This week marks the nineteenth anniversary of Eazy-E’s death due to complications from AIDS. The Compton, California-based Gangster Rap and Rap business pioneer set the stage for many of West Coast rap’s prominent releases of the 1980s and 1990s with his Ruthless Records.
“There’s no West Coast rap, there’s no me sitting here, there’s no Dr. Dre, there no Ice Cube, there's no Snoop Dogg, no nothing if Eazy-E doesn’t push the line he pushed,” Problem says during an interview with Hip-Hop Wired.
Like Eazy-E, Problem is from Compton.
But Eazy-E’s impact stretched beyond the West Coast.
“When you thought about the West Coast, you though about Eazy-E,” Atlanta rapper Yung Joc says. "You thought about N.W.A, Niggaz With Attitudes. You thought about locs, jheri curls and Dickie suits.”
One of Eazy-E’s children, his daughter Erin “E.B.” Wright, says she is able to keep his spirit alive.
“Watching videos, it brings his face to life,” says E.B., who was 4 years old when Eazy-E, her father passed away. “There are a few key memories that I actually have, like even my fourth birthday party. That is like one of the biggest things that stick in my mind. Sometimes I have dreams about it."