Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1964 – March 26, 1995), better known by his stage name Eazy-E, was an American rapper who performed solo and in the hip hop group N.W.A. Wright is affectionately called "The Godfather of Gangsta rap". He was born to Richard and Kathie Wright in Compton, California. After dropping out of high school in the tenth grade, he supported himself primarily by selling drugs before founding Ruthless Records and becoming a rapper. Arabian Prince, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube formed N.W.A. After DJ Yella and MC Ren joined the group, N.W.A released their debut single Panic Zone. In 1988, they released their most controversial album, Straight Outta Compton. The group released two more albums and then disbanded after Eazy released Dr. Dre from his contract. Eazy-E died in March 1995 after a brief battle with AIDS.
Eazy's main influences included 1970s funk groups, contemporary rappers, and comedians. When reviewing Eazy's albums, many critics noted his unique overall style, with Steve Huey of the All Music Guide remarking: "While his technical skills as a rapper were never the greatest, his distinctive delivery... over-the-top lyrics, and undeniable charisma made him a star."