The Outlawz Dispute Jimmy Iovine’s Claim That He Bailed Tupac Out Of Jail (Video)
The Outlawz have a complicated history with Death Row Records. Tupac’s squad of New Jersey proteges would never release an album on Suge Knight and Dr. Dre’s label. Marketed as acts on the imprint following Pac’s death, they did sign, however, 1999’s Top 10 Still I Rise album famously did not carry the logo, despite marketing, promotion, and involvement from an incarcerated Suge Knight’s staff (the album was an Interscope release, Death Row’s distributor at the time).
Tupac’s associates from his mother to his producers have storied problems with Death Row following Pac’s death. However, in a new interview with The Outlawz, E.D.I. seemingly stands up for Suge Knight and Death Row, correcting a what he says was an untruth stated in last month’s The Defiant Ones documentary. “Time Warner wouldn’t allow [Interscope] to bail out Tupac. So what happened was we advanced Death Row the money, and Death Row bailed out Tupac,” Interscope co-founder and former chairman Jimmy Iovine said in episode 3, with former colleagues in agreement. Prior to October 1995, Pac had released three solo albums and Thug Life’s effort through Interscope.
Tha Dogg Pound’s Daz Dillinger, another longtime vocal critic against his former boss and label, says no. Now, so does one of Tupac’s closest road dogs, in an interview with Vlad TV. “Remember, this man had the #1 album [in Me Against The World] while he was in prison—the first artist to ever do that—back when a million scanned was really a million records [and not streams]. So that’s between $13 and $20 million that he had coming to him,” estimates EDI. “You mean this man don’t got the money to pay his own bail, when it’s only [between] $1.3 and $1.5 million? It doesn’t make sense.”
He adds, “I think it’s B.S. not only because I don’t think it’s true, but the timing is just real weird to me. You got [All Eyez On Me] that just came out and now all of a sudden, y’all want to take credit for bailing [Tupac] out, when before, y’all kinda like hid your hands. Y’all never come out, not once, publicly, and said that Suge Knight never bailed Tupac out. I have a problem with that for two reasons: My homeboy [Tupac] believed that [Suge] bailed him out and was loyal to that man to his last day on this earth. Because he felt like that man bailed him out of jail when nobody else was coming to help Tupac out—and paid for his mother’s house.” E.D.I. Mean, who appeared on “Bomb First,” continues, “If [Tupac] knew the truth, according to [The Defiant Ones], maybe he wouldn’t have been so loyal [to Suge Knight], and kept his distance, and maybe he might still be here. But we all know that’s some garbage, because Death Row was the #1 label at the time. In my opinion, Suge had plenty of money to bail Pac out.” E.D.I. is joined by Young Noble and Napoleon, who do not speak on this issue. In The Defiant Ones, Interscope’s then-Head of Business Affairs, David Cohen said “I imagine Tupac himself thought Suge bailed him out. But the truth is we and Time Warner put up the money. I mean, look…I was definitely part of bailing out Tupac.”
Suge Knight is currently incarcerated and has not spoken on the subject. EDI defends what history always thought before The Defiant Ones. “Like Daz said, what Suge did was go get Tupac’s own money to get him out of jail, because [Interscope] wasn’t trying to give him his money. That’s the real issue! They owed Tupac money, and they wasn’t trying to pay him his money. They wanted to control Pac because he was the kind of energy that you wouldn’t control. They can say all that they want now. Tom Whalley kept saying, ‘Pac was emotional, very emotional.’ Hell yeah you’re gonna be emotional when you got the #1 album on the god damned charts and they talkin’ about [how] you’re broke.”
Earlier in the interview, the now-trio spoke on their own misunderstandings when they signed with Death Row in the late ’90s.
This summer, The Outlawz self-released #LastOnezLeft, featuring Scarface, Daz, and Devin The Dude.