Author Topic: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)  (Read 1620 times)

TobyTizzle

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Ok, firstly I hope you enjoy this thread, and learn some stuff. Apologies if I doubled up on stuff, i've been adding to this for the last few weeks now... good luck, and pay attention fools!

Death Row Records, came to life originally planned to be called Funky Enough Records, then Future Shock Records, then came under the GodFather Entertainment umbrella, and it eventually became solely known as Death Row Records. It was founded by Dr. Dre & Suge Knight. GodFather Entertainment was founded by Suge Knight, D.O.C, & Harry-O, but he was later cut out of the agreement, and is serving time in jail atm (due out 2006), but GF Entertainment was not relevant once Death Row began anyway…

The Beginning & Ruthless Records
Suge Knight was working as a bodyguard (was also an ex LA Rams grid iron player), as he had plans of starting his own Security Company. He worked many jobs (i.e he was Bobby Brown’s security for around 8 months and then The D.O.C), and earnt a lot of respect as being a no non-sense sort of man. After being around the music industry all the time, he soon decided starting a record label would be something he could do. He knew had a definite vision, and his integrity to get it off the ground needs to be applauded. For a while now he had been doing Security work for Ruthless Records crew NWA (Eazy, Dre, Yella, MC Ren – Cube had already bounced) and had learnt of the rising anger from the artists as they were being ripped off financially, and had some issues going on between them. So Suge got in Dre’s ear, and told him of his vision. For Dre, working for an African American boss was very appealing, as was the game plan Suge laid out for him. The only problem was, Dre was stuck in contract with Ruthless Records, as were artists Michel’le (r&b singer, then engaged to Dre – she had his son) and The D.O.C, whom Dre wanted to bring with him and whom Suge was friends with. Dick Griffey of Sony Records suggested Dre still leave, but continue to produce Eazy E cds, wasn’t such a popular idea lol.


The two who started it all, Dr. Dre and Suge Knight, in a rare picture together

Suge managed Chocolate back before the Ruthless beef got heavy, when he wanted to start Funky Enough Records. The 2 main acts were DJ Quik and Chocolate, who wrote the lyrics to ‘Ice Ice Baby’ that turned Vanilla Ice into a star. Eventually (after some dangling off a hotel balcony) Ice agreed to pay royalties to Chocolate, which eventually helped finance The Chronic. Vanilla Ice’s people initially wanted Chocolate to come on his own for a meeting, Suge ‘had a different program’. Word is Vanilla Ice ran out of the building at the start yelling “the bloods and crips are after me” lmao Chocolate wrote the song in 1988, it was released by Vanilla in 1990. Chocolate also penned the song ‘Born & Raised In Compton’, which after Funky Enough folded was given to DJ Quik by Suge. Suge explained to Chocolate they needed all the money they could get. He tried, but failed. He needed and wanted Dre. So as legend has it, Suge along with a few of his Blood acquaintances paid a visit to Jerry Heller (then owner/CEO of Ruthless Records), Eazy E and other Ruthless execs, with some friendly persuasion and some (insert various weapon names here) and so the contracts were ended, and Dre, Michel’le and D.O.C were all available for Suge Knight to sign, with his new 50/50 partner Dr. Dre. The 50/50 factor was also pivotal in Dre abandoning Ruthless. While on Ruthless, NWA were basically slaves, and had no real say in what was going on with their careers, so this was a change Dre was happy to be undergoing. Ruthless tried petitioning a RICO act against Suge, Dre, Death Row and Sony, RICO acts have been predominantly used in the past to bring down mobsters/mafia types (there are 32 categories and if you are found guilty of 2 you are busted). That’s why Sony never released The Chronic, they got scared Ruthless/Eazy would take legal action if they went ahead with it. Once that happened, Suge and Dick Griffey fall apart.


Deep Cover Soundtrack 1990
This was the Death Row demo tape if you will. It was originally released on Solar Records, so no its not a Death Row release but they did have numerous artists appear on it and used it as a stepping stone. Obviously the title song ‘Deep Cover’ received instant recognition from hip hop heads, as Dr. Dre unveiled his new protégé, Snoop Doggy Dogg to the world. Jewell, The Lady of Rage, Paradise & Emage also appeared on the album. 


