Eazy-E was initially meant to be head of Death Row
(Credit: Kein Ahnung)

Old School Archives

Eazy-E was initially meant to be head of Death Row

Last year, before his arrest, Duane ‘Keefe D’ Davis revealed that one of the owners of Death Row, Michael ‘Harry-O’ Harris, was interested in having Eazy-E heading up the record label before he approached Dr Dre.

Keefe D grew up in Compton and was a childhood friend of Eazy-E (real name Eric Wright). During an in-depth interview, he unveiled that Harry-O asked him to set up a phone call with Eazy while he was incarcerated.

Keefe D is a well-known former gang member who unpacked Death Row’s story with DJ Vlad on Vlad TV. Recalling the label’s formation, Davis explained, “They called and asked me to hook them up on a conference call with Eazy-E. So I called, they talked to Eazy, and they asked him do he want to run their record company. They offered it to him first!” 

According to Davis, Wright was concerned about getting into business with Harris while he was in prison, so declined. As such, the next day, Harry-O contacted Dr. Dre, who accepted the proposition.

Speaking about Eazy’s reaction to the call, Davis continued, “Once the phone call went dead, Eazy showed up to my house 30 minutes later. He like, ‘Dude, them dudes in jail and I’m already established.'”

Speaking about the phone call, Davis explained how it took place when Dre was still signed to Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records as a member of NWA. It is widely speculated that Suge Knight strong-armed Eazy into releasing Dr Dre from his contract.

Irrespective of Knight’s underhand tactics, Dr Dre’s involvement with Death Row led to iconic hip-hop projects such as The Chronic, Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle and 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me and with acts such as Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, Tha Dogg Pound, Snoop Dogg and 2pac gracing his beats, Dr Dre was ultimately the right match for Harry-O.