Sussex town embraces new memorial to gangsta rapper

Bandstand view ... the bench was installed this week
Bandstand view ... the bench was installed this week

A memorial to American gangsta rapper Eazy-E has been installed in Newhaven ... though the American has no connection with the town.

It takes the form of a galvanised black steel bench, which arrived at a site adjacebt to the bandstand on Denton Island this week.

Tribute ... the plaque on the bench

Tribute ... the plaque on the bench

The tribute comes after a successful campaign by resident Guy Stevens, who demanded his local council immortalise his hip-hop hero.

He had initially asked for a statue but later admitted this was “a bit tongue in cheek”.

Newhaven Town Council, which admitted it had “no idea” who Eazy-E was, gave him the go-ahead for the bench if he could raise the funds.

The devoted fan launched a global campaign and raised £1,549. Mr Stevens won support from people as far afield as America, Sweden and Portugal.

The Mayor of Newhaven, Cllr Graham Amy, said: “This was a good-hearted jest which has turned into a brilliant gesture. We do need seating at Denton Island and I will certainly be visiting.”

He admitted he didn’t have a clue who the singer was. Cllr Amy added: “I’d never heard of Gangsta Rap – The Beatles were more my thing. I’d love to see a bench with a plaque to John Lennon – Imagine all the people living life in peace.”

The rapper’s bench, carrying a plaque which reads ‘Rest in peace Eric Eazy-E Wright 1964-1995’, cost £1,177 with the remainder of the money raised going to local HIV charities, the Beacon Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust.

The rapper, from Compton California, achieved success with his edgy lyrics in the early 1990s. He died in 1995 at the age of 31.