The vaults of long-gone-but-not-forgotten hip-hop pioneer Eric "Eazy-E" Wright have been opened, and previously unreleased music from the West Coast rap legend will be released on March 26 to coincide with the seven-year anniversary of his death. An eight-song EP titled Godfather of Gangsta Rap — with music recorded between late 1994 and a little before his death in 1995 — will accompany the DVD "Impact of a Legend" when it hits stores.
According to Ruthless Records, the label Eazy founded and which is now run by his widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, the EP features appearances by newcomers Paperboy & Flossmode and has production by Rhythm D.
In addition to a documentary, songs lyrics, a full discography and 10 videos including "Straight Outta Compton" and "We Want Eazy," the "Impact of a Legend" DVD features a PC-compatible video game called "Hittin' Switches."
In the game, the player takes on the persona of Eazy-E and is living a day in his life. In addition to fixing up a low rider with a booming system, rims and hydraulics to make the ride bounce, the player may come across some rivals and engage in a shootout.
Eazy-E founded the groundbreaking rap quintet N.W.A in 1987 with Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella. After releasing solo LPs and group albums from 1987 to 1991, the crew officially disbanded. Before his death from AIDS, Eazy was starting to see his label take off again, with then newjacks Bone Thugs-N-Harmony reaching the platinum-plus plateau.
Ruthless said it took so long to release the Eazy material because the label has just resolved litigation with Eazy's former business partner and manager, Jerry Heller, over the rights to his music.
Godfather of Gangsta Rap track list, according to Ruthless: