This month's installment of "Amplified" is about music
mogul andRuthless Records co-founder,
Jerry Heller’s new memoir,"Ruthless."
Dedicated to highly underappreciated Urban Icon and West Coast Hip Hop Visionary, the late Eric "Eazy-E" Wright, “Ruthless”finally ends two decades of speculation, doubt and one-sided viewpoints on the demise of one the most influential rap groups of all time, N.W.A.
The 65-year-old Heller’s extremely candid and forthcoming recount of his well-documented adversarial relationships with Dr. Dre, Suge Knight and Ice Cube, alone, make “Ruthless” a must read.
But it's much better than that.
For all of us rabid and angry N.W.A. fans that truly believed thatJerry Heller was just an evil opportunist with malice of forethought, who broke up “The Black Beatles” by systematically stripping them of their hard earn money?
We we’re wrong and Eazy was truly, Eric 'RIGHT'!
Eazy E was a flat-out super genius with pinpoint accuracy in his assessment of Heller, a wily music industry vet, who had represented legendary artists Elton John and Marvin Gaye.
He knew what he was doing by franchising his "hood-hits" withHeller's limitless business connections and acumen.
And Ruthless Records became a successful blueprint for future Hip Hop dynasties to come, followed by the likes of Diddy, Jay-Zand Master P.
Hey! Future music mogul....IN TRAINING...
If you want to learn how to build a multi-million dollar independent record company from scratch, take it to the top, yet avoiding all of the potential downfalls via “the snakes in the grass”?
It's all laid out beautifully, in the 325 pages of this phenomenal book.
The Flow Magazine spoke with Jerry Heller in a rare and exclusive interview about “Ruthless”: A Memior.
TFM: What is the biggest misconception of Jerry Heller, in your opinion?
JH: I think that Jerry Heller made a mistake over the years in not attacking or answering the allegations and misconceptions that have been about me. I always felt that by not being a public figure in the public eye, that I really shouldn’t deal with what Ice Cubesaid or Dr. Dre. That was a mistake on my part. I really should’ve done that then, but I think that this book is now going to answer those questions once and for all.
TFM: In regard to Eazy E, we here at The Flow feel that he is a pioneer that is highly underappreciated. What do you think his legacy would have been had he lived?
JH: I'm glad to hear you say that because I personally feel that he is one of the great visionaries of the entire rap era. He was quiet and even though he was a public figure, he keep his personal life to himself. I think that the contributions that he made to Dr. Dre, Yella, Ice Cube and The D.O.C., even Jerry Heller and everyone around him and all the people in his life, his children and every one else has been monumental. His legacy has been far underestimated and if he wouldn’t have been unfortunately stricken down with this awful disease (AIDS), he would have probably been amongst the giants in the history of the music business. Not just the rap music business.
TFM: It's interesting that your most scathing commentary was regarding Ice Cube, I would have thought it to be Suge Knight.What did you really what to present in speaking about those situations regarding those two?
JH: Ice Cube was a member of the family. He was a member ofN.W.A. and was part of the Ruthless family so obviously my comments toward him we’re far more personal. Suge Knight was an outsider and I more or less deal with him as what he was which is a opportunistic outsider which was just on the periphery, who I feel was responsible for the break up of a group that would’ve gone on to become “The Black Beatles”.
TFM: The record, "No Vaseline" is one of the great diss records of all-time. Outside of the personal insults that were levied against you, what is your opinion of the record itself and its impact on Hip Hop?
JH: If it weren’t about me, I probably would have marveled at the brilliance of the record because it is a well-constructed record. But it was about me and it attacked me personally and Jewish people in general and specifically, Jerry Heller. I think that it lacked integrity because I don’t think that Ice Cube is anti-Semitic, just like in “Black Korea” I don’t think that Ice Cube was anti-Korean. I think Ice Cube was anti-Jerry Heller and pro-Ice Cube and used whatever means that were available whether underhanded or not to justify his position, which to me is unconscionable and unjustifiable.
TFM: You've said in the book that you’ve made amends with Dreand you both have been very cordial over the years. What’s the chance of that same thing happening with Ice Cube?
JH: It’s different with Dre. Dre and I were very close. I managedDre even before I met Eazy. I see Dre on occasion, I’ll see him at a gas station filling up gas, I run into his sister and his mother at Ralph’s Market, it’s a little more social and actually Dr. Dre and I don’t have a confrontational kind of relationship. It’s more, 'live and let live'. He sees me and says, "Hello", I see him and say"Hello", I haven’t seen Cube since he left N.W.A, which was somewhere I think in '89 or '90, so I literally haven’t seen him in 16 years. We were never close friends to start with. Where as I had a personal relationship with Dre, my relationship with O’Shea(Jackson) was basically a business relationship brought about by the fact that he was a member of N.W.A. and, before that a member of C.I.A. And he has persisted, most recently in F.E.D.S. Magazine, in taking these old positions that it’s not possible that he really believes. [Laughs] I find it ludicrous to think that he really believes these things that he says about me. I never seen him at a Laker game, I’ve never seen him on the street, I’ve never run into him, so I have no way of knowing what our relationship would be whether it would be cordial or not cordial but I would play it by ear. If he was cordial to me I would be cordial to him out of respect as his position he’s achieved as a former member ofN.W.A. Which I must respect and of what he’s accomplished as a filmmaker. Would I go out and buy one of his records now?.... Give me a break.
Pick up "Ruthless": A Memior at http://www.amazon.com/Ruthless-A-Memoir-Jerry-Heller/dp/1416917926 or your local bookstore.