After Cube dropped four niggas and started making all the dough, N.W.A. was still able to pick up the pieces and drop two controversial and very commercially successful projects without him. But by 1992 the seams begin to fall apart within the group, as Dre and Eazy (rip) fell out and begin to feud. Ren, who was a neutral party in the beef, was the first to release a solo project after the break up, with his solid debut ep Kizz My Black Azz (read my thoughts on it here). Eazy and Dre would both release their projects on the same day, but we’ll start with Eazy’s first solo project since his 1988 debut Eazy-Duz-It (an album I’ve still never heard in its entirety), an ep titled 5150 Home 4 Tha Sick.
5150 is a 5 song ep (even though the front cover calls it a “maxi-single”) which includes production from Naughty By Nature, Cold 187Um (I’ve always loved that moniker), Bobcat and Dr. Jam. With the exception of the last name (only because I’m not familiar with any of his work), the producer list looks pretty impressive. Unsurprisingly, the project would go on to earn Eazy a gold plaque.
This is my first time listening to 5150 in its entirety. I found it a few years ago for a few dollars at one of the spots I frequent, and since one of my collection projects is to collect all the albums of each member of N.W.A, I picked it up.
If all else fails, at least the beats on 5150 will bang. Right? Right??
Intro: New Year’s E-Vil – A distorted vocal Eazy E opens the show wishing everyone a Happy New Year and, without mentioning his name, extends a big middle finger to Dr. Dre.
Only If You Want It – This was the lone single from 5150. Naughty By Nature is credited with producing this one (which means Kay Gee hooked up the instrumental), and a trained ear can easily (no pun intended) tell that Eazy’s rhymes were penned by Treach. As dope of an emcee as Treach was in the early nineties, not even his pen could make Eazy sound good on the mic. The hook walks a fine line between annoying as shit and super catchy. The instrumental is kind of nice, though.
Neighborhood Sniper – Over a barely average Cold 187Um instrumental, our host goes on a killing spree and gives himself the moniker in the song title. Eazy sets the mood by sniping Rodney King for his “can we all get along” speech, during the song’s intro. I wasn’t impressed by this one.
Niggaz My Height Don’t Fight – As you probably already figured out by the song title, our vertically challenged host uses this one as an excuse (or a warning) to why he doesn’t fight but will pump yo’ ass with led from his 9mm if you test him. Bobcat’s instrumental is kind of decent, but you’ll still forget everything about this song as soon as it fades out.
Merry Muthafuckin’ Xmas – I guess since the album was going to be released less than 2 week before Christmas, Eazy thought this would be a good idea. In all actuality, it’s a hot mess. I found it interesting that the king of dirty poetry Dolemite (Rudy Ray Moore), makes a brief appearance at the beginning of the song before being interrupted by some foul mouth chick. Also, Buckwheat from the Wascals (who made a few cameos on Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride) spits a few decent bars about Christmas and his two front in the middle of the song. Still, this was a hot mess.
I’ll keep this short and simple. 5150 Home 4 Tha Sick is pretty much a complete waste of time. Respect to the dead, but Eazy was never a decent rapper and the only instrumental on the EP that really works is Naughty’s on “Only If You Want It”. I can’t even use my go to “this would have fared better as an ep” line, because it is an ep.