Suge and one of his many powerful friends, Mike Tyson

From the start, Suge agreed to be the behind the scenes man who would get his feet wet, and Dre would be the music man who would handle and produce the music. Suge was the man who got sh*t done, while Dre was basically the front man for the company. Harry-O, who was introduced to Suge by his lawyer David Kenner, was also a silent partner, but never really had much involvement after around 92/93. So the dodgy business deals involving Gang members etc were all done by Suge and his new legal aid David Kenner and Dre handled the legit stuff. Rumours went around about Suge’s tactics, but at the time there was no concrete material to go on, and people weren’t willing to talk out about him.

Death Row now had to get their artists together, and the original inmates included Michel’le, Jewell, Lady of Rage, Nate Dogg, Soopafly (more into production at the time, not an artist) RBX, Kurupt, Dat Nigga Daz, Warren G, Chocolate, Lil Malik, Sam Sneed and many more. At this stage (around 1991), no one was actually signed, it was all one big family working on ‘The Chronic’, A few lil’ facts. Nate Dogg signed up (when they eventually did the paper work) for $5000. That’s all lol. He was promised a Dr. Dre produced album and was satisfied with the 5gz. He was planning on going to the Navy, can you imagine him lighting up a fat blunt in David Robinsons quarters? Lol “Ahhh excuse me sir, would you refrain from smoking that evil stick of smoke? GO SPURS!”… Snoop signed through Warren G (Dre’s half brother) passing on there 213 demo (213 was the Long Beach postal code, and was the name for Warren G, Snoop and Nate Dogg’s group in Poly High school) to Dr. Dre. Nate signed due to Snoop. Kurupt signed after he and Snoop had a fierce (and now very famous) freestyle battle. Daz and RBX signed as they were Snoops cousins and there mums wanted them to do something with his life lol. RBX was actually a college graduate (went with Suge) and outsmarted Suge. Suge asked him to sign a blank piece of paper, and RBX didn’t really want to, but understood just a signature can not be used as a contract, so he signed it to shut Suge up. RBX was the first artist to leave the label, and one of the only ones to do so successfully and within a short time frame. Michel’le came coz of Dre, as did Sam Sneed who was introduced to Dre via K-Solo (more on this later) and DOC.

Norman Winters had a promo idea to get the label out there, hiring out Chasen’s in Beverly Hills on Grammy Night and throw a huge party for all music execs. The party ended up costing in excess of $50,000, but was a huge success.

Back to the soundtrack, this is a pissa. Snoop showed up at Dre’s crib/studio, and Dre said we need to record this song in an hour and a half. Dre wanted to submit an instrumental, but was told he had to submit vocals as well. So he needed some new writers to pen a hit, so he asked Snoop and D.O.C (who didn’t show up). When Snoop got there Dre said ‘aiight im going to the gym for an hour and half’ haha, so Snoop had to write it all, Dre just left a piece of paper saying ‘Tonight’s The Night I Get In Some Gangsta Sh*t/Deep Cover On The Incognito Tip’. ‘Deep Cover’ became the standard of music people expected from Dre and his new partner Snoop Doggy Dogg.
 

TobyTizzle

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2005, 10:38:52 PM »
Dr. Dre - The Chronic December 15th 1992


