Ruthless is an American record label, founded by Eric "Eazy-E" Wright and Gerald "Jerry" Heller. The record label was founded in Compton, California in 1986. Ruthless Records since its inception has been a subsidiary of Inc.. All Ruthless Records trademarks are owned by Comptown Records Inc; the label's acts over the years have earned RIAA certifications of Platinum or higher on 15 of its released albums, including releases by N. W. A, Eazy-E, MC Ren, The D. O. C. Michel'le, J. J. Fad, Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony. Ruthless was formed as a vehicle for releases by N. W. A, as well as member and cofounder Eric "Eazy-E" Wright. W. A's "Dopeman", "8-Ball" and "Panic Zone", introductory to the group's N. W. A. and the Posse, a compilation album released under the group's name, albeit not on Ruthless. It put out singles by underground California acts such as Frost and J. J. Fad, but the label's 1st full-length release was N. W. A's Straight Outta Compton, certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA. Following this was the release of Eazy's solo debut, Eazy-Duz-It.
As the six members went on tour in support of their project, some began to voice their displeasure with the financial situation at Ruthless. According to group member MC Ren, it was a common opinion that N. W. A manager and Ruthless co-founder Jerry Heller was the one receiving their due: We felt he didn’t deserve what he was getting. We deserved that shit. We were the ones traveling in vans and driving all around the place. You do all those fucking shows trying to get known, you come home to a fucking apartment. You go to his house, this motherfucker lives in a mansion. There's gold leaf trimmings all in all kinds of other shit. You’re thinking, “Man, fuck that.” Jerry Heller, in his 2006 memoir Ruthless, disputes any allegations of financial misconduct. The label experienced outside pressure due to the group; the success of their song "Fuck tha Police" led to a threatening F. B. I. letter to distributor Priority Records. After coming off tour, group member Ice Cube voiced his opinions on the group's finances.
Though Heller continually claims that everything was in order, has offered them to open the account books to prove his innocence, the ensuing confrontation ended in Ice Cube leaving Ruthless without signing on as a solo artist, which the remaining members proceeded to do. 1988 saw the release of J. J. Fad's gold-certified album Supersonic, produced by founding N. W. A member Arabian Prince and in 1989, singer Michel'le's eponymous self-titled album, The D. O. C.'s critically acclaimed No One Can Do It Better, all produced by N. W. A beat-smiths Dr. Dre and DJ Yella. W. A, producing the 100 Miles and Runnin' E. P. and the group's Niggaz4Life, which reached Platinum status. Above the Law's Livin' Like Hustlers was released during this period. In 1989, Eazy signed hip-hop's first white female rapper Tairrie B to Ruthless' new Comptown label subsidiary, she released her debut album The Power of a Woman in 1990 featuring the single and video for "Murder She Wrote" which Eazy and Philadelphia rapper Schoolly D appeared in.
The album featured guest vocals by Dr. Dre, D. O. C. and future House of Pain frontman Everlast, production by QDIII. Though N. W. A was successful, Dr. Dre was advised by The D. O. C. and the rapper's friend, Suge Knight, that he should leave the label to avoid any possible financial meddling by Heller, offering to extricate Dr. Dre from his Ruthless contract.. Suge succeeded in procuring Dre, D. O. C. and Michel'le's contracts—through illicit means—and proceeded to set up Death Row with Dr. Dre. Now short of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E signed various other acts that would assist him in a subsequent rivalry with Death Row. Gangsta Dresta and B. G. Knocc Out were among the most vocal of these rappers, with DJ Yella,187um and new producer Rhythum D producing. While MC Ren and DJ Yella stayed neutral, they remained with Ruthless. Eazy-E released several high-profile LPs dissing Dr. Dre, including most famously It's On 187um Killa. Producer Big Hutch/Cold 187 um alleges that during this time period, with Ruthless switching distributors from Priority to Relativity and Epic Wright began to feel as though Heller wasn't being honest with the label's finances: When the money started rolling and a lot of cats couldn’t come to the table and renegotiate….
Ya know, it was fucked up! That's. Like Eazy came to me one night and he said “Man, shit is fucked up, man.” Because he was at a point where he was getting played by Jerry Heller. However he added, "... I can't knock Jerry Heller.... He took us to the people to get massive exposure. We couldn’t have walked through the doors as brothers like that. We needed a guy like Jerry Heller to do that. You need that face, you need. Without him there wouldn’t have been none of that..."Eazy-E fired Jerry Heller, shortly before his death. On March 1, 1995, Eazy-E was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, he had just signed the Cleveland, Ohio-based group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, whose 1994 extended play Creepin on ah Come Up was well received by critics and fans. Eazy-E executive produced Bone Thugs' first full-length album, E 1999 Eternal, released shortly after his death on March 26, 1995 of HIV/AIDS in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, their smash 1996 single "Tha Crossroads" was dedicated to Eazy-
Bangin' on Wax
Bangin' on Wax is the debut album by American Hip hop group Bloods & Crips. The album was released in 1993 for Dangerous Records. Bangin' on Wax was a success, making it to #86 on the Billboard 200. Four singles were released "Bangin' on Wax", "Piru Love", "Crip, Crip" and "Steady Dippin'"; the album has sold over 500,000 copies. Music videos were made for Bangin' on Wax, Piru Love and Steady Dippin'; the album was produced by Ronnie Ron, DJ Battlecat, Tweedy Bird Loc and J. Stank
The Crips are a gang based in the coastal regions of southern California. They were founded in Los Angeles, California in 1969 by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. Once a single alliance between two autonomous gangs, they are now a loosely connected network of individual "sets" engaged in open warfare with one another, its members traditionally wear blue clothing, a practice that has waned somewhat due to police crackdowns targeting gang members. Members have been of African-American heritage; the Crips are one of the most violent associations of street gangs in the United States. With an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 members in 2008, they have been involved in murders and drug dealing, among other crimes; the Crips have a bitter rivalry with the Bloods. Stanley Tookie Williams met Raymond Lee Washington in 1969, the two decided to unite their local gang members from the west and east sides of South Central Los Angeles in order to battle neighboring street gangs. Most of the members were 17 years old.
Williams discounted the sometimes cited founding date of 1969 in his memoir, Blue Rage, Black Redemption. Gang activity in South Central Los Angeles has its roots in a variety of factors dating back to the 1950s and'60s, including post-World War II economic decline leading to joblessness and poverty, racial segregation leading to the formation of black "street clubs" by young African American men who were excluded from organizations such as the Boy Scouts, the waning of black nationalist organizations such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement. By 1978, there were 45 Crips gangs, called sets, operating in Los Angeles, they were involved in the production of PCP, marijuana and amphetamines. On March 11, 1979, Stanley Tookie Williams, a member of the Westside Crips, was arrested for four murders and on August 8, 1979, Raymond Washington was gunned down. Washington had been against Crip infighting and after his death several Crip sets started fighting against each other; the Crips leadership was dismantled prompting a deadly gang war between the Rollin' 60 Neighborhood Crips and Eight Tray Gangster Crips which began causing nearby Crip sets to choose sides and align themselves with either the Gangster Crips or Neighborhood Crips waging an all out war in South Central and other cities.
The East Coast Crips and the Hoover Crips directly severed their alliance after Washington's death. By 1980, the Crips were in turmoil, warring with the Bloods and against each other; the growth and power of the gang took off in the early 1980s when crack cocaine hit the streets. In the early 1980s, Crips sets began distributing crack cocaine in Los Angeles; the huge profits from distribution of crack cocaine induced many Crips to establish new markets in other cities and states. As a result, Crip membership grew and by late 1980s it was one of the largest street gangs in the country. In 1999, there were at least 600 Crips sets with more than 30,000 members transporting drugs in the United States; some sources suggest that the original name for the alliance, "Cribs", was a name narrowed down from a list of many options, chosen unanimously from three final choices, which included the Black Overlords, the Assassins. Cribs was chosen to reflect the young age of the majority of the gang members; the name "Cribs" evolved into the name "Crips" when gang members began carrying around canes to display their "pimp" status.
