West Coast rapper who founded his Ruthless Records label reportedly with proceeds from drug dealing. Ruthless debuted with Eazy-E’s solo album Eazy-Duz-It (1988), a proto-gangsta album that sold half a million copies. The following year Eazy assembled the combustible N.W.A, hip-hop’s most successful collection of talent.
Post-N.W.A, the diminutive Eazy-E and his manager Jerry Heller were viciously lampooned in raps by the N.W.A members most often credited with the band’s success, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. Although Eazy-E made inexplicable gestures like befriending Officer Theodore Briseno (one of the policemen in the Rodney King case) and, in 1991, attending a $2,500-a-plate fund-raising luncheon with President Bush, Eazy-E remained one of hip-hop’s top entrepreneurs.
His assets included a Ruthless solo album (it’s on [Dr. Dre] 187Um Killa–heavily influenced by Dr. Dre’s production style), platinum vocal group Bone Thugs N Harmony, and a fiercely contested contract that gave him ongoing royalties participation… Continue reading