Tomica Woods is more than just the widow of Eazy-E, the rap legend and founder of Ruthless Records.
She is also the owner and CEO of the record company that pioneered gangsta rap and launched the careers of artists like N.W.A., Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and The Black Eyed Peas.
Since inheriting Ruthless Records after Eazy-E’s death in 1995, she has faced many challenges and successes in running the label and keeping her husband’s legacy alive.
In this article, we will explore her life story, her achievements, and her impact on the rap and hip-hop industry.
Quck facts about Tomica Woods
|Full name||Tomica Woods-Wright|
|Birthdate||December 7th, 1969|
|Birthplace||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Education||Degree in media studies and management from West Los Angeles College|
|Career||Owner and CEO of Ruthless Records|
|Ruthless Records||Founded by Eazy-E and Jerry Heller in 1987|
|Inheritance||Inherited Ruthless Records after Eazy-E’s death in 1995|
|Achievements||Restructured the label, hired new staff, sought a better distribution deal with Epic Records, expanded the artist roster, and introduced new talent|
|Successful Artists||Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, The Black Eyed Peas|
|Personal Life||Married Eazy-E in 1995, had two children together, did not contract AIDS from him|
|Challenges||Lawsuits from Heller, Dr. Dre, and Wright’s former associates. They claimed they were owed money or rights to the label, artists leaving the label or demanding more creative control, learning the ins and outs of the music business.|
|Impact||Helped to keep her husband’s legacy alive, contributed to the success of Ruthless Records and the careers of many rap and hip-hop artists|
Early Life and Education
Tomica Woods was born on December 7th, 1969 in Los Angeles, California.
Her parents divorced when she was young, and she divided her time between different homes, including some time in foster care when her parents were unable to care for her.
She attended high school at San Fernando Valley High before enrolling at West Los Angeles College.
There, she earned a degree in media studies and management, which would prove useful for her future career in the music industry.
After graduating, Woods worked in several departments in the music industry, including as an executive assistant to legendary music executive Clarence Avant at Tabu Records.
Tabu handled artists like the S.O.S. Band, Cherelle, and Alexander O’Neal.
When Avant accepted a position as chairman at Motown Records in 1993, he took Woods with him. Avant recognized Woods’ potential and mentored her in the business.
Relationship with Eazy-E
Woods met Eric Lynn Wright, better known as Eazy-E, at a Los Angeles nightclub in 1991.
Wright was already a rap superstar, having released Straight Outta Compton and Niggaz4Life with his group N.W.A., which included Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and DJ Yella.
Straight Outta Compton was considered one of the most influential albums in rap history, introducing the world to Cali-style gangsta rap.
Woods was not immediately impressed by Wright, and she did not know who he was at first. But their paths continued to cross, and she soon fell for his charm and personality.
They dated for four years, during which they faced many challenges, such as Wright’s reputation as a ladies’ man (he had nine children by eight different women), his legal troubles (he was arrested several times on drug and weapons charges), his feuds with former N.W.A. members (he dissed them on his solo albums), and his health issues (he suffered from asthma).
Despite these difficulties, they loved each other deeply and supported each other’s careers.
They got married on March 14th, 1995, just 12 days before Wright died from AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of 31.
Woods was pregnant with their second child at the time (their first child was born in 1993).
Wright had learned about his diagnosis only a month before his death, and he kept it a secret from most people until he released a public statement on March 16th.
Did Tomica Woods-Wright contract AIDS?
Tomica Woods-Wright did not contract AIDS from her husband Eazy-E. She and their children underwent virus testing when Eazy-E was diagnosed with the disease, but none tested positive.
She does not have HIV/AIDS as of 2023.
Inheritance of Ruthless Records
Wright left behind a rap empire that he had built from scratch: Ruthless Records.
He founded the label in 1987 with his friend Jerry Heller as his manager.
The label was one of the most successful independent labels in rap history, selling over 100 million records worldwide and earning over $15 million annually at its peak.
