|Studio album by Eazy-E|
|Released||November 22, 1988
(see release history)
|Genre||Hip hop, West coast hip hop, gangsta rap|
68:00 (Remastered edition)
|Producer||Dr. Dre, DJ Yella|
Eazy-Duz-It is the solo debut album of rapper and N.W.A member Eazy-E, released on November 22, 1988, through both his own label Ruthless Records as well as Priority Records. The production by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella was deemed dense and funky by critic Jason Birchmeier. The pieces were written primarily by The D.O.C., Ice Cube, and MC Ren. The album's title track features Eazy rapping about himself and things that he does. "Boyz n the Hood" and "No More ?'s" are about life in Compton, California and the gangsta lifestyle.
The album charted on two different charts and went 2x Platinum in the United States despite minimal promotion by radio and television. Three singles were released from the album, each charting in the US. The Remastered version contains the 1992 EP 5150. The 25th anniversary (2013) contains 2 bonus tracks, a 12" remix of "We Want Eazy" and a 12" remix of "Still Talkin".
Recording and production
Eazy-Duz-It was recorded at Audio Achievements in Torrance, California from 1987 to 1988. The album's writing was a three-pronged effort involving MC Ren, Ice Cube, and The D.O.C.. MC Ren's writing style was described by Marcus Reeves, author of Somebody Scream!: Rap Music's Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power (2009) ISBN 9780865479975, as "elaborate storytelling and acrobatic verbiage", while the D.O.C.'s included "syllabically punchy boasts" and Ice Cube wrote, "masterfully insightful first-person narratives." Ice Cube's writing was often inspired by comedians like Richard Pryor and Rudy Ray Moore.
The album's production, almost solely done by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, was praised by several critics. Jason Birchmeier from Allmusic gave a considerable amount of attention to the album's production, saying that "Dr. Dre and Yella meld together P-Funk, Def Jam-style hip hop, and the leftover electro sounds of mid-80s Los Angeles, creating a dense, funky, and thoroughly unique style of their own." Birchmeier would also write that some songs—"Eazy Duz It", "We Want Eazy", "Eazy-er Said Than Dunn", and "Radio"—are all heavily produced and have "layers upon layers of samples and beats competing with Eazy-E's rhymes for attention." Rapper Kanye West also touted Dr. Dre's production on the album.
Glen Boyd of Blogcritics said that the album has "Deep-ass bass lines, old-school funk samples, and plenty of street smart ghetto attitude are what powers this record." Jerry Heller wrote that Eazy raps more up front on the album than he does on Straight Outta Compton, and insists that the album's lyrics contain more sexual humor than gangsta vibe.
The album's title track and lead single "Eazy-Duz-It", written by MC Ren, opens with a woman acclaiming Eazy-E's style. Eazy then interrupts saying "Bitch shut the fuck up, get the fuck outta here." This is followed by a bass line provided by Dr. Dre. Soon, Eazy begins to rap about himself and things that he does. The song declares that Eazy is a "hardcore villain" who collects money from his prostitutes, and feels great when his "pockets are fat." The chorus, repeated three times, states that he "is a gangsta having fun". The piece is laden with the aural mainstays of gangsta rap, including gunshots, and references to several drugs.
The album's title track is a heavily produced song from the album.
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"Boyz n the Hood" was written by Ice Cube, with some contribution by Eazy-E. The song is about growing up in Compton, California, and describes the gangster lifestyle. It conceives the "ghetto landscape as a generalized abstract construct… [and] also introduces a localized nuance that conveys a certain proximity, effectively capturing a narrowed sense of place through which young thugs and their potential crime victims move in tandem," as put by cultural historian Murray Forman.
"No More ?'s" is similar to "Boyz n the Hood" in its theme. The piece begins with an interview between Eazy and a female journalist, who asks about his childhood. Eazy explains (in verse) that he was ruthless, in a gang, "specialized in gankin," (loosely, to steal from) and had no respect for rules. He is then asked if he has ever been in an armed robbery. He responds, "You mean a 211?" The following verses tell of Eazy's exploits as a thief and thug.
