Suge Knight has recently launched a podcast from behind bars. Entitled Collect Call With Suge Knight, the former Death Row icon (real name Marion Knight Jr) has teamed up with Breakbeat Media and, in the most recent episode, explained in-depth who was really behind the success of 2Pac’s 1995 single ‘California Love’ featuring Dr Dre.
Speaking about the hit featuring Roger Troutman, Knight insisted that the song was created and laid out by DJ Quik and J-Flexx. The now-incarcerated label head also unveiled that although 2Pac and Dr Dre performed well, it wasn’t a hit until he invited Troutman, who gave it a Compton feel, to sing the hook.
Opening up about Troutman’s contribution, Knight disclosed, “The minute Roger walked in that studio, I gave him 50 racks cash off the top.” According to Knight, the funk legend was struggling financially, so he gave him extra cash, divulging, “The minute he told me his situation, I gave him another 100 racks, so I gave him 150 racks before he even hooked up the talk box.”
Singing the Zapp legend’s praises while undermining Dr Dre, Knight exclaimed, “That muthafucka went in that muthafucka and made magic because I brought him in to make the magic…so when Roger did that, I gave him another 200 grand just to be in the video. That made ‘California Love’ — so ‘Pac wrote his verse, J-Flexx wrote Dre’s verse.”
Prior to unveiling that J-Flexx wrote Dr Dre’s verse, Knight has made several allegations concerning the multi-million mogul. During a phone interview with TMZ earlier this year, the convict insisted that all of Death Row’s most famous records were produced by Snoop Dogg’s cousin, the lesser-known rapper and producer Daz Dillinger.
In a disparaging manner, during the interview, Knight claimed that Dr Dre even asked Daz Dillinger if he could take credit, alleging, “When it was time to come out, the streets said, well, they want Andre [Dr. Dre] to be on it, and Andre said, ‘I want to be on there…look man, let me say it was produced by me, and put my name on it. You’ll get paid, but let me be the one who produced it.”’”
‘California Love’ was the first track 2Pac released after his stint in prison became an instant hit and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. To this day, the track is a G-funk classic and has inspired many, including Kendrick Lamar, who witnessed the remix getting filmed in Compton.