interview EROTIC D (PART 1)  (June 2008) | Interview By: Chad Kiser

Dubcnn recently sat down with legendary producer Erotic D, who has worked many of the iconic figures in hip-hop history including, but not limited to, Dr. Dre, D.O.C., MC Breed, Eazy-E, Suge Knight, Snoop Dogg and others. You’ve heard his production on D.O.C.’s underground classic Helter Skelter, as well as his 2003 release Deuce, and on MC Breed’s Flatline album. Well, these are just a few of the records he’s had production and input on, as you will soon discover throughout this interview that Erotic D has been always heard, but seldom seen.

During Part 1 of this exclusive interview, Erotic D chronicles with us his journey from starting out as a party DJ in the early ‘80’s to connecting with D.O.C., working with Dr. Dre and being involved with NWA from the beginning, as well as giving us a detailed, first-hand account of the Death Row Records formation.


Interview was done by phone in June 2008

Questions Asked By:
Chad Kiser

Erotic D Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here


Dubcnn: So, E, where you been at in the last few years?

I’ve been studying the game from every aspect, soaking it all up, I’m not in no rush to get f-cked in my ass, ya feel me? See, once I got up there I seen that the rap game ain’t all that everybody talking about. Remember, this was in the ‘80’s and when Ice Cube said he was going to kill you everybody thought that *laughs*. So I’m up there thinking everybody is rich and shit and I come to find out that all of them were broker than me, my n-gga! I was like NAW! So when I realized that I said I’m really going to have to watch who I f-ck with in the business.

Dubcnn: Tell us a bit about your background and getting in to hip-hop.

I was what we call an army brat, always moving over-seas; back and forth around the United States. We settled back down in Texas because of my grandparents. I had already heard hip-hop and was all up on it and wasn’t anybody around here really doing that. I was living in Arlington, Texas, which was a little white town with not too many brothers down there. I started out as a DJ, as a lot of producers, and started out DJ'ing parties back in ‘81-‘82. I would see DJs scratching and mixing so I taught myself how to do it. I would throw parties and people would come and stand around because I was kind of the first n-gga out here mixing and scratching and shit, literally. With that, it got me really popular around town, so one day I was listening to the RUN DMC’s and the LL Cool J’s I and I was ‘like I can do that’! So I started make the music that I played, remaking other people’s songs, and writing my own lyrics so I could see how to structure a song.

I got a couple of groups together around ‘83, and my reputation as a DJ got pretty big. This group came at me about needing a DJ because the DJ was the center of the group. You had DJ Cash Money, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Mix Master Ice, and I was just as cold as them n-ggaz were! The word got around and them dudes came at me. An interesting side note to that, you hear about the Denver Broncos dude that got killed last year Darren Williams?

Dubcnn: Yea, of course!

Well, his uncle was the first one to put me on a record. I watched Darren grow up from when he was a new born up until he died, which sucked, feeling like I kind of raised the kid a little. That hit me hard when that happened. But, we had a deal with McCauley Records and started putting this recorded out way before DOC and them had their deal. I think we might have been the first group to put a record out in Ft. Worth at the time, a rap record anyway. We did a couple of shows with UTFO, Bobby Jimmy and the Critters, and everybody who was hot at the time at Reunion Arena.

All my n-ggas that were in the group with me were selling dope and let me remind you, them n-ggaz were getting ready to graduate high school and I was just now getting at high school. They would come over to my house with motorcycles and stuff and I thought they were getting money from the records and wasn't paying me. My homeboy Stan was doing beats for the group on the SP1200, and I was the DJ at the time. He started leaving me in his house all day and night so I just started messing with that SP1200 and that’s how I got into producing.

Dubcnn: Let me ask you this, The FILA Fresh Crew showed up on the NWA and the Posse album, how did that happen?

The “Flowing With The Rhythm” record for the FILA Fresh Crew was the record I did for them after all the NWA and the Posse stuff. The FILA Fresh Crew ended up f-cking with Dr. Dre and them simply because the DJ here, named Doctor Rock, was big time on the radio out here and that dude was the original DJ for the World Class Wrecking Cru. Dr. Dre had took his place, but once Rock got here he still had his ties with Alonzo and Dre and that’s how we got with them n-ggaz, because of Doctor Rock. I can't stand it how this n-ggaz name has never evolved in the picture because dude did a whole lot for hip-hop, he brought that sh-t here full force. He brought Eazy and Dre and them down, and had them performing when he DJ’d and their records took off in Texas! In return, they were supposed to give him a deal with Ruthless, but Rock thought he was better than that so he didn’t want to f-ck with that. That was after the NWA and the Posse record, so FILA Fresh got on there. That’s how DOC ended up with Dr. Dre and them; once Doctor Rock didn't want to take the, deal Eazy-E and Dre got in DOC's ear and DOC was like ‘I aint going to pass that up’, which was the smartest thing ever!

Dubcnn: So you got down with them through D.O.C.?

