Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Eazy-E - Eazy-Duz-It / 5150 Home 4 Tha Sick 2xLP


Priority / Ruthless (2002, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

While I have always enjoyed NWA, the various members solo work has been a mixed bag.  Of course, Ice Cube wins that contest hands down as he has three incredible LPs and a great EP.  MC Ren put out an EP that I really liked, but then I never got into any of his full lengths.  I bought The Chronic by Dr. Dre the week it came out (in a CD longbox) and while I can't say I thought it was bad, I lost interest in it very quickly and I grew to resent it as I tend to think that's the record that ended up killing the Golden Era of hip hop (it's a long story, but I have my reasons).

Eazy-E was my least favorite member of NWA, plus he ended up being the punching bag of Cube and Dre as they left the group.  I never had Eazy-Duz-It when it originally came out, but I did have the 5150 Home 4 Tha Sick EP, based on the strength of seeing the video for "Only If You Want It."  I ended up getting the CD of Eazy-Duz-It for free at some point during my tenure in the music biz.  It made the most sense to just grab this version of the vinyl as it had both in one convenient place.

That said, I have no idea how often I'll actually listen to it.  Eazy-Duz-It sounds about ten thousand years old.  It's crazy how primitive the beats sound, even compared to Straight Outta Compton.  Eazy was never the most gifted on the microphone, but luckily Ren shows up on three of the tracks to save the day.  It's still 5150 that's the real draw for me, mostly because of the production.  Apparently Naughty By Nature actually produced "Only If You Want It," which is something I didn't realize back then and it's the best non-NWA song Eazy ever did.  It takes advantage of his cadence better than most songs, but even then, it can come close to being annoying by the end of the song.

As I write this, I'm trying to figure out why I bought it.  I think it was mostly just because I had the CD and wanted to replace it with the vinyl.  These releases haven't aged that well, but I still think it's better to have the vinyl than a promo CD from twenty years ago.


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