On this day in Hip Hop history, Eazy-E releases his second solo EP It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa. Released one year after his first EP and a long five years after his debut album Eazy-Duz-It, this album was a response to Dr. Dre’s prolific debut The Chronic. Tensions became high between the two N.W.A. heavyweights and after the groups 1991 split, the beef became public.
The West Coast was in a state of civil war. After NWA’s explosive breakup, its ex-members spared no time to air out their grievances on every other record they released. With Ice Cube attacking the Ruthless Records infrastructure and Dr. Dre siding with the enemy (Suge Knight and Death Row) to bring down all Eazy had built, there was no choice but for Eazy-E to respond as he did. He used the bulk of this album to state his opinion on Dr. Dre and his street authenticity, with each of the eight tracks on the EP attacking Dre’s image, originality, past, and current status in the rap game.
Aside from the disrespect that served as the core of this project, Eazy-E truly flexed his musical muscles with every track. Whether the inspiration surged from his emotional reaction to what was going with his ex-bandmates or simply from him being a seasoned veteran of gangsta rap is uncertain. What can be seen and heard however is that Eazy-E ate his Wheaties before hopping on the microphone to lay down this EP. With this project, we hear Eazy more comfortable with his own flow and who knows exactly where his lane is and how to be the fastest in it. As his final completed work in life, it is a great depiction of his growth and maturity as an artist.
Commercially, the album was a success. Peaking at #5 on the Billboard 200 and claiming the #1 spot on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop chart, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa sold 110,600 copies in its first week and was certified double platinum in 1994.