On Thursday (Aug 12), WE Tv premiered The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E, a four-part limited series, under the guidance of his daughter Ebie, more than 26 years after his death. Billboard speaks to Ebie about the show and the conspiracy theories behind her father’s death.
On Thursday (Aug 12), WE Tv premiered The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E, a four-part limited series, under the guidance of the legendary rapper’s daughter Ebie, more than 26 years after his death. In March 1995, it was reported that the N.W.A. frontman, born Eric Wright, had succumbed to AIDS after a month-long hospitalization at LA’s Cedars Sinai, but many remain skeptical of what has been claimed as his cause of death.
In the first episode, “My Own Father’s Death,” Ebie shares, “I feel like a lot of my father’s accomplishments have been overshadowed by his death — but I’m hoping that once we get to the bottom of this, he can finally be highlighted in the way he deserves.”
On the premiere, viewers hear details from the publicist who worked at Cedar Sinai at the time of his hospitalization, a behavioral analyst, and Eazy’s artist B.G. Knocc Out. Ebie says there’s more to come, although The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E won’t necessarily reveal the reality of the situation. “This series is a good introduction to my story,” she tells Billboard. “It covers conspiracy theories, but I don’t feel it covers my personal journey and story enough.” (She mentions generational differences with certain family members in the episode, insisting that regardless of their hesitation to challenge “fishy” inconsistencies, she vows not to stop pushing until the truth is found.)
Either way, Ebie is doing exactly what she feels her father would approve of in this moment. “I think that he would tell me to own everything of my own,” she says thoughtfully. “Be independent just like he was, and stand up for what I believe in.”
What made you decide to split The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E into four parts for the public?
I didn’t. It was never specifically intended to be this four-part limited series, to be honest. In this four-part series, you actually don’t get everything. You don’t get the full scope of the story, or what I’ve been through, or how my father’s death ultimately affected me. This series has honestly turned into more so me delving into all of the viral conspiracy theories that I feel have overshadowed the truth.
How did the production team decide on what would be in each part?
That wasn’t decided. It was more of a real-life investigation. Obviously, I have a real story and I knew a lot of these things about my father. We documented a lot of what I went through and experienced, as well as my mom’s story and a lot of what she saw, and the court dealings that took place right after my father passed away. So there were a lot of things in real life where we were just going through the motions and we really filmed and captured everything. That was then edited down into four parts.
It was broken down to focus on those specific viral conspiracies that are out there and very popular. The Suges [Suge Knight], and the Jerrys [Jerry Heller] and the government and all these things that people just kind of came up with their own opinions based off of things that they didn’t really know. I don’t think that it breaks down my actual theory, what I feel and my real investigation, to be honest.
Are you able to share what your personal theory is? Or would you prefer that people watch the show and put it together as the series progresses?
I don’t think that you’d get my personal theory or deep into my story out of the show, unfortunately. So that’s something I would talk about once this series is done. But I do just want to make it clear — this limited series The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E is not A Ruthless Scandal, which is the documentary that I’ve been talking about doing for 15 years. It’s been in the media everywhere. It’s what I did my Kickstarter for, and it’s what this was originally intended to be. It turned into just covering the viral internet conspiracies.
What’s that 15-year process been like for you? Doing all that research on your own, and you were just a little girl when your dad passed — that has to be hard emotionally.
Oh, absolutely. Obviously, I was a little girl when he passed — but my mother was a grown woman, and I’m grown now. It’s been a long time, and my father was so iconic, and he’s still so relevant that people don’t realize how much time has passed. They don’t know how much I’ve experienced, and how much I’ve gone through, as well as my mother. This series and also A Ruthless Scandal – these things aren’t just my opinion. There was a real investigation done. These are real facts. We talked to a lot of people. With A Ruthless Scandal, what I was trying to do ultimately was me speaking with people and me showcasing all the real facts — and The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E walks in conspiracy theories.
Are you following the conversation online following the premiere of the series? A lot of people agree that Eazy-E’s death was deserving of further investigation.
I actually haven’t gotten a chance to see a lot of the stuff that was on the internet [after the premiere]. But just me having a background in television and dealing with this whole thing, because it’s all been out in the media for so many years, I’ve seen people’s comments, theories and opinions.
It all gets a little overwhelming sometimes, honestly, because it is my real life. It’s painful, and it’s something I know a whole lot more about than the rest of the world and more than what’ll be shown in this limited series. This is really short, you know? Only four parts, so it’s difficult for me — but also comforting to know that a lot of people agree that something fishy happened, because it did. It 100% did, and that’s really what I wanna accomplish with this.
I think that this series is a good showcase for a lot of the world that didn’t know and was questioning what exactly happened to my dad. I feel that Straight Outta Compton was a really good movie to get the story of N.W.A. out there, but it never really went deep into my dad’s story, specifically touching on his death. But it still brought them back to the forefront, bridging the gap between generations, his generation as well as mine, and younger people that didn’t really know the history of N.W.A.
There’s a world of Eazy-E fans who’ve kept up with me throughout the years as they’ve been excited to get a story out there. And they’ve even been doing some digging themselves into the story, and sharing things that they’ve come up with — because this is what super fans do, because they loved him. But there’s a world of other people who just feel like he just died how he died and nothing else happened and I feel like this is good for them to know: “No. Not at all. We definitely feel that something happened to him.“ And it ultimately affected us afterwards.