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Ice Cube and the late Eazy-E were once co-members of the pioneering gangsta rap legends N.W.A. But tensions within the group eventually dissolved their relationship and both went on to pursue solo careers.

But despite their contentious relationship, Cube clearly still has love for his former partner-in-rhyme. On Monday (September 7), which would’ve been Eazy’s 56th birthday, Cube shared a painting of Eazy by London-based artist Martin Askem and paid tribute to the legendary MC.

“Happy Birthday homie,” he wrote. “We miss you.”

Speaking to HipHopDX, Askem talked about how satisfying it is to see someone of Cube’s status share his work.

“I’m blessed to see Ice Cube sharing my Eazy-E piece,” Askem told DX in a statement. “It’s a piece of work I did to immortalize Eazy-E and the powerful legacy of N.W.A, a group who’s music is more relevant and needed than ever.

“It’s hugely rewarding to see my work reflecting my ‘Art You Can Hear’ ethos and my goal of creating the largest Hip Hop collection on earth, a permanent record of the history of Hip Hop, which as with my collection keeps evolving and growing. Rest well Eazy-E.”

As Askem explained, “Art You Can Hear is a visual journey designed to take you where the music stops, a visual experience similar to when you would dig in the crates for vinyl, a place of memories and emotions,” something he captures in every painting he does.

Cube left N.W.A in 1989 over royalty disputes, a year after they dropped their seminal debut Straight Outta Compton. The group went on to release one more album, 1991’s Niggaz4Life, but ultimately broke up for good.

Following the split, diss tracks flew from all directions. For example, Dr. Dre released “Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’) in 1992, which included a video featuring a character named “Sleazy-E” who was trying to get his hands on everybody’s money. The barbs continued on Dre’s solo debut The Chronic with “Bitches Ain’t Shit” as well.

Eazy fired back on songs such as “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s” and “It’s On” from 1993’s It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa. 

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