The original Death Row logo as seen on the back of The Chronic

The label (rather Dre) had an idea for the first release, but didn’t have a company to distribute it. There was no point in them putting in all this effort and getting financial backing for studio equipment and time etc, if they couldn’t secure (Sekure ;) lol) distribution, coz the cd wouldn’t sell. Its like you see every 50 Cent and Ja Rule cd in shops, because of good distribution, and therefore they sell heaps, coz its easy to find. Well Dre and Suge knew they would need that in order to succeed. The few record companies they approached weren’t so sure on this thugged out record label idea and passed up on it. So Dre and Suge decided to create the album, THEN take it and ask for distribution, rather than saying ‘this is an idea we have, will you back us’. So The Chronic was made basically under very uncertain conditions, all the hard work could have been for nothing. This was it, make or break. It was sort of like a Death Row introduction compilation, but essentially was a Dr. Dre solo record. There was so much team chemistry around at this point, and it definitely shows up in the music. Dre was one of the biggest names in Hip Hop, this was the smart thing to do, while still promoting all the young talent the label had to offer. Eventually through a bit of luck, Death Row was officially signed to Interscope Records (now known as Geffen). This was when the artists were made to officially sign, and some didn’t (Warren G, Malik etc). It looked like just before the release date that the album would NOT hit stores, but (can’t be stuffed going on bout this) in the end, as we all know it did. The singles ‘Let Me Ride’, ‘Dre Day’, ‘Nuthin But a G Thang’ all become classics and timeless hits, whilst promoting young gun Snoop.


Dre and his new sidekick Snoop Doggy Dogg in Compton, Game fans recognise the pic?

The album was full of Ruthless Records disses, and Snoop was riding pretty hard for Dre, proving he was fully behind the production hero. Gangsta tales, riot references, political messages, the album was pretty full on, and in a way continued on the legacy NWA set out with, but on a larger scale, and a little more accessible to the public (NWA were straight crazy with their lyrics – Death Row had some negative things to say, but they made it sound oh so good lol). This album basically saved Interscope Records as funded them for the next year or so, as it bought in at this time around $50million for the company that was expected to go under. To this day, the album is always mentioned in ‘Classic Album’ and ‘5 Mic’ album discussions, although funnily enough The Source review team gave the album a 4.5. It was re-adjusted to 5, as they claimed they had no idea how people would eventually react to the album. 2 songs were pulled from the cd, one ‘Mr Officer’ (a violent attack on LAPD) and the other ‘Deep Cover’. It was supposed to appear on the album, when Suge and Death Row exercised their option to use one of the Deep Cover soundtrack songs on a Death Row release, genius. But with fear of too many legal troubles they scrapped it. So ‘Bitches Aint Sh*t’ was added late as the amount of songs on the album was already revealed in magazines. That is why BAS isn’t listed on the back of the cd. ‘Rat a tat tat’ was also altered just before release, the Warren G beat that was initially intended to be on the album was removed as Suge had little time for the G Child. Dre re-did the song.

Around this time Snoop was living with then inmate 3-2, and Nate Dogg was camping out at Dre’s house. Dre used to throw WILD parties, but stopped after one resulted in his house catching on fire. At one of these parties Suge slapped Warren G around for being drunk and picking Dre’s security guards brother B.J.

Death Row jack Eazy-E’s Ruthless Radio show
Eazy E used to host a radio show, and one day Daz, Kurupt, D.O.C and Michel'le called up while Eazy was on-air and they had a huge argument. It's a pissa, but showed how Death Row got down, they didnt care about being politically correct ("Im not like lets do lunch" ;))


Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle November 23rd 1993


Snoop, Dre, Dat Nigga Daz, Kurupt

It was this cd and The Chronic that basically saved Interscope from going under, and therefore saved hundreds of quality albums being released to us over the past 12 years.
The Lady of Rage was supposed to be the next up artist, but once the tracks were selected for The Chronic, it was clear Snoop was next in line as he was the key feature on the album. They figured it would be harder to sell a female MC to the world after one semi compilation album, so they would go with young Long Beach Native Snoop Doggy Dogg. They placed a little add in The Chronic that he would be next up, and after the album was released, not to mention his previous work on the Deep Cover soundtrack the streets were fiending for some Doggy Dogg. This album is awesome, a little less dated (music wise) imo than The Chronic. Guests include Lady of Rage, Lil Malik, Warren G, Dat Nigga Daz and Kurupt who formed a group known as Tha Dogg Pound, RBX, old school r&b singers The Dramatics (a little mainstream attention) and some knockin’ D.R.E beats. Some of the songs off this album are now simply party anthems, even someone who’s not a rap fan will no these songs, especially ‘Who Am I (What’s My Name?). ‘Gin & Juice’ kept the party/gang bangin’ scene going at this record label, and ‘Doggy Dogg World’ was a different vibe for the label and helped the album push units.


