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Originally released in 1988, "Eazy-Duz-It" is the debut album from the deceased former N.W.A member Eazy-E. This album came after the classic debut from the originators of gangsta rap, N.W.A and as the lead man of the group he went out to have his own individual work,. even though all the work was really done by the remaining members of the group who did both the production, and even the writing. It shows how far rap has gone as you could never make it if you can't even make up your own raps, and here Ice Cube and MC Ren do this for him. It's amazing that he as able to be so convincing as a gangsta rapper as you hear he has one of the highest-pitched voices you will here in Hip Hop, so if it wasn't for his Kelly Park Crip gang affiliation, he would never have been considered to be serious.
Although Eazy didn't write his own rhymes until later on in his career when he had started a beef with Death Row Records (including key figures Snopp Doggy Dogg, Dr. Dre and Tha Dogg Pound), he still remains to be one of my favourites ever as it is so surprising that he was able to bring such a cold front when he had such a high voice and he couldn't do anything but read out the rhymes.
Coming from Compton, Eazy-E managed to influence the current rapper The Game, who claims both he and Ice Cube to be his favourites as together they couldn't have made it without Cube's aid, Eazy would be nothing. Unfortunately Eazy died in 1995 after being infected by the HIV virus, and going on to develop pneumonia (which killed him after ten days), but he did go on to father two musical children one of whom continues his legacy as Lil' Eazy-E.
1."Still Talkin" (feat. Ice Cube and The D.O.C.)
This is the intro to the album and it has N.W.A's Ice Cube and The D.O.C comment as old men about Eazy throughout the track, saying odd things about his style and where he is from (humorously stating he is a Compton, Michigan amongst other things). By having a little comedy in the album shows that the aren't all about gang warfare and mysogenous behaviour.
Eazy comes with his usual raps, which seem relevant as it could be the first that many had heard from his. You get an introduction to what he's about and where he's from, and although it seems to be all about Eazy, Dre takes some of the focus off him when he backtracks the second half of the tune.
2. "Nobody Move" (feat. MC Ren)
Following the strong intro, we are taking further into Eazy's lifestyle as he talks us through one of his 211s (armed robbery), and we are taken into detail about the reactions of both the hostages, police and himself in order to paint a picture in the listeners mind. Suprisingly his decides to conclude it with him being caught for his actions with Ren and Cube (as the getaway driver).
3. "Ruthless Villain" (feat. MC Ren)
Most of this track has Ren dominate, and it isn't until very late on until Eazy comes in. I felt that this was significant as it was said to be a 'freestyle', but I doubt that Eazy's part actually is because the qulaity is quite high, and he didn't really write his one stuff until he separated from N.W.A and those who wrote his rhymes.
REgardless of all the speculation surrounding the lyrics, Dr. Dre and DJ Yella still manage to bring a great backing in order for there to be significant foundations in order to allow the pair to flow with influence from the rough rhythm.
4. "2 Hard Mutha's" (feat. MC Ren)
I was so suprised by this one, because it's really not something that you would have expected to hear from a rap album of this time. One are given a set-up in the studio where Dre claims to have left his drum machine at home, so DJ Yella makes up for this by doing some live drumming. Due to this other instruments are added to make a Funk Rock backing for Eazy and Ren to flow on.
At the time gangsta rappers were trying to push something completely originbal, and this wasn't a typical thing that they would do, but it makes such a huge contras to the normal production that you have to enjoy it, and the way that they are able to use this as if it was any old beat shows that they are able to do anything which is of high quality.
5. "Boyz-n-the-Hood" (Remix)
This track was the first we heard of Eazy-E as he was originally just another backing rapper in the group, but it wasn't until Ice Cube decided to give his rhymes to this to Eazy when his talent was discovered as he adapted so well to the beat and manged to make such an impact with his high-pitched voice, it especially stuck out when it featured in "N.W.A and the Posse" (the group's debut album) in the middle of so amny hardcore rappers.
This track is a classic for Eazy fans, and my favourite of them all. The track went on to be sampled several times in both other N.W.A tracks and also in Mike Jones "My '64", UGK "Front, Back and Side To Side" and T.I.'s "Front Back" it shows that Eazy's legacy lives on to this day
You have pretty much the same sort of track that is given in "Boyz-in-the-Hood", and this isn't to say that he dropped his quality, because this isn't the case, because it was such an amazing track and when Dr. brings the same great quality of funky production, and MC Ren takes over from Cube for the writing you have one of the best displays of Eazy's work.
