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Eazy-E (b. Eric Wright September 7, 1964 - March 26, 1995) was an American rapper who initially rose to fame as a member of the group N.W.A.. Born in Compton, California, Eazy-E dropped out of high school and began selling drugs, using the profits to form a record label, Ruthless Records[?], with Jerry Heller[?]. He soon recruited Ice Cube and Dr. Dre and the trio released their first album, N.W.A. and the Posse[?] in 1987, under the name N.W.A. ("Niggaz With Attitudez"). The album was not a success, but the following year's Straight Outta Compton was an incredible smash hit.

Eazy-E quickly released his only solo LP, Eazy-Duz-It[?], which went double-platinum. Ice Cube left N.W.A. in 1989 due to personality conflicts, and Eazy-E largely took over Cube's writing and rapping duties for Efil4zaggin[?] (1991). The album was not as successful as Straight Outta Compton, and N.W.A. soon broke up, inaguarating a long court battle between the various members of N.W.A., Heller, Ruthless Records and Death Row Records[?] (Dr. Dre's label, headed by Suge Knight). Dr. Dre's solo debut, the blockbuster hit The Chronic made fun of Eazy-E on several tracks, but E was never able to overcome image problems within the rap community. Ruthless Records found considerable success with Above the Law, MC Ren, H.W.A.[?] and, most famously, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Eazy-E never managed to regain street credibility, vocally supporting Theodore Briseno, one of the police officers who took part in the Rodney King beating and attending a Republican fundraiser.

In 1995, Eazy-E entered the hospital with what he believed to be developing asthma. He was diagnosed with AIDS, and almost immediately announced his illness to the public. He died soon after, on March 26, 1995. Str8 Off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton[?] was released posthumously, followed by some previously unreleased material under the name Impact of a Legend[?].

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