Eazy-E was an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur born on September 7, 1964, and passed away on March 26, 1995. He played a crucial role in shaping West Coast and gangsta rap through his leadership of N.W.A and Ruthless Records which he founded in 1987.

Eazy-E is often called the “Godfather of Gangsta Rap.” He started his music journey with solo projects and collaborations with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. Together they formed N.W.A in 1987. Their first album “Straight Outta Compton” released in 1988 sparked controversy but is now considered one of the greatest and most influential rap albums of all time. N.W.A’s second and final album “Niggaz4Life” came out in 1991 after which the group disbanded due to internal conflicts mostly about money.

After N.W.A’s breakup, Eazy-E continued his solo career releasing two EPs. However, his major impact shifted to discovering and promoting talent. He notably signed and helped launch Bone Thugs-n-Harmony between 1993 and 1994.

Despite his short life, Eazy-E’s legacy in rap music remains profound marking him as a pioneer whose influence continues to resonate in the genre’s history.

Full NameEric Lynn Wright (Eazy-E)
Date of BirthSeptember 7, 1964
DiedMarch 26, 1995
Place of BirthCompton, California, USA
OccupationRapper, Record Producer
Height5′ 4″ (165 cm)
SpouseTomica Woods (m. 1995)
ChildrenLil Eazy-E, Erin Bria Wright,
Dominick Wright, Daijah Wright, Marquise Wright
Net Worth$35 million

Eazy-E Early Life and Education

Eazy-E Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Eric Wright known as Eazy-E was born in Compton California on September 7, 1964. His parents were Richard a postal worker and Kathie who worked at a grade school. Despite dropping out of high school in the tenth grade he later earned a GED.

To support himself Wright sold drugs which included introducing his cousin to the illegal trade. His music manager Jerry Heller recalled seeing him sell marijuana though not cocaine. Heller believed Wright used the “dope dealer” image as a form of protection and respect in his neighborhood.

By 1986 at the age of 22 Wright reportedly made up to $250000 from drug dealing. However, after his cousin’s tragic death, he saw an opportunity in the booming Los Angeles hip-hop scene. He began recording music in his parents’ garage and founded Ruthless Records.

The idea for Ruthless Records came about when Wright proposed a partnership with Heller. Eventually, they agreed that Wright would receive 80% of the company’s income with Heller taking 20%. Heller claimed he initially invested $250000 into the venture and eventually contributed up to $1000000.

Wright’s journey from the streets of Compton to becoming a key figure in hip-hop is a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit and determination to succeed. His story highlights the challenges and opportunities he faced in pursuing his passion for music.

Musical career

Eazy-E Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

N.W.A is also known as “the world’s most dangerous group” originally had Arabian Prince Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube. DJ Yella and MC Ren joined later. Their compilation album N.W.A. and the Posse came out on November 6 1987 and later earned a Gold certification in the U.S. This album featured earlier singles from Macola Records which also distributed works by other groups like Fila Fresh Crew.

Eazy-E’s first album Eazy-Duz-It released in 1988 included twelve tracks. It’s categorized as West Coast hip hop and gangsta rap and later considered part of the golden age of hip hop. The album sold over 2.5 million copies in the U.S. and peaked at number forty-one on the Billboard 200. Dr. Dre and DJ Yella produced it with MC Ren, Ice Cube, and The D.O.C. contributing lyrics. Critics like Glen Boyd and MTV’s Jon Wiederhorn credited Eazy-Duz-It for setting the stage for N.W.A’s controversial album Straight Outta Compton.

Ice Cube left N.W.A in 1989 due to internal conflicts leaving the group as a four-member unit. N.W.A then released 100 Miles and Runnin’ in 1990 and Niggaz4Life in 1991 sparking a feud with Ice Cube who responded with “No Vaseline”. Eazy-E supported George H. W. Bush during this period due to his stance in the Gulf War.

