Jerry Heller, the former manager of N.W.A and the co-founder of Ruthless Records alongside Eazy-E, recently spoke with 1st Fam West Radio to comment on where he thinks N.W.A’s importance stands in music history, as well as discuss the upcoming N.W.A biopic.
“I just hope that the movie is good because to me all the people I’ve been involved with — Elton John, Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Journey, Four Tops — the most important period of my career and my life was the period from February 3, 1987 to March 26 of 1995,” Jerry Heller says. “[That] was the eight years I spent with my business associate Eric Wright. To me, N.W.A and The Beatles are probably the two most important musical acts in history. So I would hope that they’re being treated with the kind of respect and stature that they deserve. It’s an important, important group and part of Eazy-[E]’s legacy.”
Jerry Heller, who isn’t involved with the making of movie in any way, says that he hopes the biopic portrays his involvement with N.W.A correctly and isn’t filled with “bullshit prejudice.” Heller’s character is set to be played by Paul Giamatti.
“No, that’s not either correct or incorrect,” Jerry Heller says regarding his reported disapproval with the movie. “Because since they didn’t ask me to participate, I really thought it was inappropriate for me to get involved or comment on it at all until I see the actual movie. The only thing I care about is being portrayed properly and correctly and them not just portraying me with some bullshit kind of prejudice. I’ll be there [on the] opening night with my lawyers to make sure they portray me correctly.
“I haven’t seen anything,” Jerry Heller adds. “Like I said before, since they haven’t asked me to be involved, it was inappropriate for me to — I’m not a groupie that hangs out on the set like a lot of other people did. I’ll see it when it opens in the theater [in] April or August. I keep on seeing different dates. I’m gonna support it by going to the theater because I wanna see how I’m portrayed. The only two guys that really knew everything, one of them unfortunately was my business associate who passed away [on] March 26 of 1995, and me. The rest of the people involved really were only involved in their own little part of the company. Eazy and I were involved in all aspects of the company and we really had a more comprehensive outlook on things that happened there.”
Jerry Heller Says DJ Speed Was Eazy-E’s Gofer
Elsewhere, Jerry Heller offered a response to remarks made by DJ Speed during an interview with HipHopDX late last year. Calling him a “nothing then” and a “nothing now,” Heller recalls Speed’s involvement at Ruthless Records saying he did “nothing.”
“DJ Speed was a guy that used to take Eazy’s laundry in,” Jerry Heller says. “He did nothing at Ruthless [Records]. The thing that sort of bothers me is that he waited 20 years to tell people that he thought I was a snake? Who cares what he thinks? He was just a friend of Eazy’s. He came by the office once in a while. I see him talking about all these things he did [but] he did nothing at Ruthless. He was Eazy’s gofer. For some reason that I won’t comment [on] because I don’t know exactly what happened, Eazy stopped haven’t any contact with him around 1992 and then I never saw him again. He’s talking about this and that but the guys that were important were The D.O.C. and Kokane and 187 and Above the Law and guys like that. This guy was nothing. I don’t know why he’s hanging out at the filming. I guess you’ve gotta ask [Dr.] Dre and [Ice] Cube. He was nothing then and he’s nothing now.”
Jerry Heller Calls Dr. Dre “Astonishing”
Jerry Heller also discussed the iconic career of Dr. Dre, calling the Compton, California rapper and entrepreneur the most important force in music since 1985.
“There’s nothing that compares with Dr. Dre’s music,” Jerry Heller says. “The guy’s the most important musical force since 1985. Look what he’s done. World Class Wreckin’ Cru. Remember that on ‘Turn Off the Lights’ he found this girl named Michel’le who sang the parts on ‘Turn Off the Lights.’ Then he did N.W.A. Then he did The D.O.C. Then he did the Michel’le record, which was the first record before Mary J. Blige — it’s the first time anybody did an R&B record based on Hip Hop tracks. Then he did The Game. He did 50 Cent. He did Eminem. He did ‘The Chronic.’ He did Kendrick Lamar. I mean this guy’s career is astonishing. He’s an astonishing producer. And forget the fact whether he likes me or I like him or whatever, his talent is astonishing.”
Jerry Heller’s full interview with 1st Fam West Radio can be viewed below: