Lil Eazy-E: Son of a Legend
Sadly, Eric Jr's father isn't around to see his son fulfill these wishes. Last March 26th marked a decade since the untimely passing of Eazy E due to complications from the A.I.D.S. virus. "It (His death) was a huge impact (on me). Losing your parent is difficult no matter how you look at it," Lil E says, reminiscing about his pops. Reflecting on happier times E adds, "I've got a lot of good memories of him just being a good dad- Us hanging out, him picking me up from school, going to Disneyland, birthday parties and all that stuff. My dad is a legend and a hip hop pioneer. He was also a good business-man and I look forward to reaching his level of entrepreneurship (that) he had."
Lil E, the oldest of Eazy's nine children, grew up in the same household that reared his father, and was raised by the elder E's mother. As a child, Lil Eric, like his dad before him, turned to, first, gangbanging and now music -- literally retracing Eazy E Sr's path, literally, every step of the way. "I inherited a legacy, so it's only right that I keep it moving and rep my pops with a Lil E twist," the self proclaimed Prince of Compton reasons. Further explaining "Nah, I don't feel any pressure (because of who my father was/is), I was (just) born into this and am proud to represent West Coast Gangsta rap."
Lil E does, however, feel that in light of his dad's groundbreaking accomplishments, the general public hasn't necessarily treated, nor embraced, his passing the same way they have with other fallen musical icons. "That is really frustrating for me, because his legacy has not been respected the way it should have been all these years," Lil Eazy replies, sounding very upset. Reiterating, "However, I'm here to keep that going. I think part of it was because the word A.I.D.S. was attached to his death."
Lil Eazy-E, who cites, of course, his father, N.W.A. alum, Ice Cube, as well as West Coast rap in general, and the Ruthless Records' roster, as his biggest musical influences, recently aligned his company, Kings Of L.A., co-owned by his manager, Bruce 'Bruiser' Bible, with Virgin Records, and is gearing up for the release of his, appropriately titled, introspective debut opus, Prince Of Compton. "I bumped into (Vice President of A&R at Virgin) Pete Farmer in Compton, we chopped it up, and worked out the details and made it happen," Lil E mentions of this newfound union. Elaborating, "(The title of my album represents) royalty. My pops was the king of Compton, so I'm next in line to carry on the legacy."
Prince Of Compton features a who's who of hip-hop's top shelf producers, and A-list emcees. Ice Cube, The DOC, Bone Thugs & Harmony, Dr. Dre protgs, Mel Man & Scott Storch, Sha Money XL (50 Cent/G Unit), Johnny J (2Pac), and Megahurtz (Westside Connection) all appear. The set is being introduced by its' infectious premier offering, the Cool & Dre helmed, 'Gangsta Sh*t.' At press time, Lil E was scheduled to hit the studio with the good Doctor (Dre), and will be releasing a prequel to his album, in the form of a mixtape, at the end of the year.
"Nah, it all came together real cool," Lil E answers, when asked how easy it was in getting many of his father's musical colleagues involved with his debut project. Expounding with great excitement, "I'm very pleased with the outcome. I enjoyed working with each of them for different reasons. The result - One of the hottest releases for 2006."
In closing, Lil Eazy-E, whose favorite activities include working out, playing video games, and just hanging out with his people, had this relay, "(This is) my life story. My pops is always an inspiration, however, when I write, I write about my life, and growing up in the streets of Compton, and basically walking in very similar steps that my father walked in." Futuristically predicting, "(I see myself) being a good business man like my father. (I plan on) getting into different business ventures outside of music. I plan on giving back to the community, and helping minorities with jobs the way my father did. I will have my hands into a few (other) things, yes, (but) I won't go into details yet. However, I plan on being around for a while. I see (myself as) a very successful entrepreneur."