Rap artist Eazy-E, a significant figure in the commercial advance of “gangsta” rap, has AIDS, his record agency announced Thursday.

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Eazy-E, co-founder of the Compton rap team N.W.A., is one of the very first major music performers come announce he has actually the disease. Health and wellness experts and AIDS activists said his declaration pressures the public face of AIDS into another community, simply as the AIDS fatality of tennis star Arthur Ashe, the HIV diagnosis that Magic Johnson and also the AIDS diagnosis of diving good Greg Louganis have actually touched the world of sports.

“It will reason many human being or youngsters who may have just casually glossed over information about HIV to yes, really look closer,” Bishop Carl Bean, executive director that the decimal AIDS Project, claimed of the singer’s condition.

At a Hollywood news conference, Ron Sweeney, the rapper’s friend and attorney, claimed the singer, whose genuine name is Eric Wright, learned 2 1/2 weeks earlier that he has AIDS. Wright was noted in critical condition Thursday night in ~ the intensive treatment unit in ~ Cedars-Sinai medical Center.

As the musician’s wife, Tomika Wood, stand by crying and also clutching the hands of relatives, Sweeney check out a statement native Eazy-E.

“I’m no religious, but wrong or right, that’s me,” stated Wright, 31. “I’m no saying this because I’m looking for a soft cushion wherever i’m heading. I simply feel I’ve acquired thousands and thousands that young pan that have to learn around what’s real when it involves AIDS.”

Several reporters from publications that specialize in hip-hop music and society wept openly as Sweeney read the statement. Hrs later, laboratory superstar Snoop Doggy Dogg telephoned a regional radio terminal to tell listener he was praying for Wright.

Wood and also Wright were recently married and also have a 1-year-old son. Sweeney said both Wood and also the child have actually tested an adverse for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Wright--a self-described ex-gang member and also former medicine dealer--did not say how he contracted the AIDS virus. But in his statement, he suggested that he had actually had a number of sexual partners. “Before Tomika I had actually other women. I have seven children by six various mothers. Perhaps success to be too an excellent to me.”

Wright co-founded N.W.A. In the mid-1980s with members Andre Young (Dr. Dre), O’shea Jackson (Ice Cube), Lorenzo Patterson (M.C. Ren) and Antoine Carraby (Yella), recording very popular and controversial rap lyrics the featured liberal doses of violence and also obscenity.

With albums such together “Straight Outta Compton” and also “Efil4zaggin” N.W.A. Pioneered the raw, angry style of gangsta rap, advertise West shore rappers come the head of an market that had actually been overcame by East shore artists. The group’s single “F--- Tha Police” attracted criticism native the FBI for its anti-law enforcement lyrics, if its album “Efil4zaggin” to be laced v graphic lyrics about gang life and also misogynistic referrals to women.

The group broke up amid bad feelings several years ago. Eazy-E walk on to document solo albums, and also Ice Cube and also Dr. Dre carved their very own paths come stardom.

Wright’s notice stunned the laboratory world and also comes in ~ a time as soon as rap music is receiving intense an adverse publicity because of the criminal start of several major rappers ~ above assault and murder charges.

Scott Poulson-Bryant, a senior writer through Vibe magazine, stated Thursday’s news “places hip-hop more in the real world that (rap music) seeks to define. Seeing as just how Eazy-E do so many records around all the ladies that the had and how he treated them, it’s kind of sad that perhaps this is really just how he lived his life.”

Much prefer Johnson and also Louganis, Wright had an intense connection to young people, Poulson-Bryant said.

“It’s no so much that he is a role model, however this will certainly serve together a wake-up speak to to those that listen to his music,” the said.

AIDS in the rap and also rock music businesses has actually taken a short profile contrasted to in other places in the entertainment industry and also the arts. Return celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Barbra Streisand and Elizabeth Taylor have actually been honored because that their efforts on behalf of AIDS education and also awareness, couple of rock stars have actually taken together public stands. Exception have had Elton’s John’s occupational on behalf of AIDS prevention and also Queen singer Freddie Mercury’s announcement the he had AIDS the day prior to he passed away in 1991.

Adario Strange, an elderly editor in ~ the Source, a magazine specialized to coverage that the rap community, referred to as Wright a “part of rap history” and said that he thought that Wright’s walking public may have actually an effect on the rebellious attitude of gangsta rap.

In his statement, Wright claimed he “would favor to revolve my own difficulty into something great that will certainly reach out to every my homeboys and their kin because I want to conserve (them) before it’s as well late.

“I’ve learned in the last week that this point is real and it no discriminate. That affects everyone,” included Wright, who was found to have AIDS after enduring breathing problems. He said he had not well-known he was HIV-positive.

On Crenshaw Boulevard, Kim Smith said she had actually heard rumors that Wright had actually been shot. “That’s words on the street,” she said, expressing surprise that Wright has actually AIDS. “Maybe it is what civilization were saying to go along with his tough guy image.”

Another fan, Tyesha Mohammed, said it was important for rap artist to comment on AIDS. “More civilization should talk about it due to the fact that our people are dying of that every day,” she said.

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“He was one of our own,” Mohammed said. “Him and also N.W.A. Really placed the West shore on the map.”

In the 3 weeks since diver Louganis revealed the he has actually AIDS, the variety of people getting here for cotton HIV trial and error at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian ar Services facility has risen 41%. The news of Wright’s illness will most likely keep those figures high, stated the center’s program director, Darrel Cummings.

Likewise, AIDS Healthcare foundation spokesman Cesar Portillo said, “HIV epidemic is skyrocketing among youth, and also we expect Eazy-E’s announcement will aid the effort to prevent brand-new infections among our young people, specifically youth of color.”