Compton, California, is set to honor Eazy E by renaming a street. The late West Coast rap legend, one of Compton’s first popular rappers and a member of the legendary rap group NWA, will have the city’s Auto Plaza Drive South officially renamed “Eazy Street.”
Eazy E Honored
Eazy E’s street naming event was partly organized by Alonzo Williams, the mind behind the legendary nightclub Eve After Dark, where NWA members Dr. Dre and DJ Yella performed in their early days.
The commemorative event celebrating the name change will be held on Nov. 22 and will be open to the public. The location will be in the back of the Chrystal Hotel in Compton. Williams, who is now the President of the Compton Entertainment Chamber of Commerce, took inspiration from former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley’s past efforts to honor the late Eric Wright.
“I felt that with this year being the 50th anniversary of hip hop, it would be a great time to give it another try, and this time the efforts were successful,” Williams said in a statement.
Eazy E Shunned
Eazy’s untimely death in 1995 at the age of 31 due to complications of AIDS-induced pneumonia brought about both controversy and conspiracy theories.
The rapper had fallen ill just weeks before his passing and was later diagnosed with HIV. Eazy E, also known as Eric Wright, had previously admitted to living a promiscuous lifestyle, and possibly contracted the virus unknowingly. However, the stigma surrounding AIDS as the “gay plague” during the 1980s led to misconceptions and shunning of Eazy E’s legacy by some fans in the hip-hop community.
Controversy surrounding Eazy E’s cause of death continues to this day. In a July 2023 interview with Comedy Hype, Williams expressed his doubts about the official narrative, stating:
“I ain’t buying it. To see somebody who was as healthy as Eazy, go in the hospital, coughing and come up dead after a short period of time, that never sat well with me.”
Williams also addressed Suge Knight‘s past remarks about Eazy E being injected with AIDS, refusing to comment on the matter.
Despite the challenges and misinformation surrounding Eazy E’s legacy, the rapper was honored in the 2015 NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, with actor Jason Mitchell portraying him on screen. This street naming event in Compton is another testament to Eazy E’s impact on the genre and his hometown, solidifying his place in hip-hop history.
In 2021, Wright’s daughter, Ebie Wright, publicly called out rap legend Ice Cube for not speaking about her father in a documentary they were working on together.
The beef between Ice Cube and Eazy E after the latter’s departure from NWA had strained their relationship, leading Ebie to criticize Ice Cube for ignoring her father’s legacy.
Nipsey Hussle Honored With Platinum Certifications
Nipsey Hussle, another late rapper, was also honored posthumously for his contributions to the music industry. The late artist received multiple platinum certifications from the RIAA for his album Victory Lap and several hit songs.