A memorial bench dedicated to NWA member and the man that is known as ‘the Godfather of Gangsta Rap’, Eazy-E, was unveiled in the south of England.
Hip hop enthusiast, Guy Stevens, suggested erecting a statue of the late hip-hop pioneer in the East Sussex town of Newhaven. He started a global campaign which raised more than £1,500 from fans who also wanted Eazy-E remembered by having a statue in their town.
Although the town has no links with Eazy-E and being almost 6,000 miles away from Compton, California, the idea gathered a lot of support. As the idea gained momentum, Guy admitted he initially started it as a joke. Instead, he asked if an engraved bench would be a more suitable way of honoring the Compton legend.
Not wanting to ignore the support for a memorial, Newhaven council approved the plans for the memorial bench. Costing £1,177, they placed it on Denton Island and includes a small plaque which reads; ‘Rest in peace Eric “Eazy-E” Wright 1964-1995’. Any surplus money over from the bench went to HIV charities in the south of England.
More Dedication Benches In The Future?
Since the Eazy-E bench went up in the town, Eazy-E’s daughter has supported it and is appreciative. She even planned to visit before she found out it was in the UK.
Guy, delighted to see Eazy-E remembered in his town, hopes that other towns take note.
He said, “I’d like to see more benches dedicated to Tupac and Biggie in neighboring towns or even here in Newhaven.”
However, the Mayor of Newhaven Graham Amy, was looking to pay homage to artists closer to home. He said,
“I’d never heard of Gangsta Rap, the Beatles were more my thing. I’d love to see a bench with a plaque to John Lennon. Imagine all the people living life in peace.”
Only time will tell if other UK towns and cities follow Newhaven’s example of honoring iconic music figures.