On March 25, 1995, Eazy-E, the “Godfather of Gangsta Rap”, died from AIDS complications. Since then allegations persist that he may have actually been murdered.
Eazy E was known as the idea man of hip-hop group N.W.A. founded in 1987 with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
Billboard says “From Snoop Dog to Freddie Gibbs, it’s hard to imagine hardcore rap without his influence.”
NWA’s magnum opus “Straight Outta Compton” was released in 1988. It details the lives of its creators via a blend of drum-heavy production, samples, turntable scratches, and aggressive lyrics.
Ice Cube called it “reality rap” with uncensored thoughts on women, drug dealing, gang activity, and police brutality.
Four weeks before Eazy E died he had checked into the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with what he thought was asthma. Instead he was told he was suffering from symptons related to HIV infection.
On March 16, Eazy released a statement to the news announcing he had AIDS, He died nine days later.
At the time of his death, AIDS was still too often associated with gay sex or needle sharing and came as a shock to the hip-hip community.
Eazy-E left behind a wife and seven children. He was 31 years old.
In recent years Eazy’s son Eric Wright Jr (also known by his stage names Lil Eazy and Yung Eazy) has accused hip-hop mogul Suge Knight of murdering his father by injecting him with HIV infected blood.
Lil Eazy’s comments came following the release of the 2015 N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton.
A scene in the movie depicts infamous rap mogul Suge Knight using threatening tactics to convince Eazy-E to give up any claim on his former N.W.A colleague Dr. Dre’s contract, a move that allowed Knight and Dre to form Death Row Records.
Lil Eazy says his dad did not get sick until after the studio incident with Suge.
Knight even joked about it during a 2003 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel live.
In 2018, Knight was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the death of man he ran over outside a Compton burger stand.
For more stories from the 90s, check out my podcast “History of the 90s” available on ApplePodcasts, Spotify, Google Play and anywhere else you stream audio. You can also listen at http://www.curiouscast.ca