People in the neighborhood began calling them cripples, or "Crips" for short. A Los Angeles Sentinel article in February 1972 referred to some members as "Crips". Another source suggests "Crips" may have evolved from "Cripplers", a 1970s street gang in Watts of which Raymond Washington was a member; the name had no political, cryptic, or acronymic meaning, though some have suggested it stands for "Common Revolution In Progress", a backronym. According to the film Bastards of the Party directed by a member of the Bloods, the name represented "Community Revolutionary Interparty Service" or "Community Reform Interparty Service". Williams, in his memoir, further refuted claims that the group was a spin-off of the Black Panther Party or formed for a community agenda, the name "depicted a fighting alliance against street gangs—nothing more, nothing less." Washington, who attended Fremont High School, was the leader of the East Side Crips, Williams, who attended Washington High School, led the West Side Crips.
Williams recalled that a blue bandana was first worn by Crips founding member Buddha, as a part of his color-coordinated clothing of blue Levi's, a blue shirt, dark blue suspenders. A blue bandana was worn in tribute to Buddha after he was shot and killed on February 23, 1973, which became the color of blue associated with Crips; the Crips have over 800 sets with 30,000 to 35,000 members and associate members, including more than 13,000 members in Los Angeles. The states with the highest estimated number of "Crips sets" are California and Oklahoma and Missouri. Members consist of young African-American men, with some members being white, Hispanic and Pacific Islander. In 1992 the LAPD estimated 15,742 Crips in 108 sets. Crips have served on bases in the United States and abroad; the Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles. A. Brims, Athens Park Boys, the Bishops, The Drill Company, the Denver Lanes. By 1971 the gang's notoriety had spread across Los Angeles. By 1971, a gang on Piru Street in Compton, known as th
Eric Lynn Wright, known professionally as Eazy-E, was an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur. Dubbed the "Godfather of Gangsta Rap", he gained prominence for his work with N. W. A, where he has been credited for pushing the boundaries of lyrical and visual content in mainstream popular music. Born and raised in Compton, Eazy-E faced several legal troubles before founding the Ruthless Records record label in 1986. After beginning a short solo career, where he worked with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, the trio came together to form the group N. W. A that year; as a member of the group, he released the controversial album, Straight Outta Compton, which tackled many socio-political issues. The album has been regarded as one of the greatest albums of all-time, one of the most influential in the genre; the group released their final studio album three years and disbanded shortly after, due to long-standing financial disputes. Eazy-E resumed his solo career, where he released two EPs, which drew inspiration from funk music, contemporary hip-hop, comedians.
He engaged in a high-profile feud with Dr. Dre, before being hospitalized with AIDS in 1995, he died a month after his hospitalization. Eric Wright was born to Richard and Kathie Wright on September 7, 1964, in Compton, California, a Los Angeles suburb notorious for gang activity and crime, his father was a postal worker and his mother was a grade school administrator. Wright dropped out of high school in the tenth grade, but received a high-school general equivalency diploma. Wright supported himself by selling drugs, introduced to the occupation by his cousin. Wright's friend Jerry Heller admits that he witnessed Wright selling marijuana, but says that he never saw him sell cocaine; as Heller noted in his book Ruthless: A Memoir, Wright's "dope dealer" label was part of his "self-forged armor". Wright was labeled as a "thug". Heller explains: "The hood was a dangerous place, he was a small guy.'Thug' was a role, understood on the street. Likewise,'dope dealer' was a role that accorded you certain privileges and respect."In 1986, at the age of 22, Wright had earned as much as US$250,000 from dealing drugs.
