52 IN 52

The 52 Albums that define my love for music

Week 21/Album 21

Who:  Eazy-E : "Eazy Does It"

When: Fall of 1990

Why: A WHOLE NEW WORLD.  Seriously.  Eazy-E's words opened up my eyes to a world that I had no idea existed. Up until this point, my only real Hip-Hop/Rap experiences were the mainstream stuff like DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Run DMC (which I only knew thanks to Aerosmith) and the Beastie Boys. So, basically East Coast Hip-Hop, but that was still very much a different world.  Then this tape magically made its way into my hands and blew my mind away.  The cursing alone was enough to scare most children. Eazy-E blasted any stereotypes that I had developed about anything I knew. This was the first Gangster Rap. This was growing up on the streets and rapping about selling drugs and living in a crazy world. This was the punk rock for the Black neighborhoods in California. Although Gangster Rap never spoke to me as much as Punk/Hardcore would end up doing, this record spoke volumes for the Hip-Hop I would eventually grow up influenced by.  

When: Never saw him, never will.

Otherwise known as a villain

I was 11 years old when I was introduced to "Eazy Does It".  6th grade white kid, freshly moved into suburbia, and handed a tape on the bus by an 8th grader.  That tape would change how I saw the world.

Sure, I had heard of N.W.A.on MTV, but it never really registered. At that point N.W.A. was another Wrestling company that Sting and Ric Flair wrestled in, not a Rap Group from Compton.

This came at the beginning of the time that the world started to shift its eyes to that small part of California and right at the front of it, was gangster rap.  Eazy-E was a gangster. He dropped out of school, he sold drugs, he started his own record label that would put together the infamous N.W.A. He then became a part of N.W.A., and in my opinion the most gifted lyrically.  He told stories, and they made sense even to an 11 year old white kid in the suburbs.  He had a smooth style, and would incorporate old school funk beats into the background. His music was fun, and different to me. Mixing 2 different sounds into a new one. After this record, my interest in Rap/Hip-Hop started to grow rapidly. From ages 11-13, Hip-Hop was just about all I listened to. (Minus 1 very important record, which will be revealed week 23)

There are so many great albums from this era of Hip-Hop, but this along with N.W.A.'s "Straight outta Compton" are really the 2 that started it all.

In his later years, Eazy-E would split from N.W.A causing the making of a huge rift, and sparking an amazing era in Hip-Hop/Rap with his feuds with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.  Records would come out with blasting words at each other, causing and eventually leading twords an east coast/west coast rap beef that would spin out of control, take lives and ultimately lead to the death of mainstream gangster rap.

Eazy-E died right at the height of his popularity. but his effect on Hip-Hop/Rap in general will always be remembered.  As time would tell, I tended to lean a little away from West Coast Hip-Hop and gangster rap, but the couple records that really got to me from the West made a huge impact.

Eazy-E was the godfather of Gangster Rap.