Snoop and Death Row put westcoast rap on the map for good, after NWA got things going

The album had the record for pre sales up until last year I think, it had a reported 1.1million pre-sales, but that includes pre-orders for shops, and some shops over ordered, so it didn’t end up actually selling as many in its first week. But there were lines outside of shops (Tower Records, VIP most shops throughout LA for example) at midnight the day before release. It wasn’t like these days when everyone’s heard the cd before its out, has a burnt copy in the car etc. The only chance people had of hearing this was either knowing Snoop or Suge (as Death Row were pretty tight with security when it came to taking music out of the studio) or if they listened to 92.3 The Beat with Julio G the night before, as he played the whole album. I mean, how mad would it be to hear that album on the radio the night before release? No one knew exactly what to expect, but it blew them away. As I’ve said, its not as dated as The Chronic, which to me is a closure to the NWA era of music, and Doggystyle was the intro to the Death Row gangsta rap days. The song ‘G’z Up, Hoez Down’ was also pulled from the album due to clearance issues with the sample. But a few of the earlier copies include the song. In my opinion the song is absolutely crazy, you will recognise the sample if you listen to ‘Rain On Me’ by Ashanti from her album last year. They (Isaac Hayes/Burt Bacharach) didn’t wanna clear the sample to Snoop/Death Row at the time because they thought society would be completely against ‘gangsta rap’, but in hindsight I think they would have cleared it, especially considering Doggystyle is considered a classic. The song is so smooth, its so good to hear quality Snoop tunes, as opposed to his talking pimp crap these days.


Snoop and Kurupt flossin it up, and below Snoop tearing it up on stage


Around this time Jesse Jackson (once ran for president) was at Suge’s house and noticed fresh blood all over the carpet. When Suge came into the room, he simply murmured ‘business dispute’. Lol classic, makes me think of Tony Soprano when imagine this.
 

TobyTizzle

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2005, 10:39:23 PM »
WBallz 187.4
The genius behind this = Ricky Harris. The names DJ Sal-T-Nutz & DJ Eazy Dick became famous on Death Row releases (Chronic, Doggystyle, MWTC, Dogg Food, Doggfather) and were actually rather amusing. Ricky Harris featured in the MWTC movie, and has been on most Warren G albums in skits. He can be seen in the Gin & Juice film clip as the father, or in the movie ‘High School High’ as the DJ at the school disco (“what chu got homes?” lol). Funny story. Dee Barnes, his wife was attacked by Dre at a party in 1994. Dee was the host of ‘Pump It Up’ and dissed Dre on it once. She got to this party and everyone said ‘lookout them Death Row dudes lookin for you’ and apparently Dre just socked her. That’s why on ‘Guilty Conscious’ Eminem jokes bout smacking Dee Barnes. It actually seemed like 187.4 was a real radio station, and they worked it so well into the music. They are all relatively funny as well, best skit series along with Bad Boy’s ‘Mad Rapper’ series.


21st Street & LBC


Tha Dogg Pound, Snoop, Nate Dogg keepin it G'd at the AMA's

Death Row became known for a few things, one (due to DPG) was Long Beach, 21st Street, and Crips. Long Beach was put on the map by guys like Snoop, Warren G, Tray Deee, LBC Crew from this era.


