Posted by: vincentlopez | March 20, 2009

Off Death Row – The Source July 1996 issue featuring Dr. Dre


Back in September 1996, one of the first things that came to mind after hearing about Tupac being shot was that Dre had left the label just in time. The East/West feuding was out of control and Suge seemed to have taken complete control of the label anyway. So Dre took his share, set up a new label and hasn’t looked back since. In this interview, he seems to have the same piece of mind he gained when he first left Eazy-E and Ruthless Records. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess. I’m assuming that he never really wanted to focus on the business of the music industry since he was always a perfectionist that put all his efforts into the music first. But being forced to own his own label turned out to be the best move he ever made. Dre initially wanted to name the label Black Market Records but the owner of that label (based in the Bay Area, I think) turned down the $100,000 offer to give up the name. I’m sure he or she has been depressed since that day. A few questions:


Was his first album on the label (Dr. Dre Presents…The Aftermath) the right move, in your opinion?

Do you think Suge really attempted to hurt or ‘kill’ Dre for leaving Death Row?

Why didn’t he buy back Death Row Records when it was sold through bankruptcy?


Record Report:


De La SoulStakes Is High (4 mics)

Heltah SkeltahNocturnal (3.5 mics)

Uncle LukeUncle Luke (3 mics)

MC BreedTo the Beat Ch’All (3 mics)

Wessyde Goon SquadAround the World (2 mics)

Wise IntelligentKillin’ U…For Fun (3 mics)

Face MobThe Other Side of the Law (3 mics)

G-Shorties44 Wayz (2.5 mics)


Source July 1996 issue



July 1996 fat tape






  1. I think that Dre,for the first and last time in his career,rushed a product out.Even though it was a compilation(which I was able to find again a few weeks ago,for $5) it didnt have any feeling to it.

    Suge..idk…I felt that he “intimated” the California Love/Can’t See Me” beats from Dre though.But I also think Suge felt that he didn’t need Dre anymore since Daz was there.

    The DRR,I assumed that he was going to buy it back once it was on the market.I hate when music catalogs like that get into the wrong hands,before you know it it will be pimped to Mainstream America.

    I also want to thank you,each and every post has brought back so many memories.Looking back I can’t believe how “spoiled” the whole era “88-97”
    made me.Even though I was only 15 at the time of 96/97,I believe that year changed how I looked at “The Source” and Hip-Hop in general.

  2. Thank you!!!!

  3. glad ur back son! im glad i have this issue as well!

    Dre leaving Death Row at that time was his smartest move at that time. It was gettin crazy over there. Plus him and Pac fell out of favor cause rumor has it that Dre took credit for a track that Daz produced. and i guess Pac didnt like that. Plus at the ’96 MTV awards Dre was there, but right when he got word that Pac & Snoop was there he took off. right move cause u know if Pac saw him somethin would have happened.

    Dre did the right the thing! Now his 1st LP off the label didnt sell to well, but u cant front on “Been there, Done That”! that was a ill record. But he had a long term vision of what he wanted to do. and the following year in late ’97 he met up with Eminem then the legend grows!

    Do i think Suge attempted to kill dre? u never know, look what he did to Pac and look what he allegedly did to BIG. so i cant say, but attempt to hurt him? hell ya! Now Suge probably didnt expect Dre to blow up after he left. Suge was thinkin hey, Death Row is still on top and i still have Pac & Snoop forget Dre i dont need him. But the joke was on him, cause he got Pac shot then Snoop left after Suge was put in jail. Suge tried to get at Dre twice! the 1st time at that 2001 Source awards when Suge’s people tried to get at Dre & Snoop while they were performing. Then in 2005 at the Vibe awards when Suge got somebody to try to stab Dre, but Young Buck came to his rescue. so Suge tried to get him.

    Dre want nothin to do with Death Row, thats why he didnt buy it back. In retrospect Death Row provided some somewhat quality music, but the way it was ran was outright crazy!! Stories like u couldnt step on the Death Row logo in Suge’s office or u would get beat down. People gettin whupped all the time in the offices, people couldnt work on time with their albums. Suge installed fear in people man. Dre knew what that was like, so i imagine he dont want nothin to do with that label.

    De La Soul- Stakes is high is not 4 mics, thats a 5!! hands down, that is De La’s best LP in my opinion!! no joke!

    Heltah Skeltah- Nocturnal is not 3.5, that is a 4 or borderline 4.5!! There is way too many jamz on that LP for it to be a damn 3.5. We was jammin that LP non stop in 10th grade!!

    Once again another fat tape that brings tears to my eyes!! hip-hop used to be like that for u youngstas out there!!

  4. OH, holly cow!!!!!!! I just can’t download it!

  5. yo, vincent – thanx for this, but please tell us what’s the password??? I can’t download it.

  6. ok, ok, i’m dumb. the password is

    keep on doing the great job


  7. whats the password?

  8. sorry, never mind

  9. I remember Dre’s departure caused a riple of sorts throughout the Hip-Hop World. I know his decision basically made Snoop Get the Heck Out Before Things got even crazier.

    Death Row did have some quality joints but management had serious issues. The stories that have reached the public are distrubing as f..shhh.

    Now to answer the questions:

    1. Right Move. He would improve on this with 2001.

    2. Suge and Dre never really had terrible business dealings so Dre probably left amicably.

    3. I not sure if Dre can provide a good answer for this question

    Well, That’s all folks and thanks for another great source drop.

    And yeah, Stakes Is High is 5 mics. Nuff said!!!!

  10. yo won’t work for password?? what up, is it still active?

  11. @ Rip – Type the whole password.

  12. bull*** this does not work
    someone please paste the EXACT password for me… this is ridiculous
    noone others have required passwords… please help someone

  13. Actually the password is:

  14. ahhhhhhhhh i gotta have those classic man!
    at least you could let the links!!!
    you have no idea how long i was searchin for a site like this and now its locked :/

  15. Wise Intelligent Killin’ U 4 Fun deserves 2.5 mics. All those offensive skits, and the weak production on some of the tracks.

  16. De La Soul-Stakes Is High: This could have been 5/5 instead of 4/5.

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