Eazy-E [Wright, Eric]
- Michael Berry
(b Compton, CA, Sept 7, 1963; d Los Angeles, CA, March 26, 1995). American rapper and record label executive. As a member of N.W.A, he helped bring west coast gangsta rap into the national spotlight, co-founding Ruthless Records and proving that rap music did not need to rely on radio to generate hit records.
With a keen sense for business and a strong vision for a new niche in the rap industry centered on violent and sexually explicit topics, Eazy-E began assembling the members of N.W.A. in 1986. His two strongest recruits were the producer and rapper Dr. Dre, who was responsible for most of the group’s sound, and the rapper Ice Cube, who wrote many of the group’s lyrics. He then reached out to the music industry veteran Jerry Heller, and the two founded Ruthless Records in 1987. The group’s first full-length album N.W.A. and the Posse...