In the controversial new series Death Row Chronicles plenty minor details and interesting stories about one the most influential record labels all time are coming to light. Given that the label was started and run by notorious badman Suge Knight, there’s bound to be more than a few stories Knight’s street tough ways clashing with the sharp suit crowd.
Turns out that the label had these kind altercations from the beginning. In a new clip from the series, it’s revealed that Suge demanded Dr. Dre’s contract with Ruthless Records be released with the help goons armed with baseball bats.
“Dre wanted me to go through his contracts. So, I went to Jerry and I said ‘Listen. Anything that he signs, he’s entitled to have a copy it. They kept telling Dre he can not get his contract,’” Suge explains over a jail phone matter--factly before the episode moves into the much more colorful story.
Apparently, Suge and crew visited the label’s lawyer and demanded the contract at the end a few Louisville Sluggers. The label had been telling Dr. Dre he couldn’t have a copy his contract and Suge realized why once they coughed it up under threat violence.
They were paying Dre almost nothing out the sales he was making, pocketing something like 98% every sale.
“Check my contracts out and sure enough, they weren’t worth the paper they were written on,” Dre said in a contemporary interview edited in by the showrunners. “So that was that for me.”