In a new interview with Prezident Bejda of The Murder Master Music Show, longtime Ruthless Records’ co-founder Jerry Heller explained some inner-workings at his time at the West Coast Hip Hop label between 1986 and 1995, and ancedotes from his book, Ruthless: A Memoir.
In addition to revealing that his partner, the late Eazy-E had plans to kill one of his nemeses, former Death Row Records President/CEO Suge Knight, Jerry Heller unveiled some history on Ruthless’ ties to The Source magazine.
Asked about his relationship with one of Ruthless Records’ most storied acts, Dallas, Texas emcee The D.O.C., Heller inadvertently started speaking of a published piece of minutia that he asserts is untrue. “I have no animosity towards The D.O.C.; he was part of the Ruthless [Records] legend and history. The only thing was, that Suge [Knight], in an interview with The Source magazine, said that we signed [The D.O.C.] for a watch and a gold chain.” Infuriated by the statement when it published in the early 1990s, Jerry Heller called the then New York-based magazine’s founder and publisher. “Well, that’s totally untrue. And I called Dave Mays, who was the owner of The Source at that time, and just fucking screamed at him. I said, ‘How could you say something like this?’ He said, ‘Well, what should I have done? Suge told me that.’ I said, ‘You should have asked him to see the contract, man. That’s what I would have done.'”
Elaborating, Jerry revealed that Ruthless Records was a ground-floor investor in the magazine that still publishes today. “Dave Mays and I had been—you know [Eazy-E] and I had put [The Source] in business. When him and Jon Shecter and [James Bernard founded the magazine], they were roommates at Harvard [University]. We used to send them money every month. See, The Source was a mimeographed sheet that would come over your fax machine a couple times a month. So we would send them a couple of hundred bucks every month, and we would actually pay for their supplies, to start The Source. I took it as a real insult to Eazy and myself when he would put that in there without checking it out. Of course it’s not true, and wasn’t in the contract.”
Ruthless Records artists to cover The Source include N.W.A., Above The Law and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
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