Eazy-E Put Compton On The Map & Now The City Is Returning The Favor
During the late 1980s, Eazy-E helped take the city of Compton, California, to the mainstream. The N.W.A. co-founder and Gangsta Rap solo star was famed for wearing Compton hats, titling game-changing albums and songs after his city, and recruiting talent from Hub City. Ruthless Records artists, including Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella, and Arabian Prince, hailed from the city. Eazy also provided opportunities to DJ Quik, Dresta, B.G. Knoccout, and others.
Nearly 30 years after Eric Wright’s death, Compton is giving back. On November 22, the city will rename Auto Plaza Drive to Eazy Street. That is the name of Dr. Dre produced song that was included on The Return Of Superfly soundtrack. The November 22 event takes place from noon to 3 pm, is open to the public, and is the product of a gesture approved by the City Council.
Senator Steve Bradford, Assemblyman Mike Gipson, Compton Mayor Emma Shariff, County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, Compton City Council members Andre Spicer, Diedra Duhart, Jonathan Bowers, and Lillie P. Darden are the officials behind the gesture. Among the artists slated to attend are N.W.A. co-founder DJ Yella, who will perform alongside Eric Wright’s son, Lil Eazy-E. Another CPT native, Joe Cooley (of Rodney O & Joe Cooley), will DJ at the event.
One of the key organizers of the event is Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams of the World Class Wreckin Crew. Lonzo, now President of the Compton Entertainment Chamber of Commerce. He reportedly was able to execute past attempts from various elected officials.
In a press statement, Lil Eazy-E said, “The street naming serves as a symbol of recognition and commemoration, ensuring that our father, Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright, has a legacy that will be remembered and celebrated for generations to come. It is a wonderful way for the city of Compton to honor his influence and the cultural significance that he brought to the community. I am truly grateful and honored to see my dad’s legacy continue to be remembered in my hometown, Compton, California on Eazy Street, 90221.” Earlier this year, the veteran second-generation rapper released The Legacy a collaboration album, with Tha Dogg Pound’s Daz Dillinger. RBX, Kid Capri, and former Ruthless artist Kokane are among guests.
Along with E, Eazy-E’s daughters Erica and Ebie will be joined by their siblings Sharan, Derek and Marquise at the event. Two 1980s Los Angeles music institutions close to N.W.A.’s career, Uncle Jam’s Army and Eve After Dark, are also credited as event sponsors.
In addition to N.W.A.’s iconic 1988 album Straight Outta Compton (later titled as an Oscar-nominated biopic that portrayed Eazy, Yella, Lonzo, and others), Eazy’s posthumous LP, Str8 off tha Streetz of Mutha_____in Compton honored his roots. Years after release, Straight Outta Compton has been celebrated by the Grammys as well as the Library Of Congress.
This year, Ambrosia For Heads listed The 25 Most Important Rap Albums as a celebration of Hip-Hop’s first 50 years. Two N.W.A. albums were included in the list.