Easy-E’s tragic real-life story

Eazy-E’s life was brief and eventful. Born Eric Lynn Wright in 1964, his story began on the streets of Compton and ended in 1995 in a medical center in downtown Los Angeles. In the years between, however, he amassed a small fortune through drug dealing, founded a legendary record label, and formed one of the greatest acts in hip-hop history: N.W.A.

Much like many other icons of the genre, Wright’s life — beneath the music videos and record deals and parties — was marked with hardship, violence, crime, and death. The eventual happy ending he might have found through his music was never to be. At the age of 30, only a decade into his career, he succumbed — not to feuding or gang crime, but to disease. Eazy-E’s estate and family have been embroiled in a slew of troubles ever since his death, but even their squabbling can’t touch the unassailable legacy of the “Godfather of Gangsta Rap.