Want To Hear Unreleased Dopeness From When Death Row & Rap-A-Lot Were Tight? (Audio & Video)
Despite the fact that Rap-A-Lot Records was born in Houston, Texas and Death Row Records was founded by two men from Compton, California, there’s been a lot of cross-over. In the mid-1990s, Death Row artists like 2Pac, Danny Boy, and Tha Dogg Pound were cleared to appear on Rap-A-Lot releases, while Tha Row’s CEO Suge Knight reportedly blocked paperwork to allow them to collaborate with homies on other labels. When Suge was locked up in 1997, it was Rap-A-Lot who signed many members of Tha Outlawz, and gave looks to other artists stranded on Death Row. Suge Knight and J. Prince have long been homies, but do you know back how far it goes?
Rap-A-Lot artists were famously present for much of the recording of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. It’s Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys who does the memorable ad-libs on “Stranded On Death Row.” Both labels were allegedly funded by Michael “Harry-O” Harris (both Prince and Suge dispute those claims). However, in 1992, the fam was tight. How else would The Convicts (Big Mike’s first group) work alongside a no-name Snoop Doggy Dogg?
Check out “Playin’ For Keeps,” this ’92 cut featuring Snoop, Big Mike, and Mr. 3-2 rocking over some chopped up Dennis Coffey breakbeats (“Scorpio”). This is believed to have appeared on Snoop’s Over The Counter demo, which circulated in ’92, hand-to-hand.
As a bonus, catch this low-quality video of an early ’90s freestyle cypha at the Beverly Center featuring Bushwick, Big Mike, Snoop, Scarface, and the Narrator RBX:
How dope would this musical union have been?
Related: Death Row Records Playlist