Shoutout to Hip Hop DX for the interview!
The overwhelming majority of rappers have little to no personal experience to base their stories of street life on. B.G. Knocc Out is not one of those rappers.
After serving a total of ten years behind bars for attempted murder, the Compton, California native has returned to the Rap scene with the recent release of his first full-length as a solo artist, Eazy-E’s Protégé.
His aptly-titled solo debut disc is inspired by the memory of the mentor who gave B.G.K.O. and his big brother Dre’sta their big break by appearing on Eazy’s classic retort to then friend-turned-foe Dr. Dre, “Real Muthaphuckkin’ G’s.”
On Monday (August 15th) the fiery spitter seen sporting a curl in that now 18-year-old clip spoke to HipHopDX about the very real beef behind the music, which included an infamous showdown with Nate Dogg captured on film. The man who was instrumental in the discovery of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony concluded his conversation with DX by elaborating on the jaw-dropping accusations being levied by B.G. at some of Eazy’s closest confidants on Knocc Out’s new single, “N My Prime,” after first declaring in the shocking song that “The way my big homie went out, he didn’t deserve it / Try to say he died of AIDS, but Eazy was cold murdered.”
B.G. Knocc Out Gives History Of Eazy-E vs. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg Feud
HipHopDX: I know it’s ancient history now, but for the sake of our younger readers explain just how real the beef had become between the Ruthless Records and Death Row Records camps following “Real Muthaphuckkin’ G’s.”
B.G. Knocc Out: Well, basically what is was … Snoop [Dogg] got with [Dr.] Dre in the early ‘90s, and he basically stepped into a beef that really didn’t have nothin’ to do with him. But because Dre picked him up he got on the song “Dre Day” and he dissed Eazy [E]. So around the same time me and my brother, Dre’sta Da Gangsta, we met Eazy, and we stepped into a beef that didn’t have nothin’ to do with us. And we end up dissin’ Snoop and Death Row and Tha Dogg Pound. … We were just young, knucklehead kids who got into something that we didn’t really know nothin’ about. But because we was from the streets and we was used to dealing with beef anyway it really didn’t matter.
When we first seen the Death Row camp [face-to-face was after] the song, [“Real Muthaphucckin’ G’s” a/k/a “Real Compton City G’s”], got nominated for a – I think it was a Billboard Award or something. So we [went] to the Universal Amphitheatre to the awards, and that’s the first time that both of our [camps] ran into each other. I was a fan of those dudes, whether they knew it or not, so I didn’t really expect them to react the way they did. They kinda like loc’d up on us a little bit. And so we start goin’ at it; we had words. It got real serious to the point where when we got out the awards they was sayin’ what they were gonna do to us. But, we was all ready; we were strapped. We had guns and everything. And the Death Row camp at that time, they were like 300 deep. Suge [Knight] and them used to roll real thick. And it was only like seven or eight of us. But, when we got outside we pulled our guns out and was like, “Whatch y’all wanna do?” That was like late 1993. I think from that point on both sides understood that it was a little deeper than just music.
The second big incident that we got into it was the thing that’s on the Beef DVD … where you see us at the golf course actually having a little rumble.
DX: Speaking of that, did you and Nate [Dogg] ever get a chance to chop it up before he passed …?
B.G. Knocc Out: Man, I wish. I really wish [we could have], but nah, I was in prison. This is what happened: in 1997, before I went to prison, me, Snoop and Kurupt and [Dre’sta], we had a sit-down. A mutual friend of ours brought us all to the table. So we met up at a studio, we sat down [and talked], we actually made a record that day – it never came out. I don’t know what happened to it, but I think the guy Soopafly made the beat. … And I end up going to prison, and while I was in prison my brother had the chance to reconcile with Nate. But I never really had the chance. I wish I did. I really do, man. … When I came home I think that’s when Nate had got sick, so I wasn’t really able to talk to him. But, I had talked to Daz [Dillinger]. Me and Daz never met on a good note, but when I got home I went to his [record] signing … and then me and him, we been on good terms ever since and we talk frequently to this day. Me and Kurupt are real tight [too].
DX: I don’t wanna go back, but I just have to ask, did you and your brother know you were runnin’ up on a Marine wit’ them golf clubs? [Laughs]
B.G. Knocc Out: Aw man, no we didn’t. I’m tellin’ you bro’, I had no idea. [Laughs] I had no idea until I seen his obituary that the brother was in the military. I never knew that.
DX: I mean, how did that play out? Did y’all just walk out of there?
