Due to yesterday’s coverage of the Paid Dues Festival, I set aside this week’s West Coast Classic for today. Yesterday was the 12 year anniversary of the death of one of the most important men in West Coast rap, so it’s only fitting that we dedicate today’s blog to that man... Eazy-E.
Whether you liked him as a rapper or not, the fact of the matter is that Eazy was responsible for assembling one of the most important rap groups of all time, whose breakup spawned the careers of two of the most successful and well-recognized solo artists to ever come out of California- Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. And to take it a step further, one of those solo artists went on to work closely with- and in several cases, discover -many of the most successful hip hop artists of the last decade. It could be argued that without Eazy-E, artists like Snoop, The Game, Nate Dogg, Warren G, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kurupt and Daz may have never enjoyed the levels of success that they reached.
Whether Dre or Cube would’ve found the spotlight on their own someday is irrelevant. The bottom line is that things went down the way they did, and history was made along the way.
Eazy-E is, to this day, the only person in the world of hip hop who brought attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that was beginning to run rampant in the U.S. during the early-to mid ‘90s. His untimely death made it clear that this was something that could happen to anyone, and although it was a huge loss, his passing did serve as a much-needed wake up call to the hip hop world.
Although the last years of his life were spent beefing with members of his former crew, it's obvious that Eazy, Cube, Dre, Ren and Yella left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. Of all the classic songs that NWA dropped, I had to go with my favorite. So here it is...
And although a lot of purists hate on anything that NWA dropped after Cube left the group, this next one is still one of my favorite NWA songs of all time. I had to throw this one in as the cherry on top.
Rest in Peace, Eazy.