Not only does today mark the beginning of a new month, but a day to raise awareness on a serious subject matter: AIDS/HIV.
“World AIDS Day is held on [December 1st] each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died (worldaidsday.org).”
As a way to speak on AIDS/HIV awareness, I thought it would be unique to remember rap icon and “The Godfather of Gangsta Rap,” Eric “Eazy-E” Wright. Many people do not pay Eazy-E the homage he deserves due to his cause of death.
Hailing from Compton, Eazy-E was the front man of the world’s most controversial music group, N.W.A. (N*ggaz With Attitudes). In February 1995, Eazy-E was admitted to the hospital for what he believed was asthma. Later, doctors diagnosed Eazy-E with AIDS. On March 16, 1995, Eazy-E publicly announced his illness and shed light on how he contracted the disease. In his statement, Wright said:
“I’m not religious, but wrong or right, that’s me. I’m not saying this because I’m looking for a soft cushion wherever I’m heading. I just feel I’ve got thousands and thousands of young fans that have to learn about what’s real when it comes to AIDS. I would like to turn my own problem into something good that will reach out to all my homeboys and their kin because I want to save [them] before it’s too late…Before Tomika (his wife at the time of diagnosis), I had other women. I have seven children by six different mothers. Maybe success was too good to me (BaltimoreSun, 1995).”
On March 26, 1995, just one month after his diagnosis and one week after releasing his statement, Eric “Eazy-E” Wright lost his life to AIDS. He was 31-years-old. Eazy-E was one of the first entertainers to reveal to the public eye that he contracted the AIDS disease and the desire to educate his fans about AIDS/HIV.