Today (March 26) marks the 17th year anniversary of the late, great Eazy-E’s death. To celebrate the rapper’s unfortunate and untimely passing, XXL talked with his daughter, 20-year-old aspiring artist E.B. Wright, about her father’s legacy and how his music inspires her art. R.I.P. Eazy-E.
(As told to Christian Mordi)
“Each year I seem to find something new or different to do [to celebrate his life and death]. This year actually I want to be pay homage to my father because a lot of people know who I am, and a lot of people know that I am Eazy-E’s daughter. A lot of people my age, they know who he is and he is a big figure and a legend and somebody famous but they don’t really know who he is. So every year and even through my music, as well, I’m really trying to —while [still] being myself— I’m really trying to bring along and explain, you know, his legacy and let people know my age and younger exactly who he was and what he did, you know, for the music industry and the world.
This year I’m actually going to pay homage to him by recreating… I’m doing a photo shoot. I’m going to be recreating a couple of his album covers. So, that will be really cool and interesting to see. You will see his album covers and you will see the ones that I did with me. That will be really cool.
I miss everything [about my father]. The things I remember the most, honestly, I had a couple of years with my dad but we did spend a lot of time together, and till this day I still have dreams about just different special moments. The one that stands out the most is one of my birthday parties. And it’s crazy that it has been 17 years and 17 birthdays that he has missed. I just miss everything. In this day and age you get to see all these different celebrities with their kids from Will and Jada with their kids and you see even Jay-Z and Beyonce have a kid now, and you see Puffy with all his kids and Run with his kids and Russell Simmons with his kids and it’s really, really hard to be one of those kids and not have my father here. He was such a big name and he’s not physically here to support me and to be there and for people to see me with him. A lot of that is just really heavy on my chest. It really is and I just miss everything about him.
I think his fans should really remember him for how he revolutionized freedom of speech. With me, now being a big fan of Kanye West, looking back on that kind of level, you could say that my father was that back then, speaking his mind, telling the truth on how he feels. Like, in this day in age, it’s Kanye West when it comes to that— no censorship, just really speaking your mind, just freedom of speech and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Everyone should be themselves and say how they feel, or do what they wanna do. Different is better and at the end of the day people wanna know the truth. You know, the fakeness—there’s a lot of that going on. I want people to know that and know that’s the same way that I will be. So just speaking the truth and telling how I feel about what’s going on.
I do pop rock music and I would say my dad influenced not exactly the type of music that I have done but just [encouraged me] to be myself. I grew up in the music business, and I have a music background on my mother’s side as well. But seeing who my father and mother were in the music business, just growing up around it, I think it was just something inside of me and something I loved and I think with my father not being here, it encouraged me to follow my dreams even more. I really just love music and my dad wasn’t just music he was a businessman and entrepreneur, so there’s so many things that I wanna do and that’s how he inspires me: just letting me know that anything is possible.
Right now I am working on my album and getting ready to release a few different videos. The first one is for my single “What I Wanna Do” and I am going to release a couple more singles, as well, before the album is released. I’m doing that independently right now, with my own money and I’m getting ready to release a web series as well. I’ve been offered a few things in regards to reality tv so I am just seeing what is going to happen with that, and I am just talking to a couple different people about my music situation right now so I have a lot coming and I’m excited about everything.
[My father didn't only influence me, but others. Absolutely. Everybody from Little Wayne to Drake, 50 Cent, Kanye West. Hip-Hop today wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for my father. Period.
[I listen to my dad's music for motivation]. I know its so random but “Little Compton City Gs” is like my absolute favorite song, not just because it’s my father’s but like totally in like all music. Like I really love that song. And “We Want Eazy.” My campaign right now is “We Want E.B.” Even my Twitter right now is “We Want E.B.” and my website is wewanteb.com. Everything I am doing is “We Want E.B.” So that definitely was inspiration from my father’s “We Want Eazy.” I watch videos from him all the time and, you know, he is not here so I have to use the little bit that I do have, so, thank God for technology and music and this is exactly why I love music so much, because if someone is no longer here it still lives on. All you have to do it pop up a CD or pop up You Tube or something and he’s like right there.
[If my dad were alive today,] oh my God… he would be Jay-Z, the Russell Simmons, Puffy, 50 Cent. Like, my father definitely would have been a mogul. He was doing this stuff back then, I’m talking about the endorsements and investments and everything outside of music like film and like what Ice Cube is doing now and what Dre is getting into with the Beats, and different things— my dad was doing these things 20 years ago. So you can only imagine somebody being ahead [of their time] back then 20 years ago. He definitely would’ve been a billionaire right now, and the biggest businessman. And everything would be different from the people doing it now to even down to my life— everything would be different. It trips me out. It’s really crazy how he isn’t here. I really wish he was.”