It’s been more than 30 years since the seminal Hip Hop album Straight Outta Compton was released, but N.W.A co-founder Eazy-E is still being talked about with equal parts awe and reverence.
Gary Ballen, a cousin of the late N.W.A manager Jerry Heller as well as a stage and production manager for the group, recently sat down with the Murder Master Music Show to tell some never-before-heard stories about his late friend and how he really was larger than life.
“He was short but stocky! He could stand still and do a backflip and land on his feet. His upper body strength was amazing! I saw him knock some guy out at a video shoot. Some big dude was getting in the way at a Michel’le video shoot and Eazy walked up to a 250-300 lbs guy and Eazy knocked him out with one punch.”
On Suge Knight
“One day, Suge walked into my office and closed the door behind him and said, ‘You’ve been disrespecting Dr. Dre and Michel’le and I want you to stop.’ That was the first time I ever backed down from anyone in my life. It was Suge Knight and he was pretty big and menacing at that time.”
On Hiring An Ex-Israeli Soldier To Handle Suge Knight
“The first time I ever saw Mike Klein, it was a picture of him holding up two severed heads. He was one of those crazy Israeli army guys and when I met him, he had a real strong crew of guys who worked for him and they became our bodyguards. Him and Eazy got to be real close because Eazy liked that Rambo mentality and Klein was an expert at everything whether it was karate, fighting or anything. Once he threatened Suge, then everything was all over. The first thing I heard was he told Suge if he ever comes back, he would chop him up and put him in dumpsters all over the city. And the second thing I heard was he told Suge if he ever comes to the office uninvited again, he would leave in a box.”
Listen to more of the interview below.