The steady stream of cars, some of them blasting the booming bass guitar and screeching adolescent voice that made him famous, kept rolling slowly down Harvard Boulevard near the First African Methodist Episcopal Church during a funeral  for rapper and AIDS casualty Eazy-E.

A mix of more than 3,000 fans, mothers with their children, longtime friends, casual associates, gang members sporting their colors and record industry insiders watched as church officials and family members wheeled in a gold coffin layered with white roses and lilacs. The entrance line swirled nearly around the corner as security officials pushed back more than a thousand onlookers.

Many of the people who showed up at the service were teen-agers skipping school, hoping to catch a piece of history or get a glimpse of the celebrity spectacle as "gangsta" rap's 31-year-old godfather, whose real name was Eric Wright, was remembered.

Wright, a co-founder of the influential Compton rap group N.W.A., died of AIDS on March 26. In the late 1980s, N.W.A. won acclaim for painting rap's most evocative and fierce portraits of life in Los Angeles at street level.

Of the five former members of the once-world-famous N.W.A., only DJ Yella (Antoine Carraby) was present as a pallbearer in the services. Organizers did not know if two others--Dr. Dre (Andre Young) and Ice Cube O'Shea Jackson)--were in attendance. Cross said the fifth member, MC Ren (Lorenzo Patterson), did not want to attend.

"Ren just didn't want to see Eazy like this," Cross said.