Eazy-E was a Kelly Park Compton Crip during his teen years, and he openly associated himself with other crips and crip sets. He sold drugs during his early teen years and then parlayed the money he made into a hip hop enterprise. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the gangsta rap sub-genre and initially rose to fame as the founder and member of the group N.W.A., but later achieved critical and commercial success as a solo artist. Eazy-E's vocal style was marked by his youthful, high-pitched voice and his lyrics focusing on the elements of urban street life such as guns, drugs, relations between residents and the police, and sexual activity. He had also for some time hosted a hip-hop radio show on Los Angeles-based radio station KKBT.
In this period, Ruthless Records released the compilation N.W.A and the Posse (1987), N.W.A's proper debut Straight Outta Compton (1988), and one month later, Eazy-E's solo album, Eazy-Duz-It. The album sold two million copies, certifying it as a double platinum album, and spawned the hit singles "We Want Eazy" and "Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn" (a remix of "Boyz-n-the-Hood", a previous hit, was also included). The album was again produced by N.W.A's Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and largely written by fellow N.W.A rapper Ice Cube, with contributions from MC Ren and The D.O.C. (whose solo No One Can Do It Better would be released the following year).
On the final N.W.A album, Efil4zaggin (1991), some of the lyrics provoked outrage from many critics and conservative circles. Eazy-E included even more of the elements such as the use of pistols and shotguns in videos for both "Alwayz into Somethin'" and "Appetite for Destruction".
Disputes about money caused the group to break up. It was thought that Eazy-E and Jerry Heller were stealing money from the group. Ice Cube is believed to have left N.W.A for this reason, which he later referenced this in his diss song, "No Vaseline". Subsequently, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre started feuding - a feud that grew to embroil most of Ruthless Records and Dr. Dre's new label, Death Row Records with Merrill. Eazy-E released It's On (
Dr. Dre) 187um Killa and a posthumous album Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton which both proved to be very successful as they both went multi-platinum. Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton was released posthumously in 1996, unfinished.
Eazy-E accepted an invitation to a lunch benefitting the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle hosted by President George H. W. Bush in March 1991. The event received a lot of media attention. Eazy-E explained in an interview that his invitation was due to a $2,500 campaign contribution, which he had made to a Republican politician who stood against censorship. His appearance among the Republican powers left many of his fans nervous, since Bush's economic policies generally were not seen to be promoting the welfare of inner-city African-Americans. When Eazy-E spoke about his decision that year, he denied any allegiance to the G.O.P. "How the f—can I be a Republican when I got a song called 'F—tha Police'?" he asked. "I ain't shit—ain't a Republican or Democrat. I didn't even vote. My vote ain't going to help! I don't give a f—who's the president." In early 1993, Eazy spoke out in support of Theodore Briseno, a LAPD police officer involved in the Rodney King beating to express displeasure to the Black Community.
..."I may not seem like a guy that you'd pick to preach a sermon, but I feel it's now time to 'testify' because I do have folks that care about me hearing all kinds of stories about what's up.
"Yeah, I was a brother on the streets of Compton doing a lot of things most people look down on, but it did pay off. Then, we started rapping about real stuff that shook up the LAPD and the F.B.I., but we got our message across big-time and everyone in America started paying attention to the boys in the hood. Soon, our anger and hopes got everyone riled up.
"There were great rewards for me personally like fancy cars, gorgeous women and good livin'. Like real non stop excitement. I'm not religious but wrong or right, that's me. I'm not saying this because I'm looking for a soft cushion wherever I'm heading, I just feel that I've got thousands and thousands of young fans that have to learn about what's real when it comes to AIDS. Like something good that will reach out to all my homeboys and their kin because I want to save their asses before it's too late. I'm not looking to blame anyone except myself. I've learned in the last week that this thing is real and it doesn't discriminate. It affects everyone.
"My girl, Tomika, and I have been together for four years, and we recently got married. She's good, she's kind and a wonderful mother. We have a little boy who's a year old. Before Tomika, I had other women. I have seven children by six different mothers. Maybe success was too good to me. I love all my kids. And I always took care of them. Now, I'm in the biggest fight of my life and it ain't easy. But I want to say much love to those who have been down with me and thanks for all your support. Just remember: It's YOUR real time and YOUR real life" .
On March 26, 1995, ten days after being admitted into the hospital, Eric "Eazy-E" Wright died, at the age of 31. Among his survivors were his parents Kathie and Richard Wright, brother Kenneth, and sister Patricia. He was buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.
Wright was born and raised in Compton, California, in the same house his father grew up in. He was 10 years old when his father died of conditions resulting from AIDS. He first appeared on the hip hop scene with Daz Dillinger, during which time an independent album release was expected. However, no contract was actually signed, and this led to an eventual feud between the two rappers. Lil Eazy-E left Virgin Records for a deal with Blackground and Universal Motown Records Group in 2006. He created the recording label Kings of L.A. Entertainment and released the mixtape Compton For Life.
He has performed duets with rappers such as Timbaland and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. His eagerly awaited album entitled The Prince of Compton, is set for release before the end of 2009. The release date of September 16 was scrapped, due to poor hype of the single, What Were Claiming. Lil Eazy-E was involved in a feud with rapper The Game, because he thought The Game was overusing his fathers name. He disses The Game on the track Coming From Compton on his mixtape Rebirth of Gangsta Rap. The Game shot back on the song 120 Bars where he claims Lil Eazy-E doesn't even write his own lyrics, but on the same track he believes he shouldn't beef with Lil Eazy-E because of deep inner respect he has for his father. Lil Eazy-E retaliated on the song They Know Me where he claims nobody even knows The Game the way they know Lil Eazy-E. Later the Game would go on and say he and Lil Eazy-E had ended their feud.