Producers: Cold 187UM, Naughty By Nature, Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin, Dr. Jam, Madness.
Audio Mixer: Donovan Sound.
Recording information: Audio Achievements.
Photographer: Dean Karr.
Publisher: Madeleine Smith.
Distanced from Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, the two artists most responsible for his own success, Eazy-E doesn't have a lot going for him on 5150 Home 4 tha Sick. Released in late 1992, two weeks after Dr. Dre reinvented himself on The Chronic, this brief EP finds Eazy-E in a desperate scenario. He hadn't released any solo material since his 1988 debut album, Eazy-Duz-It, and the runaway success of his former N.W.A associates no doubt left many to wonder what had happened to Eazy-E, who at one point had been the star of the group. The five songs on 5150 unfortunately don't do much to reclaim Eazy's once mighty stature among the gangsta rap scene, especially since "Intro: New Year's E-Vil" clocks in under a minute and "Merry Muthafuckin' Xmas" is a novelty. The remaining songs ("Only If You Want It," "Neighborhood Sniper," "Niggaz My Height Don't Fight") are thankfully good and, above all, curious for how they differ in style from Eazy-E's past work, which had been exclusively produced by Dr. Dre. Three good songs isn't much more than a teaser, however, or more cynically, a stopgap. Overall, there's not much to 5150 Home 4 tha Sick (which, to be fair, prints "maxi-single" in large print on the cover), for the absence of Dr. Dre's production and Ice Cube's and MC Ren's ghostwriting reveals Eazy-E to be a much different, less creative artist than before -- and in a rather uncomfortable position, commercially. ~ Jason Birchmeier