However, after his cousin was shot and killed, he decided that he could make a better living in the Los Angeles hip hop scene, growing in popularity. He started recording songs during the mid-1980s in his parents' garage; the original idea for Ruthless Records came. Wright suggested a half-ownership company, but it was decided that Wright would get eighty percent of the company's income and Heller would only get twenty percent. According to Heller, he told Wright, "Every dollar comes into Ruthless, I take twenty cents. That's industry standard for a manager of my caliber. I take twenty, you take eighty percent. I am responsible for my expenses and you're responsible for yours. You own the company. I work for you." Along with Heller, Wright invested much of his money into Ruthless Records. Heller claims that he invested the first $250,000 and would put up to $1,000,000 into the company. N. W. A's original lineup consisted of Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube. DJ Yella and MC Ren joined later; the compilation album N.
W. A. and the Posse was released on November 6, 1987, would go on to be certified Gold in the United States. The album featured material released as singles on the Macola Records label, responsible for distributing the releases by N. W. A and other artists like the Fila Fresh Crew, a West Coast rap group based in Dallas, Texas. Eazy-E's debut album, Eazy-Duz-It, was released on September 16, 1988, featured twelve tracks, it was labeled as West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap and as golden age hip hop. It has sold over 2.5 million copies in the United States and reached number forty-one on the Billboard 200. The album was produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and written by MC Ren, Ice Cube and The D. O. C.. Both Glen Boyd from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and MTV's Jon Wiederhorn claimed that Eazy-Duz-It "paved the way" for N. W. A's Straight Outta Compton. Wright's only solo in the album was a remix of the song "8 Ball", which appeared on N. W. A. and the Posse. The album featured Wright's performing. After the release of Straight Outta Compton, Ice Cube left because of internal disputes and the group continued as a four-piece ensemble.
N. W. A released 100 Miles and Runnin' and Niggaz4Life in 1991. A diss war started between N. W. A and Ice Cube when "Runnin"' and "Real Niggaz" were released. Ice Cube responded with "No Vaseline" on Death Certificate. Wright performed on seven of the eighteen songs on Niggaz4Life. In March 1991 Wright accepted an invitation to a lunch benefiting the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle, hosted by then-U. S. President George H. W. Bush. A spokesman for the rapper said that Eazy-E supported Bush because of his performance in the Persian Gulf War. N. W. A began to split up. Dr. Dre recalls: "The split came, he conquer game. Instead of taking care of everybody, he picked one nigga to take care of and, Eazy, and Eazy was like,'I'm taken care of, so fuck it'." Dre sent Suge Knight to look into Eazy's financial situation because he was beginning to grow suspicious of Eazy and Heller. Dre asked Eazy to release him from the Ruthless Records contract; the impasse led to what repor
H. W. A. is an American all-female hip hop trio, composed of Jazz and Baby Girl, Diva was on replaced by Go-Di. They were active between 1989 and 1994, reformed in April 2012, they gained exposure. The three members came together in 1989 for an independent record label, Drive-By Records to record their first album, Livin' in a Hoe House, released a year later; the album was not a huge success, only making it to #38 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, but the group became known for its sexually explicit lyrics and they were soon signed to Eazy-E's Ruthless Records. They made a cameo appearance in Eazy-E's "diss" song to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, "Real Muthaphuckkin G's". In 1994, H. W. A. Released two EPs — the remix album I Ain't No Lady and Az Much Ass Azz U Want, which reached No. 71 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. After the album ran its course, H. W. A. Disbanded without any further releases. In April 2012, according to Jazz, H. W. A. Reformed. Wynn, Ron. Biography of H. W. A. at AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
H. W. A. at Discogs
Compton is a city in southern Los Angeles County, United States, situated south of downtown Los Angeles. Compton is one of the oldest cities in the county and on May 11, 1888, was the eighth city to incorporate; as of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 96,456. It is known as the "Hub City" due to its geographic centrality in Los Angeles County. Neighborhoods in Compton include Sunny Cove, Downtown Compton, Richland Farms; the city is a working class city with some middle-class neighborhoods, is home to a young population, at an average 25 years of age, compared to the American median age of 38. In 1784, the Spanish Crown deeded a tract of over 75,000 acres to Juan Jose Dominguez in this area; the tract was named Rancho San Pedro. Dominguez's name was applied to the Dominguez Hills area south of Compton; the tree that marked the original northern boundary of the rancho still stands at the corner of Poppy and Short streets. The rancho was subdivided and parcels were sold within the Californios of Alta California until the lands were ceded after the Mexican-American war in 1848.