Ruthless Records introduced the world to artists like N.W.A., Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Above the Law, The D.O.C., J.J. Fad, Michel’le, Kid Frost, and The Black Eyed Peas (formerly known as Atban Klann).
Wright also released solo albums under his own name, Eazy-E, such as Eazy-Duz-It and It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa.
After Wright’s death, Woods inherited Ruthless Records as his sole beneficiary.
She faced many challenges and obstacles in running the label, such as lawsuits from Heller, Dr. Dre, and Wright’s former associates who claimed they were owed money or rights to the label.
Woods also had to deal with artists leaving the label or demanding more creative control.
She also had to learn the ins and outs of the music business, which was dominated by men who doubted her abilities and credibility.
But she proved them wrong.
She restructured the label, hired new staff, sought a better distribution deal with Epic Records, expanded the artist roster, and introduced new talent that would broaden the type of music the label embraced.
Some of the successful artists and albums that Ruthless Records has produced under Woods’ leadership are:
1. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
The rap group from Cleveland that blended harmonies with hardcore lyrics.
They sold over 50 million records worldwide and won a Grammy Award for their hit song “Tha Crossroads”. Their albums E. 1999 Eternal, The Art of War, and BTNHResurrection were all certified multi-platinum by the RIAA.
2. The Black Eyed Peas
The hip-hop group that became one of the best-selling and most popular groups in the world.
They sold over 80 million records worldwide and won six Grammy Awards for their songs like “Where Is the Love?”, “Let’s Get It Started”, “My Humps”, and “I Gotta Feeling”. Their albums Elephunk, Monkey Business, and The E.N.D. were all certified multi-platinum by the RIAA.
The rapper and producer who gained fame for his sharp lyrics and controversial videos.
He founded his own label, Funk Volume, in 2009 and released several albums, such as Raw, Knock Madness, and Pound Syndrome.
He also collaborated with other artists like Tech N9ne, Dizzy Wright, and Jarren Benton.
4. Tamar Braxton
The R&B singer and reality TV star who is the youngest sister of Toni Braxton.
She signed with Ruthless Records in 2012 and released her second album, Love and War, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart and earned her three Grammy Award nominations.
She also released two more albums, Winter Loversland and Calling All Lovers.
5. Big Chan
The female rapper who was discovered by Eazy-E in 1994 and became part of his group Ruthless Family. She released her debut album, My Time to Shine, in 2006 and collaborated with other artists like MC Ren, DJ Yella, Kokane, and Layzie Bone.
Tomica Woods Net Worth
Tomica Woods’ net worth is estimated to be between $5 million and $15 million as of 2023.
She earned most of her wealth from serving as the owner and CEO of Ruthless Records since 1995. She was also a co-producer of the film “Straight Outta Compton”, which grossed over $201 million worldwide.
Legacy and Impact
Woods has not only preserved and honored Eazy-E’s legacy, but also contributed to the rap and hip-hop culture in her own way.
She has influenced other female entrepreneurs in the music industry who aspire to follow her footsteps.
Woods has supported social causes and charities that are close to her heart, such as AIDS awareness, education, and women empowerment.
She was also involved in the production of the film Straight Outta Compton, which depicted the rise and fall of N.W.A. and Eazy-E.
The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $201 million worldwide and earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Tomica Woods is a remarkable woman who has overcome many challenges and achieved many successes in her life.
She is the owner and CEO of Ruthless Records, the record company that pioneered gangsta rap and launched the careers of many rap icons.
Woods is also the widow of Eazy-E, the rap legend and founder of Ruthless Records, whom she loved and supported until his death.
She has preserved and honored his legacy, as well as contributed to the rap and hip-hop culture in her own way.
Woods has influenced other female entrepreneurs in the music industry, supported social causes and charities, and co-produced the film Straight Outta Compton.
She is a role model for many people who aspire to follow their dreams and make a difference in the world.