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Compton to name street after late rapper Eazy-E

COMPTON — City officials will posthumously honor the late rapper Eazy-E on Wednesday by renaming the 100 block of Auto Drive South, which runs off Alameda Street and into the Gateway Towne Center shopping plaza, as Eazy Street.

Eazy-E, whose real name was Eric Wright, is best known as one of the members of the landmark hip-hop group N.W.A. along with Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella and Arabian Prince. He also achieved success as the founder and owner of Ruthless Records and as a solo artist.

He passed away in 1995 at the age of 30 from AIDS-induced pneumonia.

The event and celebration will take place at noon in the back of the LA Crystal Hotel at 123 E. Artesia Blvd.

Compton City Council members Andre Spicer, Diedra Duhart, Jonathan Bowers and Lillie Darden previously voted to rename the street to honor the rapper and music business mogul’s legacy.

Compton Mayor Emma Shariff, L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, state Sen. Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, and Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Gardena, also supported the renaming.

Alonzo Williams, president of the Compton Entertainment Chamber of Commerce, played a major part in spearheading the renaming, city officials said.

Williams said he became aware of former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley’s past efforts to rename a street after Eazy-E. Williams added that he felt this year, being the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, would be a “great time” to honor Eazy-E, and his attempt was successful.

As part of the renaming ceremony, Eazy-E’s son Eric Darnell Wright, also known as “Lil Eazy-E,” is expected to perform with DJ Yella of NWA. Compton native DJ Joe Cooley, of Rodney-O and Joe Cooley, is also expected to perform.

According to a statement from the city of Compton, Lil Eazy-E lost his father at the age of 10. Following in his father’s footsteps, he became a recording artist and an executive, serving as the president of Rich & Ruthless Records.

“The street renaming serves as a symbol of recognition and commemoration, ensuring that our father, Eric Wright, has a legacy that will be remembered and celebrated for generations to come,” Lil Eazy-E said in a statement.

He added, “It is a wonderful way for the city of Compton to honor his influence and the cultural significant that he brought to the community. I am truly grateful and honored to see my dad’s legacy continue to be remembered in my hometown, Compton, California on Eazy Street.”

Wright’s daughters Erica and Ebie are also expected to participate. Erica formed a charity foundation in honor of her father’s memory, and Ebie has starred on MTV’s “Sweet Sixteen” and “Exiled,” and released two singles.

“I cannot count the many stories I’ve heard of him (Eazy-E) giving, whether it was from the stash out of his pocket, or to a charity,” Erica said in a statement. “So with my siblings, we have developed the Eric Wright Family Foundation. We look forward to helping our community, and to show the world that it’s not so bad coming straight outta Compton.”

Ebie noted that her father helped put Compton on the map.

“I think we can all agree that his global impact, generated through his music, his celebrity, his vision and his vote not only inspired numerous other artists that emerged out of Compton because of him, but also, by using his influence to shed light on the negative issues that were occurring in his community, he helped drive positive change in this city, which extend to inner cities around the world.”


Source: Orange County Register

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