Eazy-E

Gangsta Memorial Edition
(Priority)

The seventeen tracks on this CD/DVD combo -- combining the 1995 best-of comp Eternal Ewith all his videos and a new track by his son, Lil E -- are charmingly clunky things by today's standards, all teeth-chattering 808 beats clashing with the sound of things being slapped, rattled, and scraped clean. The now-infamous lyrics are similarly stripped-down and unsophisticated, but simple enough to lodge in your brain, as Eazy points out on "Boyz in the Hood": Don't quote me boy, cuz I ain't said shit. (Oh, oops.) And though his late-'80s/early-'90s heyday certainly provided the obligatory rhymes about bashing homosexuals and pimp-slapping hos, thankfully, they never sound hard enough to be believed. Same deal with his swipes at former NWA partner Dr. Dre on "Real Muthaphukkin Gs." Overall, Eazy is best remembered as a likably funky caricature -- someone who isn't a hardened criminal, but has tried everything denounced as wrong in the Bible at least once.

 
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