The album received little attention from radio and television stations, but got support from Los Angeles's hip-hop underground. On May 20, 1989, it peaked at number 41 on the Billboard 200, and since 1989, was in various places on the chart for 90 weeks. It peaked at number 12 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart on March 11, 1989. Since the album's release, it has been on the chart during 51 different weeks. On February 15, 1989, the album was certified Gold (500,000 sales) by the Recording Industry Association of America, and on June 1, 1989, it was certified Platinum (1,000,000 sales). It received its peak certification of Double Platinum (2,000,000 sales) on September 1, 1992. In 1989, it had sold over 650,000 copies, and by early 1995, Eazy-Duz-It had sold between 2 million and 2.5 million copies. On February 11, 1989, "We Want Eazy" charted on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number 43. It stayed on the chart for 15 weeks. The song also charted at number seven on the Hot Rap Songs chart. "Eazy-er Said Than Dunn", the album's third single, peaked at number 84 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts on May 6, 1989, where it would maintain some lower position on the chart for six weeks. "Eazy-Duz-It" charted on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart at number 39. In August 2015, a couple weeks after the release of the N.W.A. biopic film, Straight Outta Compton, the album re-entered the chart at number 32, out-peaking its original peak position in 1989 when it charted at number 41.
AllMusic's Jason Birchmeier praised the album, awarding the album four out of five stars. Birchmeier noted that "the album plays like a humorous, self-centered twist on Straight Outta Compton with Eazy-E, the most charismatic member of N.W.A, front and center while his associates are busy behind the scenes, producing the beats and writing the songs." He compared it to N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton, which Eazy also performs on, saying that Straight Outta Compton is "more revolutionary," but claimed Eazy-Duz-It to be Straight Outta Compton's "great companion" and to have showcased N.W.A's style.
Music journalist Robert Christgau gave the album a C+, criticizing the thin beats and lyrics like "I might be a woman beater but I'm not a pussy eater" Soren Baker from the Los Angeles Times called it a "landmark albums brimming with violence, profanity, sexually explicit content and antigovernment themes," and said that it established Eazy as a "major player in the rap industry" Daniel Kreps of the Los Angeles Times called it a "solo masterpiece," and said that it was evidence that Eazy was one of the best rappers ever. Dan Snierson of Entertainment Weekly described the album as "an obscenity-littered depiction of violent, hollowed-out life in Compton."
Shan Fowler from PopMatters said that it received "underground success." Glen Boyd reviewed the album on the online newspaper Seattle Post-Intelligencer, noting that it "paved the way for all of the groundbreaking music which came later." Boyd also said that songs like "Boyz In The Hood" and "Radio" would establish "the street buzz that N.W.A would later ride to platinum selling success as the first true West Coast rap superstars." Jon Wiederhorn from MTV wrote that it "demonstrated Eazy's knack for provocative lyrics," and also said that it paved the way to Straight Outta Compton.
|1.||"(Prelude) Still Talkin'"||The D.O.C.||3:51|
|2.||"Nobody Move"||MC Ren||4:49|
|3.||"Ruthless Villain" (featuring MC Ren)||MC Ren||2:59|
|4.||"2 Hard Mutha's" (featuring MC Ren)||MC Ren||4:26|
|5.||"Boyz-n-the-Hood" (Remix)||Ice Cube||6:22|
|7.||"We Want Eazy" (featuring MC Ren & Dr. Dre)||The D.O.C., MC Ren||5:01|
|8.||"Eazy-er Said Than Dunn"||The D.O.C.||3:41|
|10.||"No More ?'s"||Ice Cube||3:55|
|11.||"I'mma Break It Down"||MC Ren||3:29|
|12.||"Eazy-Chapter 8 Verse 10"||Ice Cube||2:11|
|2002 reissue bonus tracks|
|13.||"Intro: New Year's E-vil" (bonus track)|
|14.||"Only If You Want It" (bonus track)|
|15.||"Neighborhood Sniper" (bonus track)|
|16.||"Niggaz My Height Don't Fight" (bonus track)|
|17.||"Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas" (bonus track)|
- Big Bass Brian - Mastering
- Dr. Dre - Producer and performer
- The D.O.C. - Writer and performer
- Eazy-E - Executive Producer and performer
- Eric Poppleton - Photography
- Donovan Sound - Engineer
- Yella - Producer
- Ice Cube - Writer and performer
- MC Ren - Writer and performer
|US Billboard 200||41|
|US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums||12|
|US Billboard 200||45|
|US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums||14|
|US Billboard 200||20|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|1991||CD||—||Universal Music Distribution||?|||
|2002||DI||Bonus Clean||Priority Records||42067|||
|2010||DI||"Uncut Snoop Dogg Approved"||Priority Records||26868|||
|"—" denotes that it was a standard release.|
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- "Glen Boyd Writer Profile". Blogcritics. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
- Heller, Jerry; Reavill, Gil (2007). Ruthless: A Memoir. Gallery. p. 121. ISBN 978-1-4169-1794-6.
- Woldu, Gail Hilson (2010-10-30). "Eazy Duz It—Again and Again". The Words and Music of Ice Cube (Hardcover) (1 ed.). Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-0-275-99043-5.
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Eazy-Duz-It went gold with much support from L.A.'s hip-hop underground but little radio of video promotion.
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