It was more than a month ago when DJ Yella released Straight Outta Compton: My Untold Story, a tell-all book in which he sheds more light on his time with N.W.A.
Among the many highlights in the memoir is Yella’s recollection of Eazy-E’s untimely death in 1995. The 53-year-old DJ/producer said he learned about the tragedy shortly after E was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center—first receiving the news from a friend, and then getting confirmation from E’s team.
“I had found out just a little bit before that” he said in a two-part interview with HipHopDX. “My buddy Big Man told me that he passed, but that really didn’t hit until the lawyer called me. I said ‘OK, this is official, really official.’ When I got the call, I was stunned, shocked. My brother had died, but I was little. I never had a friend that was grown and died. It was a shock. There wasn’t much words to say.”
Yella went on to recall attending E’s funeral shortly after, where he briefly reconnected with fellow N.W.A. founder Ice Cube. He described their conversation as nothing more than “chit chat,” and claimed they never touched on E’s death.
“It was kind of a short talk. Not too much was said when [E] passed,” Yella said. “I can’t remember the conversation very much … It wasn’t nothing. I don’t think we really discussed, even to this day, none of us have discussed E’s death. None of us. We never have. Even on that phone call we didn’t discuss it. It had never been in a conversation between none of them at all. Not one time.”
E’s death has been at the center of controversy for quite some time, as many people have continued to question exactly how the 30-year-old rapper exactly died. Though his cause of death was listed as AIDS-induced pneumonia, conspiracy theorists believe his passing was a result of foul play. These theories were explored in The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E, a new docuseries that both Yella and Cube refused to participate in.
You can read part 1 of Yella’s HipHopDX interview here. Straight Outta Compton: My Untold Story is available now at his official website.