This blog has been a long time in coming, it was originally planned for September 2015 release to coincide with the N.W.A movie but I couldn't get my shit together to make it. Still, better late than never so here we go with a release by one of the most colourful characters that has graced hip-hop.
Born Eric Wright, Eazy E came to prominence as a rapper in the controversial but very popular rap group N.W.A who - aside from being signed to a label Eazy E allegedly set up with the proceeds of drug dealing - would rap about subjects such as police brutality, women troubles and general stuff about the gangsta-lifestyle, stuff like that. This created the "gangsta rap" genre which would turn out to be incredibly popular among rap fans across the world from all walks of life. But as all good things must come to an end, N.W.A eventually split due to internal arguments and each member then went off and did their own thing (although Ice Cube had jumped ship a year or so before this).
The original plan had been to release a double-album called "Temporary Insanity" as the follow-up to the (alright, but possibly an acquired taste) first album Eazy-Duz-It, but after hearing several insults on Dr Dre album "The Chronic", Eazy was prompted to release this for the time being. Containing more than a few 'diss tracks' towards Dre, it certainly heightened the animosity between them. The other songs were showcases for Eazy E himself, a man who whilst not being the most technically gifted rapper out there, still managed to be popular due to his charisma and sheer enthusiasm for being on the mic. In fact, he was so popular that the character of Ryder in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (the one that was released in 2004) was based around certain aspects of Eazy.
The first thing you notice about this album is that it has a disctinct G-Funk sound which had been created by Dr Dre when he did "The Chronic". G-Funk was a subgenre of hip-hop that featured beats which were slower than usual and sparse melodies. It's a canny enough sound.
1) Exxtra Special Thankz - One of those shitty intro things but with more swearing. Mind, this has some canny beats so I think we can let it slide. It gets right to the point and pops off shit against Dr Dre and his then-protege Snoop Dogg (known as Snoop Doggy Dogg at the time).
2) Real Muthaphuckkin G's - Fucking glorious. Smooth beats and smoother melody, it basically has a go at Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg and pointing out how Eazy finds it funny how Dre goes to being a G'Thing after having previously worn drag whilst he was in a collective known as World Class Wreckin' Cru. It also casts doubt on whether Dre and Snoop are as 'street' as they say and accuses them of being 'studio gangsters'. There is some help on this song from Eazy's friends, Gangsta Dresta and B. G. Knocc Out. As far as diss-tracks go, it's one of the best. Note: The severance package that allowed Dr Dre to break hos contract and move to Death Row Records from Ruthless Records included a clause which still allowed a percentage of royalties made from Death Row Records sales by Dre to still go to Eazy E - hence the line "Dre Day only meant Eazy;s pay-day..."
3) Any Last Werds - A bit more in line with traditional hip-hop in that it's sampled music ("Gigolo" by The Fatback Band, apparently) with standard funk beats. It's another good song though so we can't complain. All about the gangsta life that Eazy leads. Wikipedia has this down as an Ice Cube diss but I wouldn't know. Cypress Hill did a one on their "Temples Of Boom" album. But it's still a good track in it's own right. Features hooks by Cold 187um and Kokane.
4) Still A N*gga - This is a great one. Minimalist, haunting melody with some slow beats and "demonic" sounding backing narration. Another pop at Dr Dre (Dresta's an O.G, Dr's a phoney). As mentioned, this song does project a haunting atmosphere. Makes me think of dark nights in streets that were featured in the movies "Boys N Tha Hood" and "Menace II Society".
5) Gimme That Nutt - A funky rap about shagging which doesn't last too long, thankfully. It comes across like the type of stuff that 2 Live Crew would put out regularly. And lets face it, that band lost their appeal once you reached puberty. Maybe I'm being too hard on this song but there surely is better out there that didn't make the cut???
6) It's On - It most certainly is! Starting off with a sample from a movie called "Flatliners", it then rips into Dr Dre by lampooning the chorus from "Nuthin' But A G Thang" before going over themes already established - the guy wore drag a while ago and possibly lied about being a gangsta. It also has a go at Snoop Dogg too. It has the standard sparse G-Funk-like melody but the beats are slightly faster. Still, a good song all the same.
7) Boys N Tha Hood (G Mix) - Altogether now, "Cruisin down the street in my 6-4..." A remix of the same song that was originally recorded for Eazy's first solo album. This one is I daresay a better version as it suits the G-Funk style better than the original version. They're both great IMO but this one just about tops it. Dresta helps out on this as well. Great song!
8) Down 2 Tha Last Roach - As you can imagine, it's about smoking weed. As far as these things go, it's ok. Nice funky rhythms and melodies that sound good, it's complemented well by raps that have had a bit of FX applied to them so they sound twisted and demonic. It's funny when midway through, they start not only discussing the different names for weed but also what THC stands for, Not a bad way to end the E.P.
This was a good E.P and whether it would have set Eazy further up in his career is debatable as there is better rap out there, even in 1993. Sadly, we'll never know as Eazy E died due to complications of AIDS in 1995. I guess what we can take from this E,P is that what he lacked in skill and finesse, his enthusiasm more than made up for it.
4 - This is really good, well worth checking out.
Top Track: Real Muthaphuckkin G's
This E.P is available on iTunes.