How much was Eazy-E worth?
|Net Worth:||$5 Million|
|Date of Birth:||September 7, 1964 (aged 30)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||5 ft 2 in (1.59 m)|
“Who gave it that title, gangsta rap? It’s reality rap. It’s about what’s really going on.” Eazy-E
Eazy-E, born Eric Wright, was a rapper and producer who was a pioneer in West Coast rap and gangsta rap, as he was the lead songwriter for the hip hop group N.W.A., along with Ice Cube and Dr Dre. He is best known for pushing the boundaries of rap lyrics and he is often called the “godfather of gangsta rap”, as the band’s debut studio album, Straight Outta Compton, has become iconic and is one of the most influential albums of all time.
By order of the mayor, Eazy-E has a day each year in his name in Compton, Eazy-E day.
In his later years, Eazy-E was famously wrapped up in rivalries with his former band mates who found more success in their solo careers. The rapper passed away in the mid-90s after he was diagnosed with AIDS.
Some reports, including his son, Eric Darnell Wright “Lil Eazy-E”. Put Eazy’s net worth as high as $50 million at the time of his death. However it is estimated that it was far less than that based on his record deals and other dealings with Jerry Heller and Interscope while he was alive. His estate may have grown however to as high as $10 million. His fortune was inherited by his wife, Tomica Wright.
As he allegedly took to drug dealing at an early age, it became the most prevalent subject in the lyrics of his tracks. When the rapper founded N.W.A., which is an abbreviation for “Niggaz Wit Attitudes”, the band found themselves in a ton of controversies and many listeners believed that they were glorifying gun violence, drugs, and misogyny. After a meteoric rise the group were soon being banned from most radio stations in the US. “What we’re showing may not be your reality, but it’s our,” Eazy-E said at the time. All the same news of the bans only made the records even more valuable and polarized the listeners leading to a far greater number of records sold.
Without a single second of radio play, the group sold over 10 million albums. They became some of the most influential figures in rap history, some say they singlehandedly pioneered gangsta rap, a genre that would go on to be insanely popular. People on the street were saying “they speak truth” and the lyrics and movement spoke to troubles that black people faced everyday at the time. “People where we come from hear so many lies that the truth stands out like a sore thumb,” Eazy-E said.
In 1988, the group released their debut album, Straight Outta Compton, and many praised it for raising societal issues that had been troubling black people for a long time; including police brutality and racial profiling. The album was mostly produced by member Dr. Dre, who went on to become one of the most prolific rap producers of all time with several successful solo albums. Straight Outta Compton was one of the first ever records to have the parental advisory sticker on the cover, another point that may have increased sales. The sticker almost seems like a marketing piece.
Some of the album’s most popular songs include “Fuck Tha Police”, “Gangsta Gangsta”, and “Express Yourself”. Straight Outta Compton is often cited as one of the greatest rap albums of all time, and was the first ever rap album to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Much of the hatred toward the police was from the Rodney King attack, and other similar attacks that are considered racially charged. “What the cops did to Rodney King was wrong, and the officers who beat him should be sent straight to prison,” Eazy-E said. “Not all cops are bad, but this kind of harassment has been going on for years in the ghetto,” he added.
Ice Cube and DJ Yella were the dedicated writers behind the songs while Eazy-E was the lead rapper. Wright would help putting the songs together MC Ren and they all contributed toward ideas for the lyrics. For a time there, the group’s success was unparalleled in the genre of gangsta rap.
N.W.A. was voted the 33rd Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Artists of all time by Rolling Stone, in their original edition. It was later removed in their updated 2011 edition, however.
Despite the original synergy of it’s members, the group’s success didn’t last forever. Feuds eventually arose between Eazy-E and the other members of the group. After Dre grew suspicious that Eazy was earning more money than him and Ice Cube, tensions grew while recording and touring. Suge Knight famously urged Eazy-E to release Dre from his contract from Ruthless, the record label that Eazy owned, but he refused. Knight went so far as to allegedly kidnap Eazy-E’s producer and keep him in a van. After several more threats, including ones over his mother’s life, Eazy-E finally agreed to release Dr. Dre from his contract and after that, the members of the group barely spoke again.
In 1995, Eazy-E was diagnosed with AIDS. This encouraged him and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre to finally make amends. This was the first time they had worked together since 1989.
However Eazy soon became was seriously ill. Not long after, he died from AIDS-induced pneumonia and his funeral was attended by more than 3000 people.
The rapper was buried in the same casual clothes that he always wore; a flannel shirt, jeans, and his Compton hat, he was buried in a gold casket. Since his death, he has been the subject of several documentaries and was portrayed by actor Jason Mitchell in the biopic, Straight Outta Compton.
N.W.A would not reunite until 1999 when, along with Snoop Dogg, they recorded a song in memory of Eazy, “Chin Check”. It was also included in the soundtrack to Ice Cube’s movie Next Friday (2000).
Eric Wright (Eazy-E) married the mother of his last two children, Tomica Wright, one week before his death. Tomica inherited his fortune after he passed away.
After his death, fellow N.W.A. rapper DJ Yella who had remained friendly wrote a solo single called “One More Nigga To Go” in dedication to Eazy. The money earned from the song went toward helping raise money for college for Wright’s kids. A nice gesture however I am not sure that they needed it, not based on the sentiment of Eazy-E’s kid, Eric Darnell Wright “Lil Eazy-E”, who claims that Eazy’s net worth was as high as $50 million at the time of his death. Yella is close to the family however and thought it appropriate, for example, he is godfather to Eazy’s second son, Derrek and I believe close to all the family.
