Ruthless' Most Wanted
'EazyDuz It,' Eazy-E... 'Straight Outta Compton,' N.W.A.... 'Efil4zaggin,' N.W.A.... 'Creepin On Ah Come Up,' Bone Thugs-N-Harmony... 'No One Can Do It Better,' The D.O.C....
'EazyDuz It,' Eazy-E
"EazyDuz It" was the debut solo album from late rapper Eazy-E, born Eric Lynn Wright, and is considered the first mainstream gangster rap album. Released in 1988, "EazyDuz It" was produced by fellow N.W.A. members Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and has sold 1.1 million copies in the United States since 1991, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album peaked at No. 12 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and at No. 41 on the Billboard 200. Eazy-E's last solo release was 1995's "Str8 Off Tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton," which topped the R&B/hip-hop chart. Shortly after, Eazy-E died of AIDS at the age of 31. In 2003, the album was remastered and included an EP titled "5150: Home 4 Tha Sick."
'Straight Outta Compton,' N.W.A.
"Straight Outta Compton" was the second album by Compton, Calif.-based hip-hop group N.W.A. (Niggaz With Attitude), and like "EazyDuz It," is considered a pioneering record of gangster rap. Released in 1988, the album—produced by members Dr. Dre and DJ Yella—redefined the direction of hip-hop at the time, shifting powers to the West Coast from the East Coast, which had enjoyed a prominent run for most of the '80s. "Straight Outta Compton" was remastered and rereleased Sept. 24, 2002, and an extended version was released Dec. 4, 2007, the 20th anniversary of the original album. The set has sold 1.5 million copies in the United States since 1991, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Released in 1991, "Efil4zaggin" ("Niggaz4life" spelled backward) was N.W.A.'s fourth and final studio album. It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, spawning such hit tracks as "Always Into Somethin," "Appetite for Destruction" and "Approach to Danger." The album has sold 2.1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Also noteworthy is that the set features only four members of the original lineup, as Ice Cube had already left the group by 1989. N.W.A. disbanded later in '91 after the departure of Dr. Dre and songwriter the D.O.C. In 2003, the album was rereleased in two formats—one featuring the EP "100 Miles and Runnin' " and another with an exclusive DVD.
'Creepin On Ah Come Up,' Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
1994's "Creepin On Ah Come Up" was Cleveland-based Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's first album under the moniker and is most notably known for introducing the group's fast-paced rapping style and harmonizing vocals. Earlier, the act had released the 1993 independent album "Faces of Death" under the name B.O.N.E. Enterprise. But the group's career only took off after it headed to Los Angeles in search of Eazy-E and signed to Ruthless. The album includes the singles "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" and "Foe Tha Love of $," featuring Eazy-E, and has sold 2.8 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
'No One Can Do It Better,' The D.O.C.
Dallas-born the D.O.C., aka Tracy Lynn Curry, was an early affiliate of N.W.A. and the Ruthless family. He originally contributed lyrics and vocals to "EazyDuz It" and "Straight Outta Compton," but in 1989 he released his Dr. Dre-produced debut. The album reached No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 20 on the Billboard 200. Not long after, his vocal cords were severed in a car accident. Although his rap career ended there, the D.O.C. later contributed to Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" and Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle" debut solo albums. He is rumored to be working on Dr. Dre's upcoming album, "Detox," and a comeback album of his own.