“Damn, E, they tried to fade you on “Dre Day”, but “Dre Day” only meant Eazy’s payday.” If you’ve ever heard “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s” and wondered what that line was about, here’s a quick history lesson.
In 1991, after a dispute with Eazy and N.W.A.’s manager, Jerry Heller, Dre split from Ruthless Records and founded Death Row with Suge Knight and The D.O.C. The only problem is, Dre was still technically a Ruthless artist. As the story goes, to get Dre out of his contract, Suge and a few of his boys confronted Eazy with metal pipes and baseball bats, telling him that “we know where your mother lives.” Eazy signed the contract releases.
Now officially a Death Row artist, Dre began working on The Chronic. Released on December 15, 1992, it would would go on to become one of the most influential and successful rap albums of all time. On the album’s opening track “Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’),” Dre and his new artist, Snoop Doggy Dogg, would throw At Eazy, as well as Jerry Heller, 2 Live Crew’s Uncle Luke, Ice Cube and Bronx rapper, Tim Dog.
But Eazy would end up having the last laugh. A few months before The Chronic dropped, the Ruthless boss had filed a lawsuit against Dre, Suge, The D.O.C., amongst others, accusing them of conspiring to “use force and threats to break recording contracts with Ruthless.” Death Row’s parent company, Interscope Records, settled with Eazy, agreeing to pay Ruthless Records 10 percent of Dre’s production revenue, 15 percent from his solo records, as well as a cash payout.
According to record promoter, Doug Young, in an interview with Savidge, S. Leigh for the 2015 book, Welcome To Death Row: The Uncensored Oral History of Death Row, “Eazy was getting like 25 or 50 cents a copy for Dre’s Chronic album.” With the album’s triple platinum status by November 3, 1993, that meant Eazy could have made as much as $1.5 million. Eazy’s pay day indeed.
Eazy-E: Dre was under a contract with me as exclusive producer and artist, and in order to put out The Chronic he had to get an OK from me. I was included in on the deal, so I make money off his albums for the next six years, everything he does as an artist and a producer. He did his little dissing, but I say, “Dre Day” is only Eazy’s pay day. He can diss me all he wants, but I still make money off all his stuff.A falling out in the ranks of the gangstas | Chicago Tribune