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Rap's Bad Boy to Get Lunch With the Prez

March 18, 1991|CHUCK PHILIPS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Guess who's scheduled to lunch with the President of the United States today?

Compton's most notorious rap entrepreneur, Eric Wright--better known as Eazy-E, founder of the controversial rap group N.W.A.

Wright, who also owns Hollywood-based Ruthless Records--has been invited by Republican Senate leader Bob Dole to attend an exclusive luncheon today in Washington where President Bush is scheduled to speak to the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle.

The last time Wright heard from anyone from the federal government was in 1989, when an FBI official sent a letter to N.W.A.'s record company--Los Angeles-based Priority Records--claiming that a song on the group's "Straight Outta Compton" album encourages violence against law enforcement officers.

The rapper's gangster image has infuriated so many law enforcement agencies around the nation that police officers in some cities have refused to provide security at N.W.A. concerts.

Wright, 23, a self-professed ex-gangster and former drug dealer, received his invitation to the closed-door fund-raiser after he contributed $2,490 to the Republican Party at the urging of Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), said Wright's spokesman, Norman Winter.

Wright, Gramm and Dole were unavailable for comment Sunday.

Sources suggested that Wright's name may have been taken from fund-raising lists, pointing out the rapper donated $10,000 last year to a City of Hope charity banquet in Los Angeles. Winter said that Wright is a big "Bush fan" and departed on a flight Sunday to attend the luncheon.

The Inner Circle is a group of Republican campaign contributors--including brewing magnate Joseph Coors, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, retailer Sam Walton and former Secretary of State George Shultz--that meets on a regular basis to discuss national and regional topics in a "comfortable mix of business and social settings," according to Dole's letter.

"Elizabeth (Dole) and I," wrote Dole, in his Feb. 8 invitation to Wright, "are looking forward to seeing you in Washington on March 18."

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