Through years of being courted by 2 record companies who struggled with knowing how to brand me, there was lots of fun in between. Back then, record companies had money. Your rent was paid and if they believed you were a star, they invested in you for years, even if you were shelved. I’m one of those people. I signed to Warner, Cold Chillin, Rush for Management and A&M Records too, and I worked with the BEST. Many of us were just kids though. I wasn’t really thinking of “making money” because it was a bit weird to me that we would all get paid to do something that we loved. It didn’t FEEL like work. I remember in Inglewood, CA, and the many nights of endless recording and FUN with Trey (from the Pharcyde). We played too much. Like kids away at college, we were spoiled teens and the record labels serenaded us. But there was one friend who came into my life and taught me the music business and that at some point, real life would set in. To you, his name is Eazy E. To me just Eric.
I somehow remember meeting Eazy while dancing at a club in LA. I was with my A&R, Chris Boyd, from A&M Records. Eazy was there. Or maybe it was Eric who took me along with Chris. I can’t remember, but it was 89 or 90. I was a NJ/NY girl who talked too much. So, you had to watch me, especially in LA. The culture was different and I needed to be guarded. So, my cousin Sonya, who’s deceased now too, asked Eazy to look out for me. She worked at CNN. Priority was in the same building and ASCAP. So, Jerry Davis at ASCAP and Eazy became my babysitters because I wasn’t 21 and couldn’t get into clubs. Eazy adopted me and he laughed at me most of the time. Our accents were strong. I didn’t understand him and he didn’t understand me. But our HEARTS were in the right place. So, we bonded. And even though I’m sure I was a pest at times, he loved me and became the best mentor I could’ve ever asked for and what I REALLY needed at the time. Guidance.
I don’t talk much about his death because I cry on the spot. I imagine I will always be traumatized by his passing. Somehow I don’t know if I’ll ever fully heal from losing him, but he sowed seeds into me that make me the Portia and PKFaith many see today. I wasn’t mature then. I was young, naïve, and just wanted to have a good time doing what I loved to do. But Eazy was a businessman. In fact, I would often get bored while he conducted business. What made our relationship special was I wasn’t a groupie. Due to being raised in music and being an artist too, Eric could REALLY be himself. Our friendship was always CAMERAS OFF. I didn’t need anything from him and I imagine, a confidant sometimes is what he needed most. More importantly, it was relief to be with a man who wasn’t coming on to me. Who was just ok with loving me without wanting SEX; without motives.
Today, I’m going to see Straight Outta Compton. I’m emotional about it. To you it's a movie. To me, possibly loads of memories that will spark hurt, maybe anger. When Eric died, I was hounded with calls about him because people knew Eric and I were close. Instead of people consoling me and explaining to me what was happening, I got a lot of “Did you sleep with him Portia??!?!” And while I didn’t have a physical relationship with him, I was so disturbed that I was even asked. He died quickly and it hurt that some of the people that came around in the end, were people who actually hurt him AND he never met to begin with. All of the questions about AIDS, the women and the conspiracy theories and "we're" friends. IT JUST HURT. ALL SO BAD, particularly because Eric felt alone and abandoned by some friends even before knowing he was sick.
When I saw Eric last, he told me about getting married and I was happy for him. He ensured me she was the one and wanted to do it. I told him I’d come to Cali soon to meet her and hang out. I was with him and Bones, Thugs and Harmony in New York. We ate dinner at the Hard Rock Café. Hung out a few hours. Drove around NYC in a cab. All piled into a yellow taxi and it was COLD. Me on Eric’s lap. And I said goodbye at the hotel. He didn’t want me to go and while I found it to be strange at the time, I think he needed me and one of our safe talks. I never saw him again. Between Eric, my stepfather, Pac, Yaki, my grandmothers, my uncle Marshall, my boyfriend, my heart was simply broken. I lost them all, and through this pain, I now minister.
I hear the movie is good. My mom is taking me. She remembers him and in fact, broke the news to me about his death. What I want people to know about Eric is he was a really good guy. I am certain people see gangster. So many other images, but I never saw anyone else other than a bright, focused, loyal, forgiving, fair, respectful, loving family man who was a great son, brother, father, and friend. Not perfect, but a great heart.
To you he is Eazy E. To me, he was just Eric. And I miss him deeply.p