Snoop Doggy Dogg up for Murder


Snoop, David Kenner, Shaun Dogg, Johnie Cochran, Malik above, Snoop looking concerned below


Not only did this event help shape Death Row, it glorified their image, there street cred was out of this world at this stage. Snoop, Shaun Dogg and Snoop’s bodyguard McKinley ‘Malik’ Lee Jrn got into an altercation with Phillip Woldermarion, who was shot dead (out of defense). The trial to this case dragged on for over 2 years, but Snoop was eventually aquitted. Snoop’s legal team involved David Kenner AND Johnie Cochran (RIP), it would have been impossible for him to lose. But to put it into perspective, it would be like Eminem or Jay Z going on trial for murder at the moment. Just an uncanny situation. This case was also apart of why Dre left, as Woldermarion’s defence team claimed Dre was there. Dre wasn’t, so all he had to do was come forward but he declined because he ‘don’t do courts too well’. 2pac was hella mad about this when he found out.


Above The Rim Soundtrack March 22nd 1994
This was when Death Row began running the music industry, they truelly crossed over on the charts, but retained their ‘hard’ image. For those of you who havent seen this movie, its full of gang affiliated activities, basketball, and starred the latest West Coast star, Tupac Shakur. It was no co-incidence that Suge got the rights to produce this soundtrack for 2Pac’s movie. Suge had lead charge of this soundtrack, and used it to prove the clout he had earned in such limited time in the cut throat music industry. Suge got some big names at the time on this album including SWV (r&b trio), H-Town, 2nd II None, DJ Rogers, Aaron Hall, to go along with his Death Row artists such as Nate Dogg, Lady of Rage, Warren G (more on this later, he wasn’t ever a Death Row artist but sorta was), Paradise, B Rezell, Dogg Pound, Snoop, Jewell, O.F.T.B, CPO. Not to mention the star of the movie itself 2Pac. ‘Regulate’ by Nate and Warren G was the reason this soundtrack was so successful, as a general rule soundtracks don’t sell well, but Above the Rim went 2x platinum and I’d say now would be just about 3x plat. I mean, cmon, everyone knows the lyrics to Regulate, and its such a chilled out song its awesome to listen to. There is a long story behind this song, and it dates back to before ‘Doggystyle’ was released. Basically, Nate Dogg got screwed, twice lol. He had recorded about 25 songs for his debut album, as all the artists had plenty of time in the studio. So even though Snoop’s album was up next, Nate would take some time perfecting his album. Well Suge found these tracks, and thought they were pretty good and asked (more likely told) Nate if they could ‘borrow’ the songs for the current releases, therefore giving Nate more time to work on other material. The first song Suge gave to someone else was ‘Aint No Fun (If The Homies Cant Get None) that also featured Snoop, Kurupt and Warren G. This song has Nate written all over it, and his trademark is basically the verse from this song. Anyways, Snoop got that on Doggystyle, and it is one of Death Row’s most popular tracks. The second ‘borrowed’ (I’d use the word steal, but I cant be too negative on my buddy Suge lol) was ‘Regulate’. I mean, imagine a Nate Dogg album released in this period with the lead single being Regulate, and having a song like ‘Aint No Fun’ to follow it up?! Certified hits! So imo he got really unlucky, and its from this timeframe he became concreted in the ‘chorus guy’ mode. There is more to this story involving Warren G I will get into later.

The Lady of Rage was given (finally) her chance to shine on this soundtrack, after she was initially going to be the first act out after Dre. Well they released her song from the album ‘Affro Puffs’ as a single, and that too became he most famous song. It had a hard Dre/Daz beat and really hit the spot, showcasing her lyrical talent. The single featured a mean ‘G-Funk remix’ by Dr. Dre with a dope Snoop freestyle at the end, at times I wish this was released instead, but at the end of the day the original is still tight as hell.

I still have a bit of beef with the selection of songs on the actual soundtrack, as opposed to the songs played in the movie. ‘Just Doggin’ Tha Dogg Pound ft. Nate Dogg, ‘Pain’ 2Pac, ‘Loyal 2 The Game’ 2Pac ft. Treach and Riddler, ‘Pump Pump’ Snoop, ‘Holla If Ya Hear Me’ 2Pac are just some of the tight songs featured in the film, that did NOT appear on the album (‘Pain’ was a bonus on the cassette however). Suge went out and got all the guest artists who appeared, basically this album displayed the juice he had in the music industry after so little time being involved in it, amazing.