American immigrants acquired most of the rancho lands after 1848. In 1867, Griffith Dickenson Compton led a group of 30 pioneers to the area; these families had traveled by wagon train south from Stockton, California, in search of ways to earn a living other than the rapid exhaustion of gold fields. Named Gibsonville, after one of the tract owners, it was called Comptonville. However, to avoid confusion with the Comptonville located in Yuba County, the name was shortened to Compton. Compton's earliest settlers were faced with terrible hardships as they farmed the land in bleak weather to get by with just the barest subsistence; the weather continued to be harsh and cold, fuel was difficult to find. To gather firewood it was necessary to travel to mountains close to Pasadena; the round trip took a week. Many in the Compton party wanted to relocate to a friendlier climate and settle down, but as there were two general stores within traveling distance—one in the pueblo of Los Angeles, the other in Wilmington—they decided to stay put.
By 1887, the settlers realized. A series of town meetings were held to discuss incorporation of their little town. Griffith D. Compton donated his land to incorporate and create the city of Compton in 1889, but he did stipulate that a certain acreage be zoned for agriculture and named Richland Farms. In January 1888, a petition supporting the incorporation of Compton was forwarded to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, who in turn forwarded the petition to the State Legislature. On May 11, 1888 the city of Compton was incorporated with a population of 500 people; the first City Council meeting was held on May 14, 1888. The ample residential lots of Richland Farms gave residents enough space to raise a family, food to feed them, along with building a barn, caring for livestock; the farms attracted the black families who had begun migrating from the rural South in the 1950s, there they found their'home away from home'. Compton couldn't support large-scale agricultural business, but it did give the residents the opportunity to work the land for their families.
The 1920s saw the opening of the Compton Airport. Compton Junior College was founded and city officials moved to a new City Hall on Alameda Street. On March 10, 1933, a destructive earthquake caused many casualties: schools were destroyed and there was major damage to the central business district. While it would be home to a large black population, in 1930 there was only one black resident. From the 1920s through the early 1940s, the Compton area was home to a sizable Japanese American population, a large proportion of whom were farmers. Shortly after President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, Compton residents of Japanese descent were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated for the duration of World War II. Most were detained at the Santa Anita Assembly Center. In the late 1940s, middle class blacks began moving into the area on the west side. Compton grew in the 1950s. One reason for this was Compton; the eastern side of the city was predominately white until the 1970s.
Despite being located in the middle of a major metropolitan area, thanks to the legacy of Griffith D. Compton, there still remains one small pocket of agriculture from its earliest years. During the 1950s and 1960s, after the Supreme Court declared all racially exclusive housing covenants unconstitutional in the case Shelley v. Kraemer, the first black families moved to the area. Compton's growing black population was still ignored and neglected by the city's elected officials. Centennial High School was built to accommodate a burgeoning student population. At one time, the City Council discussed dismantling the Compton Police Department in favor of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in an attempt to exclude blacks from law enforcement jobs. A black man first ran for City Council in 1958, the first black councilman was elected in 1961. In 1969, Douglas Dollarhide became the mayor, the first black man elected mayor of any metropolitan city in California. Two blacks and one Mexican-American were elected to the local school board.
Four years in 1973, Doris A. Davis defeated Dollarhide's bid for re-election to become the first female black mayor of a metropolitan American city. By the early 1970s, the city had one of the largest conce
The Bloods known as Original Blood Family, are a African-American street gang founded in Los Angeles, California. The gang is known for its rivalry with the Crips, they are identified by the red color worn by their members and by particular gang symbols, including distinctive hand signs. The Bloods comprise various sub-groups known as "sets" between which significant differences exist such as colors, clothing and political ideas which may be in open conflict with each other. Since their creation, the Bloods gangs have branched throughout the United States; the Bloods gang was formed to compete against the influence of the Crips in Los Angeles. The rivalry dates back to the 1960s when Raymond Washington and several other Crips confronted Sylvester Scott and Benson Owens, students at Centennial High School in Compton, California. In response to the attack, who lived in Compton, established the Piru street-gang, the first "Bloods" street gang. Owens established the West Piru street-gang; the Bloods street-gang was formed to provide members protection from the Crips.
