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Is Tyler, the Creator a modern-day Eazy-E?

By Hardcore Critic
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

It was the brainchild of Eazy-E which first made the now-resurgent Los Angeles hip hop scene relevant in the first place. Representing Compton, Eazy-E assembled some of the local talent to form NWA. The group built their own record label and began releasing music on the independent level. Soon, they established a distribution deal with Priority Records and took over the rap game.

Perhaps the Los Angeles hip hop scene needed Eazy-E because things went downhill and fast, following his death. The tragic murder of Tupac Shakur sent Death Row Records into a tailspin. Dr. Dre was starting his own label, basically shutting himself off from the other artists out West. Ice Cube had found more success on the big screen than with music, so his focus also wandered.

Following an extremely-dominant period, the West Coast hip hop scene struggled for fifteen years. Snoop Dogg remained one of the biggest names in the game, but aligned himself with rappers from other regions. Game has been able to break through and have success, but he has not developed any popular artists of his own, and he has not collaobrated with many up-and-coming artists from the “New West.” Obviously, it was up to these new artists to make things happen for themselves. Tyler, the Creator realized this and made things happen for himself and his crew.

Clearly, Tyler, the Creator and Eazy-E were two different type of artists. However, their background and their goals are not very different, as both saw rap music as a way to escape the streets of Los Angeles. Taking the style of music out of the equation, Tyler, the Creator and Eazy-E’s career paths almost seem identical. Both united local talent in their neighborhood, forming a group. After starting a group, they followed with a record label. Once the records began selling, both opted for a distribution deal, as opposed to a record deal. Finally, both are controversial, but for highly different reasons.

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