N.W.A changed the music world with Straight Outta Compton, but they also made a different impact through a tragedy.
That’s evident in the upcoming biopic ("Straight Outta Compton") named after the group’s debut album which chronicles their success and also the sadness that the group experienced when Eric "Eazy-E” Wright died of complications of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in 1995.
The rap icon’s passing at 31 was an eye-opener for many people who weren’t educated about the disease at the time. Eazy's death scene in the movie was an emotional one.
"Eazy taught us that AIDS was real,” fellow N.W.A member Ice Cube told MTV News during a “Straight Outta Compton” interview conducted last month leading up to the film’s Friday release. “Not just for big time celebrities or movie stars, but if you’re from right there in the hood, you could get it too.”
DJ Yella who joined Cube, Eazy, Dr. Dre and MC Ren as a member of the World’s Most Dangerous Group said E wanted him to be cautious following his death, too.
“The last thing he told me on the phone was, ‘Watch it,’” Yella told MTV News. "But he never told me about the AIDS. He didn’t want me to know. It’s dangerous out there for the world. It’s real.”
Today, the numbers surrounding H.I.V./AIDS are staggering. More than one million people in this country, for instance, are living with the virus. And one in eight are reportedly unaware of their infection, according to AIDS.gov.
That’s perhaps why Cube believes “Straight Outta Compton’s” portrayal of Eazy’s death is important - not just for the proper retelling of the group’s history - but also for a different cause.
“[Eazy]’s gonna reteach that lesson with this movie because it’s still a big epidemic with our community,” Cube explained.
For more information on HIV/AIDS and getting tested, head to ItsYourSexLife.com.