Hip hop lost the rapper and bonafide g-rap pioneer, Eazy-E, all too soon and was an integral part of the formation and acceleration of the genre. As the rapper who voiced ‘Boyz-N-The-Hood’, Eazy-E was one of the most, if not the most, integral members of N.W.A.
Born and raised in Compton, the rapper (real name Eric Wright) co-founded Ruthless Records alongside record executive Jerry Heller. Ruthless Records was home to N.W.A and was responsible for producing and recording their material. However, Heller was not popular with many members of the group, and as Wright stubbornly stayed by his side, it caused the group to grow frustrated and eventually dissipate.
The two members that left first were Ice Cube and Dr Dre. In 1989, Cube left the group to work on his debut album AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, while Dr Dre left two years later in 1991 to launch Death Row Records alongside Michael ‘Harry-O’ Harris and Suge Knight. However, Eazy-E was not happy with the departures and even decided to address Dr Dre on live TV.
Appearing on the Arsenio Hall Show in 1993, Wright started off by throwing subtle, indirect jabs at Dr Dre by letting the crowd know about what he called “studio gangsters”, defining them as people that “not real, they go into the studio and all of a sudden become hard when they used to do dance music,” referring to Dr Dre who used to make and DJ electro music as part of the World Class Wreckin Cru.
However, it wasn’t long before he began going for the jugular. Hall declared that he was shocked when he discovered that Eazy-E made money from Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg’s music, to which Eazy responded, “I had Dre signed [to Ruthless] as exclusive producer and exclusive, so when Dre tried to make his deal over at Interscope I was included for the next six years so, you can say all you wanna say! Basically, he can diss me all he wants, but that’s why I say Dre Day is only Eazy’s payday!”
Arsenio Hall naively asked, “why don’t y’all just make-up”, to which Wright comedically responded, “he already made up you ain’t never seen him with the lipstick and stuff.” A direct emasculating jab at Dre that was controversial. He then went on to continue with a live performance of his Dr Dre diss track ‘Real Compton City G’s’. You can watch the Arsenio Hall interview and performance below.