Murder Was The Case Soundtrack October 18th 1994
What do you follow up a hot soundtrack like Above The Rim with? Another hot soundtrack! And what do you make the soundtrack about when the labels top star is on trial for Murder? Make a film about it of course silly lol MWTC was a short film/doco Death Row Records put out on VHS in 1994. It featured Snoop, C Style, Joe Cool and others. Dre directed it, and this was supposed to be the first in a long chain of Death Row Movies (the original plan under GF Entertainment was to do film). The soundtrack featured Snoop, Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg, r&b quartet Jodeci, DJ Quik, Jewell, Slip Capone, CPO, Lil C Style, Swoop G, Young Soldiers (aka The Relatives), and introduced new young talent like Danny Boy, Sam Sneed, Tray Deee and probably most notably a massive due from ex NWA partners Dr. Dre & Ice Cube. The video for that song (‘Natural Born Killaz’) featured a small cameo from 2Pac, further displaying 2Pac and Suge/Death Row had an affiliation prior to his signing in late 1995. There’s a little story behind this song, originally it was a Dr. Dre & Sam Sneed song, and Dre played it to Cube one day. He was like, damn you gotta get me on that song. So Death Row decided to make it purely Dre/Cube and put it out on the soundtrack as a means of promoting the Heltah Skeltah project. Sam Sneed got jibbed, check the credits he got production and writing credit still, but was removed off a West Coast smash hit.


Jewell having a laugh with Nate Dogg in the background

Jodeci (K-Ci, JoJo, Devente, Mr Dalvin) found their way onto this album due to being under Suge Knight Management. So they were signed to Suge, but not Death Row. He revolutionised the music industry. Jodeci already had a deal with MCA I believe, but Suge went in and re-negotiated their contract and got them a better deal. The same can be said about DJ Quik’s appearance. He and Suge had ALWAYS been cool, and as I wrote earlier Quik was apart of Funky Enough Records, Suge’s first attempt at launching what became Death Row. Quik got a deal after with Arista when it didn’t look like Suge could get anything going, but once he did Suge became his manager. If you look on the back of Quik’s ‘Safe & Sound’ cd, it lists Suge Knight as Executive Producer. Also check the booklet as in the thank you’s it has a ‘Death Row Thanks’ section, where he shouts out the prominent artists on the label at the time as well as Suge. So he was basically an inmate, just not contractually. Suge urged him to keep the controversy spilling, so Quik recorded a HARD diss track for his foe MC Eiht called ‘Dollaz N Sense’. It remains one of the better diss tracks recorded imo “Yeah you left out the G, coz the G aint in you”. The soundtrack featured a little flyer promoting the Murder Was The Case film, and Dre as the new Director in town. They really wanted to continue releasing mini films, but didn’t get around to too many more. I will discuss another one they did do later.
 

TobyTizzle

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2005, 10:39:53 PM »
The 1995 Source Awards in New York
This was another defining occasion for the record company.
Dr. Dre, Sam Sneed, DJ Quik, Lady of Rage, Tha Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg and Snoop combined to do a 10 minute long mini-concert, while DJ Pooh was on the 1’s and 2’s (DJing). It was on this night that Suge made the East/West beef ‘official’ or rather public. For those that don’t know he got up on stage when Death Row were receiving one of their awards and said if anyone wanted to join a label, WITHOUT the executive producer being ‘aaaaall in the videos, aaaaall in the songs’ etc come to Death Row. It was an obvious shot at Puffy, CEO of Bad Boy Ent. There is more to this than some of you may no, other than Puffy being annoying lol. Earlier this year Suge was at Jermaine Dupri’s house in ATL for a Birthday party, one in which Puffy also attended. Suge’s closest homie Jake Robbles was murdered (shot to be exact) at this party, and Suge was sure Puff had something to do with it do to his odd behaviour just after the shooting. From then on out, it was war. I actually think this incident really helped bringing 2Pac to Death Row, as he had beef with Biggie and Puffy due to the 1994 Shooting in New York. He felt Big and Puff set him up, and they were then partying while he was in jail. Suge gave a shout out to Pac before he dissed Puffy, saying ‘keep your guards up’. Bad Boy also performed a big set at these awards, with Craig Mack, Total, Faith, Lil Kim, Biggie and Puffy all performing their latest hits.