B.G. Knocc Out: What happened was, we had got invited [to that video shoot] because [me and Dre’sta] were on Def Jam [Records] at the time. Warren G was on Def Jam, so he invited all of his camp down there. And Russell Simmons and them called us and told us to come. They wanted like a celebrity video or whatever. So, I was up there chillin’. We sitting on this balcony and … I see Snoop. Me and Snoop already was on good terms by then, so Snoop smiled at me [and] I smiled at him like, “What’s up?” And then when Nate came by, Nate was the main one like, “Dogg Pound!” He was just tryin’ to bang on us. So I start sayin’ my hood, I’m like, “Nutty Blocc Crip.” He was like, “Dogg Pound.” I’m like, “It’s Compton Crip!” I was still in that mindstate. So, everything was cool, we didn’t start squabbin’ or nothin’. But when my brother got there, I seen my brother at a distance so I start to go meet him, and by this time Nate and them were ridin’ these little golf carts on the golf course and Nate swooped on me and ran over my foot. And this is what started the whole little incident. So he ran over my toe. I had on brand new shoes for one, [Laughs], and then he ran over my big toe. So I ran up on him like, “Dude, what the fuck wrong wit’chu, homie?” He was like, “Get out my face little nigga.” That’s how he was tryin’ to do me, tryin’ to treat me like a little kid. So I bombed on him. Bam! And when I bombed on him, everything cracked from there. And the only thing I didn’t appreciate about the Beef DVD [was that] they made it seem like on there – because I was in prison, [and] they didn’t get my brother’s perspective on the whole thing – it was one sided.
We never actually started none of the incidents that we had with those guys. It was always … I’ma tell you the truth, Nate – God rest his soul, but he was the dude that every time we seen him he was the one always pumpin’ it up. He would look at us [and say], “Dogg Pound!” And just, gangbangin’ on us. Like, that’s how he used to do it. And that’s how it always started. We had a few run-ins: at Russell Simmons’ Christmas party in New York like two times. And it was always Nate Dogg. I promise you. I ain’t tryin’ to put nothin’ on him ‘cause he gone, but it was always him, always woofin’ on us, man. And then we just responded. We had a few run-ins like that. I’m just glad it’s over.
B.G. Knocc Out Confirms That Dre’sta Discovered Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
DX: Let’s switch gears here … Can you clarify once and forever whether it was you or Eazy who actually discovered Bone Thugs-N-Harmony?
B.G. Knocc Out: It was actually Dre’sta Da Gangsta. We were doin’ a show in Cleveland at the time, which Eazy was headlining …. Then we got off stage after we finished performing [and] there was a lot of people standing by the [backstage area]. And Bone happened to be there. And at this time it was only Layzie [Bone], Bizzy [Bone] and [Flesh-N-Bone]. Krayzie [Bone] and Wish [Bone], we didn’t know who they were [yet]. We didn’t know them until they actually came to [Los Angeles]. When we walked by E was in front of us, so me and my brother was last behind E. So all these people was like, “E! E!,” calling his name. And he just kept walking. My brother was behind me, so when he seen these three youngsters, when he seen Layzie, Flesh and Bizzy, he was like, “C’mon man.” And when they came back there, there was a few people back there rappin’ for us. But when I heard these three little brothers get down I was like, “Wow.” I kept telling E, I was like, “E, man, you gotta get these dudes.” They was just immaculate. Like, they harmonizing with they lyrics, it was ridiculous. So when we got back to L.A. I used to ask him periodically, I used to be like, “E, what happened to them Cleveland guys?” He was like, “Uh, I don’t know; I ain’t heard from ‘em.” ‘Cause E used to do that, he a give you all his numbers but you still wouldn’t be able to contact him. And so I think about a [couple months] passed by and then I asked him [again], I was like, “E, what happened to them Cleveland brothers?” And he was like, “Oh, you know what? They came out here. I got ‘em in the hotel.” And ever since then they been like my brothers.
B.G. Knocc Out Explains Why He Believes Eazy-E Was Murdered, Did Not Die From AIDS
DX: You and Krayzie Bone share the same theory about Eazy’s demise that you spoke on during “N My Prime.” Do you really believe though that Jerry Heller somehow injected Eazy with [the HIV virus]?