You really cannot complain if G-Funk is your thing and you enjoyed the the P-Funk samples which Dre came with in N.W.A tunes around this period of time. Yella bacs him up with all of the cuts which he uses from popular Hip hop tracks of the time to add to the quality.
7. "We Want Eazy" (feat. Dr. Dre and MC Ren)
This is such a strange track to me, I say this because it is something which I really shouldn't like, but due to my exposure to it early on in my life, I have been forced to enjoy it. Without this, there's no way that I would have any strong feelings towards it.
This is a terrible display of Dre's production, because he has never been this poor after, no ever prior to this track, so it didn't make sense that her he should change up what he is most strong at, with the hard drum machine beats, to then take a great deal of influence from '80s pop and stick this in to it. i doens't have a place here, but Eazy makes it work for himself.
8. "Eazy-er Said Than Dunn"
The two producers of N.W.A come together for a monster collaboration, and they provide some amzing mudic for Eazy to take on from here. I expect that at the time this would have brought out a big hype as what they come up with has Rufus Thomas' "The Breakdown" feature as the main sample, and with it's popularity from the first release, I would have though that adapting the brasswind of that to the new gangsta rap sound would have been so fun for those who lived through both eras.
With such a great backdrop, there wasn't much need in Eazy being there because Yella and Dre's production had done enough, but regardless of this, he still puts in as much effort as possible to come with the raps which he is best known for. The lyrics for this are fun as they comment on how he has to keep it radio-friendly overwise he won't continue to create such a buzz in the rap world, as his lyrics will be heavily edited on simply not played when he goes all hardcore.
9. "Radio" (feat. Dr. Dre and MC Ren)
This one has real competition with the remix to "Boyz-n-the-Hood" as my favourite track by this artist as it uses a very funky sample which only Dr. Dre would be able to find, and he tkaes it to another level when he G-Funks it up with extra synthesizers and a harder beat to bring it up the the modern day (well 20 years ago).
I really enjoyed the concept here as it begins with the radio being tuned in, going from rock to coutry before Public Enemy comes in, this is then taken over by Eazy's "Ruthless" radio station, and from here you hear a request for Eazy on one of Dre's best beats to date. Eazy raps about how his music dominates stations due to it's real portrayal of the South Central LA streets.
10. "No More ?'s"
Once again we get somethgin new coming from Eazy as we are taken into an interview with him. In this descusion he explains many things about his childhood, his up-bringing and how this has lead to him being the rap superstar that he was at the time.
This track is quite exciting as Dre alters the production parrallel to the lyrics which Eazy gives along to the beat. I foud it to be effective as at times Eazy describes events which were fun in his life, and then he also slows it down and whispers as he walks us through a burgalry which he committed in the past.
11. "I'mma Break It Down"
Any real Hip hop fan will immediately be hit by the beat in this track as it uses the most well-known part rap tracks of all-time, the one which also got Hip Hop inot the mainstream, as it's a cut of the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight", but it's not the usual part which producers use, the bassline from Chic's "Good Times", instead it's the bongo beat which is used.
I felt that this showed that Eazy has a lot more in him than most of the gangsta rappers of the time as they could only flow on the hard beats, not that I complained (asthey were my favourite ones), but he also goes for some more light beats to put his voice to, and as he didn't write any of it, he has to make up for this by adapting to anything he is given.
12. "Eazy-Chapter 8 Verse 10"
To end off this album I thought that this was quite disappointing as he pretends to rap out a ghetto hymn, and he doesn't even use the beat, it's all just spoken. When he had no part in the writing of these words, I didn't have an need to listen to it, as it showed nothing from him, anyone could do this.
I expect that any fan of the early gangsta rap scene will already have purchased this because at the time there was so little choice, and this was of the highest quality. However as a 16-year-old from the UK, I still enjoyed this, and there should be no reason why others who listen to the varied version of this today wouldn't see the best out of this, but I expect that because todays version is directed towards the ignorant crowd, I doubt that they would care for the history as much I as I did. So if by chance you are, don't let the twenty year age gap put you off, this is still an amazing record and shows how far Hip Hop has gone over the years from where it was alright to have ghost writers.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Still Talkin'
2 Nobody Move
3 Ruthless Villain
4 2 Hard Mutha's
5 Boyz N The Hood
6 Eazy Duz It
7 We Want Eazy
8 Eazy Er Said Than Dunn
10 No More 's
11 I'mma Break It Down
12 Eazy Chapter 8 Verse 10
13 New Year's Evil
14 Only If You Want It
15 Neighbourhood Sniper
16 Niggaz My Height Don't Fight
17 Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas