Again, we revist Alameda, CA 7th Grade
It always seems to be sunny, never too hot or cold. I can remember owning a light, plaid-colored, fleece jacket. That was my winter clothing.
One of those sunny days…sitting on bench outside one of the auxillary buildings sitting behind Chipman Middle School. These benches faced both the school and, on the other side of the auxillary buildings, the playground, a couple of football fields worth of spacious, flat concrete banked by basketball courts.
I’m on one of the brown benches. The next bench over sits Charetta Long and several of her friends. She and her friends are doing a little freestyle rapping. I’m sitting with a couple of my friends, not really talking, just kind of hanging out on our lunch hour. The girls break into a rhyme I know…Eazy E’s Eazy Duz It. I know Eazy’s debut album by heart. I’m living on the West Coast when this album is released and everybody and their momma has a copy of Eazy Duz It and N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton – everybody. I can’t even relate how these two albums infect my middle school like a virus.
So the girls get into the first verse and stop about 2/3 of the way through. Without even thinking I pick up the rhyme:
Fill my stash box and start rubbing my gat
Feeling good as hell because my pockets are fat
A hardcore villian cold roaming the streets
And wit a homie like Dre just supplying the beats
Charetta, who was a friend of mine, looked my way, smiled, and said, “Daayum…J got the flow,” which embarrassed me greatly. Must’ve shown because all the girls giggled.
I sang Eazy’s album to myself the entire walk home.
Eazy’s delivery and voice made him the break-out star of N.W.A., hence his being the first member of the group to get a solo record. Unfortunately, Ice Cube wrote the majority of Eazy Duz It and the lack of Cube’s skills shows on Eazy’s follow-up solo efforts. E’s voice alone wasn’t able to deliver. Without Cube writing – or Dre producing – E’s records lost most of their appeal. But damn if those early years of Eazy E and N.W.A. won’t be forever etched in my musical memories.
Eazy died from AIDS almost ten years ago – March 26, 1995.
I hope he’s hittin’ his switches in some heavenly ‘hood.
(The following disclaimer, stolen by me from Zombie and by him from Bob Mould, slightly modified to my purposes, will be standard for the BB! Presents: Rap Music History series unless otherwise stated.)
MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Availability is limited: one week from the day of posting. Through this series, I’m trying to educate, share my passion for good music, and promote that good music to others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know.