April 12, 2024

Keefe D: Eazy-E Offered Spot At Death Row Records Before Dre


Keefe D has dropped some interesting facts about the early days of Death Row Records in a new interview with VladTV. In the early-to-mid 90s, it was practically impossible to ignore the label. It gave birth to some of the most legendary artists in the hip-hop genre. In the 30-plus years since its founding, Death Row has gone through plenty of ups and downs. After quite a bit of stagnation, it was recently acquired by Snoop Dogg, who released his debut album on the label. At this point in the game, you might think there is nothing left to learn about Death Row’s history. However, in his new interview, Keefe D proved that there’s probably a lot we still don’t know.

Duane Davis, AKA Keefe D, is a former prominent member of the South Side Compton Crips. He was a childhood friend of Eazy-E and was present for or involved with many of the events surrounding the founding of Death Row Records. Keefe was also allegedly connected to the murder of Tupac. In fact, he was behind the claims that Diddy placed a $1 million hit on the late Shakur. Whether or not there is any truth to that claim is still unclear. Still, Keefe seems to have plenty left to say about Death Row. This time, he’s opening up about the founding of the label and how Dr. Dre wasn’t actually the first choice.

Keefe D’s Involvement With Death Row

While speaking to VladTV, Keefe revealed that Death Row Records wanted Eazy-E to join before they approached Dr. Dre. He says that his friend was in prison with Death Row co-founder, Michael Harris. Through this friend, Harris asked Keefe to set up a call with Eazy. The late rapper was not too keen to do business with people behind bars, though. After the call, Eazy apparently showed up at Keefe’s house in person to talk. “Once the phone call went dead, Eazy showed up to my house 30 minutes later,” Keefe recalled, “He like, ‘Dude, them dudes in jail and I’m already established.”

The former gangster says that Harris called Dr. Dre the next day, and he accepted. The acquisition wasn’t quite so simple, as the NWA member was actually signed to Eazy-E’s label at the time. For many years, it’s been said that Suge Knight had to strongarm Eazy to get him to release Dre from his contract. According to Keefe, the truth is a lot less interesting. For the early contract termination, Eazy was allegedly paid $200,000. Once Dre was free of his contract, he joined Death Row, and the rest is history. What do you think Death Row would have been like if Eazy had said yes? Let us know in the comments!

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