Despite his Snapple-sized stature, it’s doubtful that another rapper has come along in the last 16 years, who was capable of inspiring the sort of terror that Eric Wright inflicted. The video for “Only If U Want It” wasn’t Eazy at his most menacing. For my loc’s, watch, and Compton hat, that would be “Real Muthaphukkin’ G’s.” However, it’s definitely indicative of how underrated he was as a rapper. His legacy has always suffered from the fact that he never wrote his lyrics, and just as Cube wrote for him in N.W.A., it’s almost certain that Treach wrote “Only If U Want It,” considering he received production credits and Eazy’s spitting in a style endemic to the Garden State circa 93-94. But you only need to see a used bin of Ras Kass records to know that lyrics only get you so far, and Eazy had a deceptively agile flow, charisma, and swag before the word infected our consciousness.

This video always raises some unresolved questions: namely, who ended up winning Eazy E’s Car Hop and Wild and Wet T-Shirt Contest? In the former, my money was on Gangsta Dresta, but it’s conceivable that Blood of Abraham could’ve won in an upset.  The prize for the “Best Wet Juggs” could’ve really gone to anyone, and I won’t bother handicapping.  Judging from the video, it was a buyer’s market for skeezers that summer. Also, it is clear that between grunge and gangsta’ rap, flannel manufacturers endured a serious boom time during the early 90s. On the anniversary of his passing, this weekend let us mourn Eazy the way he would’ve wanted: impromptu wet t-shirt contests and by making our cars jump like Rod Strickland.

MP3:  Eazy E – “Only If U Want It”