Daryl McDaniels recently stopped by Drink Champs. At one point during the episode, he reflected on his meetings with Suge, and revealed that his group nearly joined the West Coast label at the height of its popularity.
“Suge Knight was gonna put Run-DMC on Death Row Records,” DMC remembered. “We had a big meeting at Beverly Hills [Hotel]. This was before the downfall of [the label]. We sat there with him and he said, ‘I’m gonna buy you off Arista. You’re Run-DMC, y’all mean a lot to this culture.’
“Suge Knight had right intentions… He used to just show up and come and sit down… He said, ‘We were just so amazed when y’all cats came from New York, we were so amazed to see how y’all just stuck together.'”
Watch the clip below.
Suge Knight tried to sign Run-DMC to Death Row Records, says DMC
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) December 5, 2023
The Hip Hop icon said that while some people around him questioned Suge Knight’s motivation to bring Run-DMC into the Death Row fold, he believed that Suge wanted the group for historical and artistic reasons.
“He said he was gonna bring us to Death Row because ‘We at the top right now and y’all should be at the top,'” he said. “I think Suge wanted to have Run-DMC as the holy grail.”
These days, Suge Knight is still making headlines from behind bars on his Collect Call podcast, put out by Dave Mays’ Breakbeat Media. On a recent episode, Suge recalled throwing money around carelessly in the Death Row heyday. As an example, he pointed to giving $350,000 to Roger Troutman to hop on “California Love.”
“The minute Roger walked in that studio, I gave him 50 racks cash off the top,” he said, before explaining that the Zapp legend was facing financial hardships at the time. “The minute he told me his situation, I gave him another 100 racks, so I gave him 150 racks before he even hooked up the talk box.
“That muthafucka went in that muthafucka and made magic because I brought him in to make the magic […] so when Roger did that, I gave him another 200 grand just to be in the video. That made ‘California Love’ — so ‘Pac wrote his verse, J-Flexx wrote Dre’s verse.”