Many of the non-Crip street-gangs used to call one another "blood". On March 21, 1972, shortly after a concert featuring Wilson Pickett and Curtis Mayfield, 20 youths belonging to the Crips attacked and robbed Robert Ballou Jr. outside of Hollywood Palladium. Ballou was beaten to death; the sensational media coverage of the crime and the continued assaults by the Crips increased their notoriety. Several non-Crips gangs formed during this period were no match for the Crips and they became concerned with the escalating Crip attacks; the Pirus, Black P. Stones, Athens Park Boys and other gangs not aligned with the Crips clashed with the Crips. On June 5, 1972, three months after Ballou's murder, Fredrick "Lil Country" Garret was murdered by a Westside Crip; this marked the first Crips murder against another gang member and motivated non-Crip street-gangs to align with each other. The Brims struck back by murdering Thomas Ellis, an original Westside Crip. By late 1972, the Pirus held a meeting in their neighborhood to discuss growing Crips pressure and intimidation.
Several gangs that felt victimized by the Crips joined the Piru Street Boys to create a new federation of non-Crips neighborhoods. This alliance would transform into the "Bloods"; the Pirus are therefore considered to be the original founders of the Bloods. By 1978, there were 15 Bloods sets. Crips still outnumbered Bloods 3 to 1. In order to assert their power, the Bloods became violent. During the 1980s, Bloods began distributing crack cocaine in Los Angeles. Blood membership soon rose as did the number of states in which they were present; these increases were driven by profits from crack cocaine distribution. The huge profits allowed members to relocate in other states. "Bloods" is a universal term used to refer to West-Coast Bloods and United Blood Nation. While these groups are traditionally distinct entities both refer to themselves as "Bloods"; the profits of crack distribution allowed the Bloods to spread in other states. UBN started in 1993 in Rikers Island's George Motchan Detention Center to form protection from Latin Kings and Ñetas who were targeting the African-American gang members.
UBN is a loose confederation of predominantly African-American street gangs. Once they were released from prison, the UBN leaders went back to their neighborhoods in New York where they retained the Bloods name and started recruiting members. UBN has between 15,000 members in the Eastern USA region; the gang makes its income through various criminal activities like distribution of crack cocaine, smuggling of drugs into prison, etc. and its gang members are involved in various criminal activities. Bloods refers to a loosely structured association of smaller street gangs, known as "sets", which has adopted a common gang culture; each set has its own leader and operates independently from the others. Most Bloods members are African American males, although some sets have recruited female members as well as members from other races and ethnic backgrounds. Members range in age from early teens to mid-20s. There is no known national leader of the Bloods but individual Bloods sets have a hierarchical leadership structure with identifiable levels of membership.
These levels of membership indicate status within a gang. A leader an older member with a more extensive criminal background, runs each set. A set leader is not elected but rather asserts himself by developing and managing the gang's criminal enterprises through his reputation for violence and ruthlessness and through his personal charisma; the majority of set members are called "soldiers", who are between the ages of 16 and 22. Soldiers have a strong sense of commitment to their set and are dangerous because of their willingness to use violence both to obtain the respect of gang members and to respond to any person who "disrespects" the set. "Associates" are not full members, but they identify with the gang and take part in various criminal activities. To the extent that women belong to the gang, they are associate members and tend to be used by their male counterparts to carry weapons, hold drugs, or prostitute themselves to make money for their set. Recruitment is influenced by a recruit's environment.
Bloods recruit among school-age youth in predominantly poor African American communities. Gang membership offers youth a sense of protection, it offers immediate gratification to economically disadvantaged youth who desire the trappings of gang life