There are many theories about why and how Eazy died of AIDS. The generally accepted events are that he contracted the disease as the result of heterosexual sex. Eazy-E was quite sexually active, he boosted “I have seven children by six different mothers,” while he was still alive. Another circulated theory is that Suge Knight infected Eazy with a needle containing AIDS in an attempt to kill him. This is unlikely true and has been disputed. Including by Kid Frost, he disputed that would be the case at all.
Before his death Eazy-E had his hand in executive producing Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s second album E. 1999 Eternal. It was released four months after his death and dedicated in his memory. The album reached No. 1 the Billboard 200 chart and has gone platinum four times.
As of 2023, Eazy-E is the only member of N.W.A to have died.
Eazy-E’s Net Worth
Though Eazy-E had allegedly earned more than a quarter of a million dollars dealing drugs on the street by the time he was 22, it was nothing compared to what he’d make with N.W.A. The rapper’s record sales speak for themselves, as Straight Outta Compton has gone 3x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Their overlooked sophomore effort, N****z4life, also sold over one million units. During its peak, Ruthless Records was making an estimated $10 million per month from record sales, and as Wright owned the label, he would have been seeing the a lot of that money.
“The kids from the streets don’t want preaching or messages. They want what they can identify with. They want to hear about the reality of their situation, not fairy tales. They don’t care if it’s ugly; they just want reality.” Eazy-E
On top of all the record sales and financial success with the group, Wright’s estate would have also grown in the time since his passing. Not only does it get the highest percentage of royalties whenever N.W.A.’s music is played, but it would have also made money from the documentaries and various other media related to the rapper. Including the insanely successful biopic, Straight Outta Compton. The movie made $201.6 million worldwide and was considered as one of the best movies of 2015.
Eazy-E’s most famous song is “Boyz in the Hood”. It was originally intended for an east side group called HBO to sing, in the end however it was Eazy-E who made it famous. It was produced by Dr. Dre.
Eazy-E also profited from sales of Dre’s The Chronic. This was even when a lyric from the album calls Eazy a “penguin-lookin’ motherfucker.” As it turns out Interscope had to pay off Eazy and Jerry Heller’s Ruthless Records in order to resolve Dr. Dre’s contract disputes and release the album, according to Rolling Stone.
In S. Leigh Savidge’s 2015 book Welcome To Death Row: The Uncensored Oral History of Death Row, it was estimated by record promoter Doug Young that “Eazy was getting like 25 or 50 cents a copy for Dre’s Chronic album.” Which makes Eazy’s take about $1.5 million from the LP.
Ruthless Record went defunct in 2009. Death Row filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and was eventually auctioned off to WIDEawake Entertainment Group, Inc. for $18 million in 2009, according to NextShark. In 2012, the owner of WIDEawake bankrupted and the label was then sold to Entertainment One.
It then then became a division of Hasbro until April 2021 when eOne Music was sold to The Blackstone Group. Snoop Dogg bought Death Row from MNRK Music Group in February 2022, intending to revive the. Snoop Dogg has expressed sentiments around getting the artists paid first and also making an app where listeners can signup and pay a monthly subscription, like their very own Spotify.
On talk about the movie Boyz N the Hood, Eazy-E has said. “I don’t want to be in somebody else’s movie, and then they make all the money. I’ve gotten offers to do the movies, but I won’t sell myself short and be in somebody else’s movie, like ‘Boyz N the Hood.’ I don’t think I woulda done that.”
Like most rap artists they tend to have issues with authority, it is likely a well grounded approach that they do challenge authority when it comes to selling their records. After all, most rap artists are black, while most producers and those in the marketing of the records are white. There may exist some division between the two parties even before the jealousy that arises when anybody else is about to get rich. That is why more rap artists in general are taking greater control over the sale of their music and also, as Snoop Dogg has spoken about, helping each other in order to make sure that everybody gets paid.
Eazy-E ‘s imaginative and detailed descriptions of his claimed experiences selling drugs on the streets, history with the police, and ghetto upbringing is what helped the rapper define a generation and kickstart a new and energetic genre of rap. His creative style was unlike anything else at the time and it took the world by storm so much that he found success without any radio play. It was perhaps Eazy’s delivery that people loved so much. It was quite unique and straight forward but also developed through rappers that influenced him, like Ice-T, Redd Fox’s, Bootsy Collins, and Run-DMC.
Mostly it is accepted that the true to life lyrics that talked about real life situations that were, apparently, ‘happening everyday’, and likely were impacting black communities substantially was a cause for Eazy-E’s success in the rap industry. “Why do you think the fans like us – why they prefer our street raps over all that phony stuff out there? Because we’re telling the real story of what it’s like living in places like Compton. We’re giving them reality. We’re like reporters. We give them the truth,” Eazy-E said at the time.
Even today there is racial division in the US and other countries in the world. Many would attribute rape music as one of the ways that much of this division has been dissolved since its popularization in the 1980s. Above all however, the reason why Eazy-E was so successful was because he focused on the money and that is what he represented and that is what he rapped to, and about, topics that sold records. “We’re not making records for the fun of it; we’re in it to make money,” he said.
Beyond his lyrical content and delivery, Eazy-E is a phenomenal beat maker and he revolutionized hip hop sounds. Yhe music of N.W.A. was as heavy on the synthesizers as it was on the bass. It had a funky sounding aesthetic to it, but at the same time sounded gritty thanks to its dark lyrical themes and classically boastful bars. It was a sound that was uniquely N.W.A., and though the sound was often imitated, few others came close to the group’s success.
Choosing against a life of crime before it was too late, Eazy-E made the best decision of his life when he co-founded N.W.A.. Since its inception in 1987 it has become one of the most influential groups of all-time. Eazy-E the rapper holds a legacy with a discography that is unrivaled in rap music. Straight Outta Compton didn’t just change rap music, its message changed the world’s opinion on rap music.