Knight explained that he made a deal with Eazy-E “where he gets a dollar off of anything that Dre does”. He continued: “In other words, if he do a movie, if he do a beat, if he promote some type of merchandise, if he do a commercial, if he produce — off of his part, [Eazy] gets a dollar.”
The pivotal hip-hop figure estimated that the deal would have been worth a billion dollars if still in place, following Eazy-E’s death in 1995 of pneumonia and HIV/AIDS. Since the offer, ‘The Chronic’ rapper launched his premium headphones brand Beats By Dre (which was sold to Apple for $3 billion (£2,394,540,000) in 2014), as well as producing albums for Eminem and 50 Cent, and releasing his second and third solo albums, ‘2001‘ and ‘Compton‘.
When Eazy-E died, the rapper’s widow Tomica Woods-Wright took over his estate. Knight claimed that Interscope Records – which Dre’s Aftermath Records is a subsidiary of – made Woods-Wright an offer that effectively cheated her out of a 10-figure payout.
“Tomica met with Interscope,” he began, “and Interscope said, ‘Hey, why you want to get a dollar off of everything Dre does? Me and you could do business later on. Sign off and just let Dre out of it. We’re gonna do business later.’
“She signed off. They ain’t did no business with that bitch later. And guess what? That fucked Eazy’s kids, his momma, at the time his father was still living. It’s fucked his family.”
Tomica Woods-Wright, the owner and CEO of Ruth less Records and a record producer and entrepreneur, has yet to respond to Knight’s claims.
Eazy previously spoke about the deal a 1993 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show when he said: “Basically, I had Dre signed as [an] exclusive producer and an exclusive artist. So, when Dre tried to make his deal over at Interscope, I was included for the next six years.”
The late NWA rapper also alluded to this deal on the 1993 diss track ‘Real Muthaphuckkin G’s’: “‘Damn, E, they tried to fade you on Dre Day’/ But Dre Day only meant Eazy’s payday.”
Knight is currently serving a 28-year-long sentence in jail for pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter in a fatal 2015 hit-and-run. His new podcast – launched last month – is done over the phone while he serves time.
Recently, Knight told TMZ he “won’t testify” for anyone in the Tupac murder case. He said this after Duane “Keefe D” Davis was arrested for his connection to the fatal shooting of the Death Row Records rapper on September 7, 1996. On November 2, Davis pled not guilty to one count of open murder with use of a deadly weapon with a gang enhancement.
In other news, Tupac‘s brother Mopreme said that the ‘California Love’ rapper considered signing with Bad Boy Records before he did so with Death Row Records. The two labels eventually became rivals during Tupac and Notorious B.I.G‘s infamous feud in the ’90s.