Excerpts


Contents


Contents
Change Is Inevitable ………………………………………………………………… 1
Lucky Number 7 ……………………………………………………………………… 2
Life Before Gangsta Rap ………………………………………………………… 12
A Little Money Can Mess Up Your Head …………………………………. 15
Gangsta ………………………………………………………………………………… 32
Make That Move …………………………………………………………………… 33
The Record Biz ……………………………………………………………………… 46
Back In L.A. …………………………………………………………………………. 50
Runaway Roller Coaster …………………………………………………………. 72
Pictures ………………………………………………………………………………… 96
First Encounters …………………………………………………………………… 132
One Of Them ………………………………………………………………………. 152
Good Behavior ……………………………………………………………………. 170
Lights Out …………………………………………………………………………… 179
The Aftermath ……………………………………………………………………… 196

Chapter One

Change Is Inevitable

1982
Simone Green
Job Title: Freelance Photographer
Clients: Muhammad Ali, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, SOLAR Records, and Roger Mosley
Suge Knight
Job Title: Part-time Gofer
Employer: SOLAR Records
“Suge was a young kid. He did all kinds of stuff. Whatever you needed . . . He wasn’t fat; he wasn’t buff; he was none of that . . . He was minute.” – Simone

1993
Suge Knight
Job Title: Founder & CEO, Death Row Records, a $260 million record label
Simone Green
Job Title: Chief of Photography, Death Row Records
“I did everything he asked, as far as photography and new artists were concerned.” – Simone.

Excerpt One

Tony thought I was stupid for going to interview with Suge for a job, but I wasn’t stupid enough to walk in there by myself. I decided to take my nephew Londale as back up in case some shit went down. Not that Londale could physically defend me, he was about as big as a minute. Suge was suited up with a black suit and a red shirt. For Suge, the Bloods’ color, red, always came into play. Suge’s connection to the Bloods was as transparent as Snoop’s love for marijuana – everybody knew it. Suge was a Blood, which was interesting because Dré and Snoop were Crips. At least that’s what they portrayed to all of their followers. I don’t know how that worked, but I guess they figured why let two colors get in the way of banking over $60 million. In Suge’s office later that day: Alone in his office Suge said, “I want you to do everything we got going on. If we go out of town or do an awards show. Whatever we do I want you to do the photography. I want you to be the Chief of Photography.” Yeah, so I heard. “Also, I want you to go out and buy 10 small cameras that you can disperse to different people in the company and they can report back to you with whatever they get.” He even said, “If somebody gets a beat down they’ll get that on film. Whatever might happen we’ll have it on film.” I wasn’t sure what that was really about, control issues maybe, the important thing about this moment was that Suge Knight, Godfather of the hottest thing happening, wanted visuals of everything happening in his realm, and he just put me in charge of it all, I was officially on Death Row…..and life was good………….

Excerpt Two

I counted myself as one of the lucky ones who made it out of Death Row Records alive. From the opposite side of the country I watched Dre and Snoop jump ship, and Tupac get thrown overboard, but most of all I watched my back. My new life was much quieter, but pad locks on all the doors and a successive string of Rottweiler’s still did not make me feel 100 percent safe. Seven years later, being on Death Row Records felt like being on Death Row for real, a place you can never leave …”

Excerpt Three

“Oh my God,” was all I could say as I tried to imagine hotel guests and employees staring at the cluster of gorgeous black women going at it like they were rival hookers fighting for a street corner. I always thought …. was a square because she didn’t really talk a lot or curse a lot, but the curves in her biceps told you she went to the gym a lot. Never in a million years would I have guessed …. was a brawler, but when it came to women and Suge, as I was learning anything could happen.