Yea, and at the time I had a female rapper that I was writing and producing for called Mz. Allen. DOC told us we was going to work with Eazy and Dre. This was summer time and he said he was going to come back in December and get us. December done came and went, and we found out dude done had that car wreck. We were talking bad about his ass like this n-gga was full of shit he ain’t coming back. The word about the accident didn’t get back to us in Ft. Worth because at the time nobody wanted to recognize us as a real place to get music from. We’re sitting in Ft. Worth with no news, no hip hop, no Source magazine or nothing. So dude f-cked up the whole time and we didn’t know.

When the word finally got to us, I had done got out in the streets getting people making my own bread got my own ride. So we load up, roll up to Cali and the first night we get there Suge Knight done put word out that he wanted to meet us. He was still on the bodyguard sh-t, he wasn’t no label owner or nothing at the time. So, we pulled into Beverly Hills on Wilshire Blvd and Suge, waiting on us, raised up the little automatic door. I would have never thought that history would have been made, but that’s where it started; all that Death Row shit and Eazy-E getting the contracts, started basically when I pulled into the lot.

Dubcnn: You’re talking about when they were getting ready to form the company?

Right, Suge sat us down that night, and I will never forget it. Suge tells us that he has this millionaire named Tom Klein that’s his and D.O.C.’s partner, and they were going to put us out there. So Tom Klein started to lie to Brian Turner, who owns Priority Records, that Dr. Dre has something to do with our record and all kinds of sh-t. So we are getting love from Priority at the time. We hadn't even met Dre yet, but we did know DOC. Suge’s just having a white boy break us off, I’m getting a G a week, and I haven’t seen that much money except from slanging dope and sh-t out in the streets, but they were giving me a G a week just for being there!

At the time, Suge had me working with the Jackson 5 on a whole family album; sh-t I was having the time of my life! I was getting love from top muthaf-ckaz for what I do, and I’m out here helping Dre on NWA records! But DOC ain’t acting right, he was trying to steal the broad that we brought with us from up under my nose. When it came time to do the contracts, they tried to get us lost and then have her up there signing paper work, while trying to rush us around and I am the one writing all the good songs. They were like we don’t need Erotic to write, we got DOC to write but the broad was like ‘DOC cant write better than Erotic’, even though that sounds crazy as hell because he’s down in history. But that’s because people don’t know what I wrote and the songs that I have done. They just think anybody that says he can hang with DOC is crazy, but to my dudes and me DOC is just another great writer. We grew up with the n-gga, I mean we know how to write like that.

Anyways, I got to talking to Brian Turner and he was telling me that with my talent and Dre’s talent that he was going to give us the first unlimited budget ever in recording history, at least for Priority. He told us that because when we first got there he needed us to finish up the NWA record, then we’d be able to get into our project because they were about two years behind. We were in there doing the NWA album and trying to do our album, but some of the stuff was working and some of it wasn’t. One of the things that wasn't working and why I think me and Dre still have love to this day, is I felt he was half stepping on our project and coming with it on the NWA album. I felt like ‘why do I need Dr. Dre to produce for me on my album?’. but Priority wanted it like that. The funny thing is, we came up there with a five song demo, they listened to it and liked it, and was getting ready to sign us, but they found out that Tom Klein lied about all that sh-t with Dre earlier. They said they didn't want to f-ck with him, and since we were with him they didn't want to f-ck with us either.

Dubcnn: Damn. So, what happened next?

So, we went back down to Texas for like 6 months and Suge called us up and said that ‘we got all that sh-t taken care of so y’all come on back up here’. They said they were going to pay Dre a $100,000 to say he produced our record. Now, we go back to California, my n-gga, with the same demo. All we did was re-record the sh-t with the Dre! We didn’t change shit; no instruments or nothing! It was my production and my words. They liked it, put us in magazines saying we were Dre’s new group and saying that we were the cleanest around. I wish I would have kept that clip. I hopped right on the phone with Suge and was like ‘what the f-ck they talking about?’. Dre told me out of his own mouth "My name is like gold right now, they’re just trying to sell this record". So from then on, when people were getting credit for my records I was like ‘I guess that’s the powers that be’, so I just rolled with it.

Dubcnn: Damn, that’s f-cked up.

Dre and them would be having BBQs every week and he had a studio at his house, so I would go over there and hang out in the studio. I didn't go out and party and sh-t, that just wasn't for me. Once we got up there with Suge all kinds of sh-t started happening, he started the label with DOC, Funky Enough Records. That sh-t didn't work and before you know it was called Death Row.

One day I was chilling out with my female rapper that we had got the deal for. So now it is time to do her record because the NWA record is done. She get mad at me because I’ve been f-cking around with NWA and the Jackson’s, and not working with our group. Basically, I was recording with other artists and she didn’t like that. So, Suge sent her and my other partner home because he realized that I was the one doing everything: producing, writing, cutting, scratching but I was saying other people were doing it. I remember it plain as day, I get on the elevator with Dre over at the Solar Building, and Dre looked at me and said ‘you ready to make this money?’. I look at him and say ‘Suge didn't tell you he sent ol’ girl home?’. He said ‘I don’t give a f-ck who we record or produce, as long as we making money’. It was f-cked up cause I was telling my group the whole time we are dollar signs to these n-ggas. Why you want to hang with them? They don’t give a f-ck about us, we’re outsiders. They don’t want nothing to do with us but for us to make them money. That same day we listening to Niggaz4Life and I seen Dre driving a Benz I never seen before. I’m 18 and like ‘damn, n-gga, this Benz is clean as a muthaf-cka! You getting paid!’. N-gga told me, ‘don't trip, don’t let this Benz fool you. This is all I got. So I start thinking again like what the f-ck? This n-gga got a platinum record with “Straight Outta Compton”, another one with Above the Law, and DOC, and a gold record with Michel’le. How is this n-gga telling me he is broke? So I’m like, ok whatever.

A couple days later here comes Suge, n-gga, if I’m lying I’m dying, I put this on everything! Suge brought all them contracts to my apartment in North Hollywood. He brought DOC's, Dr. Dre’s, and I believe Michel’le’s contracts and said ‘put this on your shelf in the closet for me’. He had just went over there and strong-armed Eazy for them contracts and brought them to me and told me to put them up. Now, I wasn't smart enough then but looking back at it, it’s history. I left them contracts on the shelf! Suge let my lights get turned out, and my heat get cut off. I called up my n-ggas and headed back down to Texas, with the same n-ggaz he sent home. They came and got your boy up there within 24 hours. Texas is like a little California you know, we stick together. They came up and got me and we went back to Texas with the contracts on the shelf. A whole bunch of sh-t I could have auctioned off!

I remember we started working on the Chronic record and I remember Suge saying I need you to write one side and Dre to write one because Dre can't write. Snoop, Warren none of them n-ggaz were there they weren't even in the picture yet. They didn't come in until we had already started working on that muthaf-cka. Then when all them n-ggaz got into the picture I was like ‘ok then, I’m going to be back and forth’. I never been one to like a lot of n-ggaz in the studio with me that want to act rowdy and sh-t, so I would be in and out on that sh-t.

Dubcnn: What records or songs did you produce, that they said Dre produced?

That’s crazy man, that shit was so long ago I can’t remember the names of them because after that, after that article came out, Ruthless and Ice Cube was going at it. I come in the studio and they want me to write diss songs about Yo-Yo and Ice Cube. They telling me I’m scared of them n-ggas, that’s why I wont write them. You know how n-ggas are, they just be f-cking with me, but I took that sh-t serious. So I wrote a song to the beat "Just Don’t Bite It" for Mz. Allen. Then I wrote another song from ‘100 Miles and Runnin”. I remember giving Dre samples that just blew his mind, ya know him saying? He was like, ‘how the f-ck did you find this?’, and I said ‘don’t everybody have this sh-t?’. That’s when I realized that I had sh-t that other n-ggas didn't have, and an ear for doing different sh-t that n-ggas ain't used to. I mean there are samples that n-ggas have used since then, but I was using them b-tches back like 10 years before n-ggas dug that deep and I was giving them to Dre like ‘use this for us’.

Dubcnn: You were the crate digger, huh?

I had records so rare, I mean this was ‘89, we were listening to records trying to figure out what sounds on the keyboard they were. We would hear a noise from a Rose piano and me and Dre would be like ‘what the f-ck is that noise?’. We would try to find it on the keyboard and it wasn't there because at the time the keyboards didn't do real good real piano sounds like they do now. So as time went on, we would figure it out. I was known as having sh-t that was so ridiculously dope, as far as sampling and shit, to where I went to Suge and said ‘Dre ain't coming with it and I’m just giving him the records, telling him what to loop and sh-t’, because Suge told me you got to make Dre earn the money they paying him; you cant do it all because Dre needs to do something. He said ‘you got to let Dre do some of that so we can get his name on it and help it sell’. Once Suge started realizing n-ggaz were scared of him and sh-t his plans changed. He used to be like ‘F-ck Dre, n-gga you better than Dre. I don't give a f-ck about Dre’. But then that one day came and it became obvious that Dre was the payday.

But yea, I can’t remember the names of those songs, but if I do I will shoot’em up to you. They were songs we had for years before we even went up to Cali. We just re-recorded those muthaf-ckas. I don’t know if Suge has the masters or what, because they were so insignificant to the end picture, ya know what I'm saying?

Dubcnn: What was your involvement with the Niggaz4Life album?

What we were told to do was to sit up there in the studio with Dre and Eazy and if they needed me to write I would write. If Dre needed a beat I would give Dre a beat. if he needed loops I would give him loops. Whatever Dre needed that is what I was there for every single f-cking day. I always told myself that since I am still tight with Dre I wasn't going to make a big deal out of none of this sh-t that I went through when it come to that guy because we still break bread that’s one thing I won’t talk about until I talk to him about the songs that I did for him.


Keep it locked right here for Part 2 with Erotic D - Coming soon!




Erotic D Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here



Enter Your Email Address
To Receive Our
Free Newsletter!