The dissolution of N.W.A began around 1991 when conflicts escalated with manager Jerry Heller favoring Eazy-E’s interests over others. Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. grew suspicious of financial mismanagement by Eazy-E and Heller leading to a confrontation where Suge Knight intervened eventually leading to Dr. Dre and The D.O.C.’s departure from Ruthless Records.

Eazy-E’s involvement in the Rodney King case caused controversy within the hip-hop community. His feud with Dr. Dre escalated with Dre’s album The Chronic featuring “Fuck wit Dre Day” to which Eazy-E responded with the EP It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa including tracks like “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s”.

This conflict marked the end of N.W.A as a group highlighting their impact and tumultuous journey through the rap scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Net Worth

Eazy-E has an estimated net worth of $35 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The main source of Eazy-E’s net worth was his music career. He earned money from his work as a rapper, especially through his solo albums and his group N.W.A. He also made money from Ruthless Records, the record label he co-founded. This label signed successful artists, bringing in more income. So, his wealth came from his music and his business in the music industry.

Personal life

Eazy-E Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 1984, Eazy-E had a son named Eric Darnell Wright known as Lil Eazy-E, and a daughter named Erin who later changed her name to Ebie. In October 2016, Ebie started a fundraising campaign to make a film called Ruthless Scandal: No More Lies to investigate her father’s death but it didn’t succeed.

Wright met Tomica Woods at a Los Angeles club in 1991. They got married on March 14, 1995, just twelve days before Wright passed away. They had a son named Dominick and a daughter named Daijah who was born six months after Wright died. After his death, Tomica took over Ruthless Records. According to Jerry Heller Wright had eleven children with eight different women.

On February 24, 1995, Wright was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to a severe cough. It was discovered that he had HIV/AIDS. Wright publicly disclosed his illness on March 16. He likely contracted the infection from a sexual partner. By March 20 he had reconciled with Ice Cube and wrote a final message to his fans. Eazy-E passed away on March 26 from AIDS-related pneumonia just one month after being diagnosed.

He was believed to be 30 years old though earlier reports incorrectly stated he was 31 due to a birthdate error. He was buried on April 7 at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier California. More than 3000 people attended his funeral including Ice Cube and DJ Yella. Eazy-E was laid to rest in a gold casket dressed in a flannel shirt jeans and his Compton hat. His final album “Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton” was released ten months later on January 30, 1996.

Style

Eazy-E Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Eazy-E a pioneer of gangsta rap drew inspiration from various artists like Ice-T, Redd Foxx, and Prince as noted by Allmusic. In his music, he collaborated with many of these influences. However, critics had mixed views. For instance when reviewing his album “Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton” Stephen Thomas Erlewine felt Eazy-E sounded refreshed but the music lacked innovation sticking to familiar gangsta themes with deep bass and synthesizers.

On the other hand, Jason Birchmeier from Allmusic praised the production of “Eazy-Duz-It” saying Dr. Dre and Yella combined funk hip-hop and electro into a distinct and funky style that was revolutionary in 1988. Birchmeier described Eazy-E’s style as dense unique and ahead of its time.

Throughout his career, Eazy-E collaborated with several N.W.A. members like Ice Cube, The D.O.C., and MC Ren who contributed to his albums. He also featured guest vocalists on various tracks such as Naughty by Nature and Kokane.

Eazy-E’s impact on rap music was profound earning him the title “godfather of gangsta rap” and recognition as a rap pioneer. Despite controversy his influence and legacy endured after he died in 1995 from AIDS-related complications. His albums consistently charted on Billboard and singles like “Eazy-Duz-It” and “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s” became hits.

Following his passing tributes flowed in including Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s Grammy-winning song “Tha Crossroads” dedicated to him. Documentaries and films like “Straight Outta Compton” in 2015 have kept his memory alive portraying his impact on music and culture.

In 2024, Eazy-E was posthumously honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as part of N.W.A. cementing his status as a legend in hip-hop history.