Bruce Williams: The REAL Doctor's Advocate Pt 3
[click to read Part 1] [Part 2]
HipHopDX: Detox. You already know my question
Bruce Williams: People are on Dre about Detox and Dre never really wanted to do Detox. Hes 40-something [editor's note: 43] years old, whats he going to talk about? Hes gotta relate to these 13 year olds buying records. What is he going to talk about? He cant come out here saying, "Fuck the police," he cant keep talking about smoking weed, hes been there and done all that. Where is there to go now? But it has to be done and hes going to make sure that shit is right before he puts it out.
DX: Will we have to wait much longer to wait for Detox?
BW: I dont think so. If it comes out, Ill be shocked - and Ill also know that it has to come out.
But Rakim was not the rapper he once was. He didnt even rhyme in the studio with the crew hanging out. Dude was writing only at home. Dre wanted to do tracks in a way that allowed you to feel the camaraderie. Rakims a legend, but he was a legend in his day. The chemistry between these two just wasnt there pg 128
DX: So what exactly happened with the whole Rakim ordeal?
BW: Oh My God album? Every time Dre did an interview, they asked him what emcee he would love to work with and his response was always the same: Rakim. We went through all this stuff trying to get Rakim and finally, Dre got Rakim. And with a title like Oh My God, the public was waiting on some astronomical shit! And they just never meshed together. A few of 50 Cents songs on Get Rich Or Die Tryin' were Rakim songs. Like Back Down and Heat; there were quite a few of them.
Ill put it to you like this: Rakim is a legendlet a legend be a legend. With all these new emcees and things sometimes the world is not going to appreciate this. We appreciate it because we grew up on it.
DX: What is the deal with Aftermath and the revolving door of artists?
BW: Look at Aftermath. Are they a household name? No, theyre not. I can say Aftermath, and people will say, Who is that? but when I say Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Eminem then they get an idea. If you say G-Unit [click to read], everybody knows G-Unit. If you say Shady, everyone knows Shady. Aftermath is not a household name because we dont put out enough stuff.
Everybodys catering to Dre and he dont have time to nurture new artists. Why do you think Game had so many problems? Game couldnt do hooks. But for two years he was hustling by himself.
If you dont push the acts that you have in your company, then your company will never be made whole. Dre is doing records for everyone else on Interscope and not building his own company up. That contributes to not really being a businessman.
When that beef between 50 Cent and The Game went public, Al Sharpton called over and asked for a half a million dollars. Otherwise he was going to bring the heat on behalf of 'The Community.' We gave him $250,000. Then we had The Game and 50 make up in public, holding an elaborate press conference. Pg. 148
DX: In your book you basically say that Al Sharpton hustled you guys for money in order to not go and publicly march about the Game/50 Cent beef.
BW: He said if we didnt have a million, we marching. Its that easy. Look at C. Delores Tucker back in the day. They was sitting up there talking all that bullshit when behind closed doors they was trying to start their own label. But that isnt what they were telling motherfuckers in the street! We got a lot of black leaders that dont do shit to me. I dont see what they do. In the [Game vs. 50 Cent] situation, you are going to come and say, "We need X amount of money, whether you are going to give it to charity or not. Why dont you come and say, Hey, lets all of us sit down and figure this out; dont come and say, Give me a half a million dollars or we marching! That didnt even get the situation resolved. You seen it. They didnt even look like they squashed anything.
DX: So the so called squashing of the beef
BW: The entire thing was orchestrated by Al Sharpton.
DX: Come onare you serious?
BW: Yeah, they do that shit all the time man! [So-called activists] dont want nothing but money.
We had to go to New York for this big meeting. Quincy Jones, Colin Powell, dude who runs Black Enterprise magazine [Earl G. Graves, Sr.], one of Malcolm Xs daughters, Puffy. When Death Row was big. They were trying to tell us how to use our power and use our money. Where were you when we were trying to get this money? None of you were trying to get us a record deal, yet, all of you talk shit about us and then you dont put a foot forward [in helping us]. They try to tell us how to use our money but they werent fucking with us before that.
You know what?' asked Busta Rhymes after taking in one particularly take, When youre rappin, sometimes your shit is just so borderline disrespectful. I mean you really take it there!
Everyone busted out laughing.
Thats whats great about The Game. And thats his problem too. His 2004 album, The Documentary, is the sound of someone struggling to keep up with the talent around him. He didnt always respect his place in the process pg 140
DX: So back to 50 Cent and Game. How real was this beef?
BW: Game and 50 wasnt cool with that situation from jump. Jimmy Iovine was the one who was the brainchild of putting Game in G-Unit because that gave G-Unit a bigger presence on the west coast, plus Game had a bigger buzz on the east than the west at the time. So that way Game could ride with G-Unit and vice versa. Just for bigger album sales.
But you gotta understand that Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo were soldiers for 50. Game already had a deal with Aftermath. Game already had his own people. Game and 50 are very similar in their ways, and never really did like each other. But they understood the game. 50 gave Game a few of his songs for Games album and those were Games biggest hits. [50 Cent] did the hooks. But 50 wanted Game to be a soldier and Game did not want to be a soldier. Thats just the way it was. 50 wanted to be the boss.
You gotta think about the timing of all this. At one time, everyone was talking about Game. 50 was pushing up his album. All the beef stuff was a little orchestration of jealousy.
The video for This Is How We Do was supposed to be like this: one side of the street would be Cali and the other side would be New York. 50s on one side and Game would be on the other. 50 didnt want to do the video. Reason why? [50 Cent said] Game wasnt on my level if people see me and Game doing a video together they will think that hes on my level.
BW: I felt Dre should have stepped up to the plate on that. Hes the icon, he could have shut that whole thing down. Sometimes you have to take that role. But if you dont, the beef is going to go where its going to go.
DX: So did you ever hear all these so called projects that were supposed to come out that never did?
BW: Did I hear it? Shit, I still got it!
DX: Are there that many songs in the vault?
BW: He has a whole bunch of songs that never made it out. I still have Rakim songs.
DX: What about the rumored Helter Skelter album with Ice Cube?
BW: We didnt finish the Helter Skelter album. If Dre ever decides to put out the shit that he has in the vault, youd be like, Wow!
DX: So what finally led to your departure from Dre and the industry?
BW: I want our whole crew to make it. Dre was supposed to be the roots of that strong tree and we were supposed to be the branches. Dont tell me what were going to do. Seventeen years went by and nothing materialized. I got three kids and a wife. He didnt want to hear my mouth anymore so he had me doing stuff for his wife. I started thinking that I was going to be a retired-ass dude who never got to do what he wanted to do. You want to step out on your own but you think about being around Dre for so long and how is the rest of the world going to accept me? I just finally made that decision. My last conversation in Aftermath with Dre was me telling him I had to go to a meetingI just never came back.
In hindsight, things have gone down between me and the biz exactly as they are supposed to.
Experience was the salary at both Death Row and Aftermath. My genius friend can be irresponsible and self-absorbed, but the cat can teach a lesson in his own special way.
Im happy where I am now. I helped make history with my man Dre. And I got to witness the strengths of street knowledge and its weaknesses. And even if a part of me wishes I could have been there to watch the Doctor struggle through another album-patient, Im not complaining in the least. It aint all bad being the man next to da man. pg 164