There was a very Bad Boy vs. Death Row vibe (or should I say Source) to the night, which I honestly don’t think the artists had in mind. You can cleeearly see Lady of Rage smiling and bumping along during the Bad Boy set, and you cleeearly see Lil Cease and Lil Kim noddin’ away and clapping during the Death Row set. Snoop and Puffy hug on stage, and Puff chills on stage with Snoop, Daz, Nate and Kurupt. Suge was pulling the strings on this occasion. Something which is rather humerous now was the Danny Boy incident. Danny went up on stage with Suge when he made his infamous speech, and as Suge was finishing DB had his hands up in the air, kinda celebrating Suge’s words. Well Suge said what he had to say, then quickly turned and caught DB’s elbow in the process. They walked off as if nothing happened, but apparently Suge was really conscious of this and it was hard for him not to react at the time. Take a look at the incident if you can sometime. ‘The Best of the Source Awards Vol.1’ is a great dvd if you want to see all these performances and some of the speech etc.


Warren G – Inmate or Not?


Warren G back in the day at the AMA's

Warren is considered Death Row imo, but he was never an inmate. Warren was slapped up on a Death Row boat party by some of Suge’s blood homies on one occasion, and as previously stated by Suge at Dre’s house. Suge holds grudges, big ones. He thought Warren’s hit ‘What’s Love Got To Do’ was about him, and cancelled Tha Dogg Pound, LBC Crew and Nate Dogg’s appearances on Warren’s 1996 album. Nate was allowed on one song (Annie May) as a personal request from Nate Dogg. This was the same with Regulate. First it was for Nate’s album, then Suge used it. Then Warren G wanted it for his debut album and Suge only let him have it if he got paid off it even though he had literally nothing to do with it. So Warren’s biggest hit paid someone else more than him. Suge got angry at the DPG and especially at Warren for always giving props to the Crips and not Bloods (Suge was MOB – Members of Blood). So on ‘Aint No Fun’ Suge made Warren alter some lyrics. You can hear Warren say “6-4 Chev, RED to be exact”, when it used to say blue. Death Row owe Warren G a lot, because ‘Regulate’ was a hit single and helped build the labels momentum. I'm pretty sure he could have signed to the label back in 92, but realised he would never get an album out with all the other artists promised albums, smart move.


Tha Dogg Pound – Dogg Food October 31st 1995


Nate Dogg, Dat Nigga Daz, Kurupt, and Jewell behind them

DPG were pretty hardcore and raw, yet they were fastly becoming a household name due to their connection with Snoop and Death Row. This album was released on Halloween in 95 and went straight to #1 on the Billboard charts. That’s right, Daz & Kurupt were the top artists in the US in 1995 for some time, why must we put up with 50 Cent in 2005? lol. This remains one of my favourite released albums from Death Row, I listen to it all the time. I recommend it to anyone interested in getting to know the original Death Row or Dogg Pound era. Dr. Dre produced ZERO songs on the LP, as Daz didn’t want Dre to do one song, because then it would be labeled as a Dr. Dre produced album. Daz knew Dre would steal credit, so the album ended up having production by Daz, Soopafly, DJ Pooh, Kurupt on a track and I think Snoop on a track, no Dre. There were a lot of problems getting this album released, the original distributors didn’t want to put it out (it was too hard within the political context). Obviously they sorted it out, as everyone wanted another Death Row album, meaning there was money to be made. The album features Tray Deee, Snoop, Nate Dogg, Lady of Rage, Lil Malik, Jewell and Michel’le. Snoop and Nate are essentially apart of Tha Dogg Pound, but are still considered ‘guests’ on this cd. They played the Dr. Dre remix of ‘Dogg Pound Gangsta’s’ on 92.3 The Beat when the LBC Crew were up there (more on that later), shame it didn’t make the album (was supposed to be the last song on there). Warren G appeared on the remix to the lead single ‘Let’s Play House’ ft. Michel’le & Nate Dogg, but it was never released in good quality. The original song is a very good song though, and featured a tight video that got regular rotation.



The upcoming release schedule from Dogg Food above, and the original advert for the album below



One song that caused some controversary was ‘NY, NY’, a song which was intended to show respect to New York, but due to the tension after the Source Awards, did the exact opposite. It probably didn’t help that in the video Snoop and Kurupt were depicted as giants walking throughout NY stomping down buildings lol. A reply (‘LA, LA’) was recorded by Mobb Deep, Capone N Noreaga and some others. This album in my mind really solidified Death Row’s hold on rap, Dre was a known entity, and Snoop had a very marketable image, but for 2 Gangsta rappers like Kurupt and Dat Nigga Daz to go platinum and #1 etc was quite an achievement. This album had very little commercial appeal, yet it was a success on a commercial level anyway.


Lady of Rage – Eargasm 1995


Rage, Jewell and Dre show some support to a fellow West Coaster, 2Pac

Had this album been released around this time, Rage would have been a household name, and would have the respect she deserves (best female MC along with Lauryn Hill and Eve). ‘Affro Puffs’ was a nationwide hit, and Death Row were hitting their peak, she had
just feature on the DPG album, had been touring with them and Snoop, was well known from her appearances on The Chronic and Doggystyle, and now seemed like the right time to drop her. But Suge wanted to build up her hype a little before he released her album. They advertised her upcoming album in Dogg Food ( look above), and it was set to drop after some promo work. But then something changed Death Row for good.

Comments welcome, Part 2 is ready, but I will hold off for a while so you can get all this down pat first ;)

Tiz

P.S please give credit if you post any of this elswhere on the net, thanks
 

TobyTizzle

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2005, 10:41:29 PM »
Hey guys, I have been writing this up for another forum I use, its not a hip hop site though, so they were interested in hearing from a Death Row fan. I understand some of the stuff I have written is hear say or rumour, but overall I used my magazines, cds, and knowledge of the label to make up this thread... hope you like..
 

mauzip

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2005, 10:44:21 PM »
Dope man... I'ma have to print this out and read it. Thanks.

Edit: maybe dubcnn can use this for the articles section on the site?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2005, 11:00:08 PM by Mauzip »
 

ColdManey

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2005, 11:05:00 PM »
GOD DAMN! Look how smal Suge makes Mike Tyson look. Mike is a a solid 225 I wonder what Suge weighs.
 

We Fly High

Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2005, 11:16:51 PM »
good shit toby. that was definitely a good read. looks like you spent a lot of time on it. waiting to read the rest. you know i always get down with the death row ish. where did you find that dogg food pic? the one of the advertisement
 

Darksider

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2005, 11:37:52 PM »
yeah thanks..was a good read :)
 

GangstaBoogy

Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2005, 12:04:57 AM »
you did a good job on this. its a lot of small details in there that i didnt know about. cant wait for part 2
"House shoes & coffee: I know the paper gone come"

 

Sir Petey

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2005, 12:14:57 AM »
it wasnt bad at all...there were a few facts I never knew about, and you got a few things wrong but not enough to split hairs about
overall good shit....alittle bit lighter on the personal opinions would have been tighter though...

TobyTizzle

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2005, 12:23:41 AM »
As I said, I wrote it for another forum who wanted to hear a Death Row fan's opinion,  I'm considered the 'hip hop guy' there so they value by opinion...

had it been a more proffessional article I woulda left personal ops out...
 

We Fly High

Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2005, 12:28:04 AM »
where did you find that dogg food pic? the one of the advertisement
 

ColdManey

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2005, 12:32:25 AM »
Good shit mane. Come on with part 2
 

411

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Re: Huge Death Row Records History Part 1, check it out (by me, Tizzle)
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2005, 12:36:57 AM »
dont have a chance to read it now but i will as soon as i can......propz for postin 8)