November 4, 2008

My Gut Reaction: Eazy-E - 5150: Home 4 Tha Sick (December 28, 1992)


In 1992, after N.W.A.'s promotional efforts for their final group effort Elif4zaggin had played out, the group disbanded. DJ Yella remained by Ruthless Records president Eazy-E's side, although he had to take on a part time job as an overnight stockboy at OfficeMax, since there wasn't really a whole lot for him to do. MC Ren, the Villain in Black himself, hid in the background and faded into the color of the studio walls. And Andre Young, professionally known as Dr. Dre, left the label in a most colorful way: he had his new friend Marion "Suge" Knight threaten Eazy-E and Jerry Heller with repeated acts of violence until Eazy agreed to release Dre from his contract (although Eazy still retained a portion of Dre's publishing, a fact that a lot of folks tend to forget.)

As the hip hop media was busy wondering what Dr. Dre was going to do with his own label, the newly formed Death Row Records (more on that at a later date), Eazy-E quickly released 5150: Home 4 Tha Sick, an EP which essentially served as his second solo release. It featured four songs primarily written by associates of Eazy-E, such as rap crews Above the Law and, oddly, Naughty By Nature (although Eazy does appear in the video for "Hip Hop Hooray", so that actually isn't too odd, now that I think about it), and an introductory skit, which Max fucking loves. I can't imagine that this shit sold any copies, given the fact that its timing was completely wrong: it was released right after Dr. Dre's The Chronic and was quickly overshadowed.

It was overshadowed to such a degree that I didn't even know this thing existed until after I had written about Eazy's debut, Eazy-Duz-It. I had (naturally) assumed that Eazy-E's catalog jumped straight to the EP in which he disses the shit out of Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg, as a response to Dre's "Fuck Wit Dre Day" and its hilarious video (which actually features Steve Berman, Eminem's label foil for numerous albums, as the Jerry Heller-esque evil white guy). Luckily, it wasn't too hard to find: copies of 5150: Home 4 Tha Sick actually littered the used rap CD section of my local shop, and it was super-cheap, although, for the sake of my two readers, you should also know that the remastered reissue of Eazy-Duz-It includes this EP in its entirety as bonus tracks.

1. INTRO: NEW YEAR'S E-VIL
A potshot at Dr. Dre, but not as aggressive as you might assume.

2. ONLY IF YOU WANT IT
The beat, allegedly produced by all three members of Naughty By Nature, is actuality really fucking good. So it's too bad that Eric's screeching is intolerable.


3. NEIGHBORHOOD SNIPER
Whomever is actually willing to take the credit for writing Eric's lyrics on this shit (since MC Ren wasn't doing it, The D.O.C. had defected with Dr. Dre, and we should all be aware of what Ice Cube has been up to by now), should be fucking ashamed of themselves. Cold 187um's beat is also a bit too busy for my liking, but that's just me.

4. N----Z MY HEIGHT DON'T FIGHT
The title is the best trait that this bullshit song carries.

5. MERRY MUTHAFUCKIN' XMAS (FEAT ATBANN KLANN, BUCKWHEAT, & MENAJAHTWA)
Only Eazy-E would have the audacity and sheer nerve to write release a Christmas song that's all about fucking, although with a guest artist named Menajahtwa (say it out loud: come on, you know you want to), I suppose I should have seen this coming. By far, the funniest thing about this track is only amusing because of the artists involved: if the Atbann Klann, who are now known today as the Black Eyed Peas, had not become somewhat popular in the years following this EP release (although the girl is still more famous than the other three guys put together, and she was a late addition), then I can honestly say that I wouldn't give a fuck about will.i.am (known as Will 1x back then) and his gleefully ignorant and misogynistic verse, a far cry from the shit he's known for today. Where is the love?

THE LAST WORD: 5150: Home 4 Tha Sick was a waste of my precious fucking time. (You can elect to take that last sentence literally if you'd like.) It may have simply been released to take the spotlight off of the fact that Dr. Dre had left Ruthless Records and the tight, money-grubbing hands of Eric Wright and Jerry Heller, and to steal fans away from Dr. Dre's solo debut The Chronic, which had dropped only two weeks prior, but all it truly proves is that Dr. Dre was the musical backbone of Eazy's label. Sonically, this shit is pretty fucking terrible, and lyrically...well, I realize that Eazy has never written his own lyrics, so I can only dig him out of his grave and verbally abuse his corpse and/or ashes regarding his recitals of said lyrics, but they're still awful. I have it on good faith that even Eazy-E was embarrassed at the existence of this EP. I will never ever listen to this shit again, and neither should you.

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Eazy-E - Eazy-Duz-It

7 comments:

  1. This EP release is good, Max!

    Merry muthafuckin' Xmas is a excellent conception...

    Eazy's lyrics were always more than scandalous, something like the back side of 2Live Crew's Luke Skywalker, but you know it from the start on, when you choose to listen to his music.

    It's not a waste of time, it's more of an example what rappers in the past did (and still do) to attract attention.

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  2. wow. What a bad write up. I thgouth you knew more about hiphop to simply just leave Eazy E off to the side like that... man... Max.. you are mad retaurded for this write up. I had my doubts. But now I know. You are simply nothing more than a Wu Stan.

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  3. Glad you liked the review, cenzi. Always appreciate your kind words.

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  4. the most felonious vocalist in the wide world of showbusinessNovember 12, 2008

    The next one, Cold 187umm Killa, is my shit. If you diss that album me and Cenzi are gonna start a blog dissing your reviews.

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  5. im not listening to some blogger who tells ppl what to buy or not to buy, this shit is a classioc, you dont need reviewers to get ur albums just like you dont need the governmment to control your life

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  6. I like this album. I think it's foolish to compare this EP (3 real songs and a novelty track; i've had cd singles that are longer) to "The Chronic", because OF COURSE Dr. Dre was the musical backbone of Ruthless Records. That much MUST be obvious by the fact that it took YEARS for anybody on the label to release more than an EP. You're right about Eazy's voice getting irritating on "Only if You Want It", but I still like the song. I like the slow beat of "Neighborhood Sniper", and "Niggaz My Height Don't Fight" isn't so terrible I'm forced to reach for the skip button. Merry Muthaphuckkin Christmas is totally ridiculous, but it'll clear out the house of those annoying relatives after the christmas party pretty quickly. It's no "Kill At Will" or "Kizz My Black Azz", but I'd say it's at least worth a burn and a listen.

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  7. Dawg, you crazy for writing off Neighborhood Sniper like that - the verses, the beat, and the video are all incredible - I return to this track often to this day!

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