Eazy-E may well have been a “dangerous motherf****r raising hell” who was coming “straight out of Compton,” but that hasn’t stopped a small, sleepy town in the UK granting one enthusiastic NWA fan permission to install a bench in the controversial rapper’s honor.
Hip-hop’s all about breaking boundaries, so what better tribute to one of the innovators of the genre than to have a memorial in a little British town where hardly anyone’s ever heard of the man and legend born Eric Lynn Wright.
NME reports that Guy Stevens, who lives in the small Sussex town of Newhaven, hit the headlines last week when he pleaded with his local council to finance a memorial for Eazy-E because it will “add to the town.”
Stevens argued that Newhaven Town Council should erect a statue or mount a plaque honoring the NWA rapper who died in 1995.
Newhaven’s deputy mayor and Beatles fan Graham Amy considered the proposal to be ludicrous, and said he didn’t have a clue who Eazy-E even was.
“I’ve lived all of my life in Newhaven and I’ve never heard of him, not a clue. I’m 72-years-old and more of a Beatles fan than anything. If I had my way I would have statues to them around the town.”
Stevens responded to what he perceived as the deputy mayor’s cultural ignorance by declaring that “the Beatles suck.”
The council has since caved into considerable online support for an Eazy-E memorial in Newhaven and has permitted a bench to be installed in the rapper’s honor on the proviso that Mr. Stevens can raise $3,000 to fund it.
The council has also recommended that a “local Eazy-E tribute act” perform on the bench once it is unveiled.
Stevens has since set up a GoFundMe page for NWA fans to help him in his mission to put Eazy-E on the map. The music lover explained, “It’s a great day not just for myself but for the future of Newhaven. I might push for someone to fly over from America for the ceremony.
“Any funds left over will be given to local Aids charities in the area so this is all for a good cause. Eazy-E is global. This is bigger than Newhaven. He and 2pac are probably the greatest rappers of all time.”
In response to critics who are not fans of Eazy-E’s music and think the bench is a waste of money, Stevens snapped, “They clearly haven’t listened to his song ‘Sippin on a 40.’ Besides which the bench is better than nothing which is pretty much all Newhaven has.”