B.G. Knocc Out: I believe in my heart somebody did something to Eric. Whether it was Jerry [Heller], whether it was [his widow] Tomica [Woods-Wright], I have yet to really know the truth about it. But, for a person to have full-blown AIDS [that quickly is suspicious]. My little brother, his father died from full-blown AIDS … from sharing a needle [‘cause] he was [an addict]. Now, I seen this man go through these stages, from HIV to full-blown AIDS. And, when you get a cold, any little thing like that, your whole immune system shut down. So you have to go into the hospital just to recover. Now, to be around Eric for the last three years of his life and he never had an episode like this – never ever – something is strange, something is real odd. And then you gon’ come out and tell me when the man go in there for bronchitis, you gon’ come out and tell me this man had full-blown AIDS. And we done been to New York, we done been to Chicago in below zero weather [and] he never got sick. He never had an episode. Like, c’mon bruh. Who are you kidding?
Before everything hit the fan with Eric and Jerry Heller, these brothers from the Nation Of Islam from Chicago – some of [Minister Louis] Farrakhan’s right hand men – [came to see Eazy]. We was at Ruthless Records and these dudes walked up in the office, just stormed in one day while we was in there. Nobody had no idea they was comin’. [They] stormed in the office, into Jerry Heller’s office, and told Eric to “Come here.” Eric got up and went into the conference room. They were in there for like two or three hours. And I swear, when they came out of there Eric had a different look on his face. He seemed like he was shook up about something. … And like a week or so later, he started firing Jerry [and the rest of Heller’s relatives at Ruthless]. He fired Jerry Heller. He fired Terry Heller. He fired Gary Ballen. And they were all family. Jerry and Terry is brothers; Gary is their cousin.
[Following that] me and my brother were finishing up our album, Real Brothas. And we had the song “Dogg Pound Killa,” [which] was another “Real Compton City G’s” record ‘cause Eric was a part of it. The night before we go into the studio Eric had an episode with his bronchitis. He go to the hospital [and] they kept him overnight. That next day he came directly from the hospital straight to the studio. He didn’t go home; he had the same clothes he had on the day before. [He] came to the studio, we in there, we got the record up. Me and my brother’s part is [already recorded] – my brother wasn’t actually there ‘cause we had did our part like awhile before – but we just brought the reel to reel to the studio for Eric to do his part. Eric only had eight bars to put on the whole song. So we sittin’ in the studio for like two hours and he finally show up. When he show up, some of his other groups – H.W.A. and I think Steffon or some other people – came and they was takin’ up his time. So, I kept goin’ to butt in they little meeting like, “Hey, Eric we gotta turn our album in, can you please come do your eight bars real quick?” And he was like, “Alright, I’ll be in there in a second.” So, I go back and butt into they meeting again like, “Eric, c’mon bro’. Niggas been up here for five hours waiting on you already, can you come do your part?” And he’s like, “Alright, I’ll be in there in a second.” The last time I went into the hallway the man was in there by himself sittin’ on the floor wheezing, like terribly. And I was like, “You alright?” I sat down next to him, and he was tryin’ to talk, and he had this big manila envelope in his hand, pulling out these faxes and all this stuff. He had records from where money was missing from the label – millions of dollars that he said Jerry was stealing from him. And Jerry was sending him idle threats – faxes and stuff like that. And he was showing me and the guy from Audio Achievements, who owned the studio [Ruthless artists recorded in]. And, he had these inhalers that I never seen before, these big, huge-ass inhalers, and he was tryin’ to hit his lungs wit’ em. And it seemed like his breathing was getting better and then it just got worse. So, when he started gettin’ real bad and he started sweating, I ran and got his two bodyguards [and] was like, “Hey man, y’all gotta come get the dude. Somethin’ ain’t right.” They came and picked him up, put him inside the car, drove him to the hospital, and that night is when it came out on the news.
So it’s strange, it’s a strange situation. And that’s what leads me to believe there’s something more.
DX: I appreciate you breaking all that down. I noticed you’re still reppin’ for Eazy, even calling the album Eazy-E’s Protégé. Why’d you decide to do that?
B.G. Knocc Out: Because, I don’t appreciate the fact in the industry after [Tupac Shakur] passed, ‘Pac got bigged-up from everybody, even his so-called enemies, [and] when [Notorious B.I.G.] passed, Big got bigged-up from everybody, [but] when E passed who really mentioned E’s name among the great people in the Hip Hop world? Not too many people. And, Eazy is the reason – he is the absolute reason why we can get on the record and say the things that we say and express ourselves in the manner that we do. … He’s a part of the foundation of being able to get on the record and speak your mind. He fought the [F.B.I.], nobody else did that. So how you can’t give this man his respect like that? And not just the fact that he’s my friend, he paved the way for all of us … whether people choose to accept it or not. I just wanna make sure people don’t forget this man, because I know some young kids right now that don’t even know who he is. And it’s sad. It’s very sad. And I just wanna rep the man; I just wanna make sure he’s not forgotten. And that’s the reason why I do what I do.