell out stadiums, sell millions of albums, and travel the f**king planet. There’s a person by the name of Eazy-E that saw that before we even figured that out.”
3. NWA was boo’ed the first time the performed at the Apollo in Harlem. Much like Lauryn Hill, NWA was boo’ed when they performed at the Apollo for the first time. Public Enemy front man Chuck D. recalls:
“It was not a good night…N.W.A. did not cut it in Harlem the first time around, but they definitely got better. They were saying, ‘We are going to talk about where we are at instead of where we want to be.’ That was very powerful.”
4. Underneath the criticisms of N.W.A., DJ Yella wants fans to see that with Eazy in charge, they were fearless and never backed down from anyone who tried to get in their way.
“We did what we wanted to do, and we didn’t let the FBI, MTV banning us, no radio play, nothing [stop us]… And the message behind the movie is young people, whatever you are: a painter, writer, whatever it is—if you got a passion for it, just do it; don’t let nothing stop you and don’t change it.
5. Eazy was a visionary, but he wasn’t perfect. For those who saw the movie, you know that none of the violent abuse incidents Dre or other members of the group had were in the film. But, as more old interviews surface, fans are forced to remember just how normal violence was to Eazy. In the VIBE article, a quote from an old SPIN Magazine interview explains it all:
Eazy-E: “If the b**ch can sue, he should just kill her…it’s cheaper. I seen everything. He grabbed the b**ch by the little hair that she had. Threw the bitch to the bathroom door. Pow! She hit her head, he just start stomping on the bitch… She was f**ked up worse than Rodney King [laughter].”
6. Without Eazy E, there would be no Kendrick. TDE President Punch Henderson remembers Eazy because of his impact on the culture. He told VIBE:
“Through Eazy came Dre, N.W.A., Ice Cube, Snoop, Bone, Eminem, 50, Game, TDE etcetera….And that’s the short list!”
Read the full article over on VIBE.