Jerry Heller
You Don’t Know Me

jerryhellereazy.jpg
You might think you know Jerry Heller, but he begs to differ. Since co-founding Ruthless Records with Eazy-E and piloting N.W.A. straight into mainstream America, this 65-year-old Jewish man has had nothing but dirt thrown on his name. “You let a Jew break up my crew,” Ice Cube famously said to Eazy on 1991′s “No Vaseline.” If you judged Jerry by the songs and videos where Dr. Dre and Cube have taken aim at him throughout the years, you would think he was nothing but a lying, thieving White devil. And while many hip-hop fans continue to judge Jerry by those accounts, his new book paints a clear picture that could make many question their assumptions.

Hoping to finally tell his side of the story and solidify Eazy’s legacy as the true visionary behind gangsta rap, Jerry recently released his first book, Ruthless, a personal memoir. It tells the amazing story of a seasoned music business veteran who helps nurture underground West Coast hip-hop, transforming it from a local swap meet attraction into a worldwide force. Today, Jerry is no longer affiliated with Ruthless, the company he built from the ground up, but he lives in California with his wife Gayle, where he’s planning his full-time return to the music business. He hopes to put a cap on his career by helping to give Latino hip-hop as big of a voice as he once gave to the “Boyz-N-The-Hood.” You can quote him, boy, ’cause he’s about to say some shit.

Why did you wait so long to respond to criticisms from Dre and Cube?

I’ve always felt that it wasn’t my place to speak on it. Also, I don’t know if it was naiveté on my part, or arrogance, or a combination of both, but I said, “People can’t really believe what Ice Cube is saying.” I mean, it’s so ridiculous, that nobody could believe that. What Dre said was a little more believable, but once again incorrect and Eazy’s not there to fight back. It’s not like I can go write a diss song and publish it and fight back, so this was just the opportunity to rehabilitate my reputation for what can be considered the twilight of my career, I guess. Also, [I wanted] to clear Eazy’s legacy. I felt a great responsibility to do that.

In the book, you make a point to describe everybody in N.W.A. as you saw them, which was more or less just regular kids, not some crazy career criminals. You also debunked the whole myth about Ruthless being started with drug money. What do you want people to take away from these descriptions?
When I wrote this book, here was my philosophy: I’m just going to tell it like it is, and let everybody make their own decision. And it is objective. I stand by what I say in that book, the fact that Ice Cube grew up in Los Angeles in a very good family—both his parents were intelligent, bright, working people—and the fact that he went to an upper-middle class white, Jewish high school. I mean, sorry, man—that’s what he did. Dre is what he is. Ren is what he is. I just talk about what they are.

Eazy was a street guy. And he was a tough, tough little dude. And he was very Machiavellian. He was one of the brightest guys I ever met, and I think part of that awareness and brightness came from the fact that he either was a drug dealer when barely into his teens or he was around them. One or the other. To be honest with you, from the day I met him, March the 3rd of 1987, I never saw him do anything suspect, as far as dealing drugs. I certainly saw him smoke pot. I saw him give away pot. I never saw him do anything that could even remotely be considered being a drug deal. When he saw the enormous potential of N.W.A and the possibilities of the record business, which I brought into play, I think he might have said, “Whatever I used to do before is ridiculous, man.” I explained to him about RICO: “Do you want to buy your mom a beautiful house and have some federal guy come there one day and take it away because you did something wrong?” I explained things to him, as I explain to all my other clients. Some take the advice, some don’t take it, some listen, some laugh, whatever. But this guy was an exceptionally bright guy and he always said, which I agreed with, that he conceptualized, Dre musicalized, Cube verbalized and Jerry financialized. And that was Ruthless Records.

Another interesting thing in the book was you seemed skeptical that Eazy’s supposed “final words,” which his lawyer Ron Sweeney read at a press conference, were really written by Eazy. How do you think he would have preferred to be remembered?
Well if you remember, Eazy always said, “I’m not a fuckin’ role model.” And he certainly wouldn’t have misquoted the number of children and baby’s mothers that he had. I’m not saying Ron Sweeney wrote this, but I know that Ron Sweeney read it. But when I heard it, I said, “Eazy didn’t write that,” because it was corny. It wasn’t like Eazy. He was a straight-ahead, hardcore, enormously successful young man. I know at the time of his death, he had to be thinking, Why the fuck me? Why me, man? This isn’t right. I can’t see himself all of the sudden putting himself up as a role model. He was very philanthropic, but he was a very private, personal kind of guy. Every year he took 500 kids to the Black rodeo. He just did great things. He did great things and he did them quietly and inauspiciously. He did them because they were good things to do, not because he wanted some kind of fucking acclaim from people in the industry or people outside the industry.

Is the Eazy biopic movie still in the works?
It is, and I’ve moved along quite significantly to the point now where the financing is basically in place. We’re starting to talk to actors and actresses. We have a director who’s committed to it, although we haven’t finalized our deal with him. His name is George Hickenlooper and he just finished Factory Girl and he did Mayor of the Sunset Strip and Dogtown. He’s a good director and even though he’s not extremely knowledgeable regarding rap, he has the sensitivity to deal with Eazy’s persona. We’re talking about starting filming on January 1st.

Who have you been looking at to play Eazy?
We’re talking to Larenz [Tate], who I think is magnificent. I just look in his eyes and I see Eazy-E in there. This guy is a magnificent actor and he’s underrated, I think. We’ve sort of reached out to Terrance Howard about playing Dr. Dre. We want either The Game or Ving Rhames or Michael Clarke Duncan to play Suge.

How did The Game’s name come into the discussion?
I met him by accident probably six months ago. We had a several hour-long conversation at the Starbucks in the Galleria in Sherman Oaks.

You met him at a Starbucks?

He was walking by and he sort of recognized me and walked back.

Did you ask him about the line “So if a nigga every try to Jerry Heller me/Tell Dre put up a mill’, cause that’s what my bail’ll be” from “No More Fun and Games”?
Absolutely. I didn’t ask him about it immediately, but I asked him about it. I said, “Look, we’re sitting here having this very cordial conversation, obviously we feel the same about Compton, N.W.A, and Ruthless Records and Eazy-E.” I mean, the guy has a picture of [Eazy] tattooed on his forearm. So he said, “Oh, I thought it was a compliment.” I just let it go at that.

How could that be a compliment?
Yeah, you know, whatever…Obviously, to me, it didn’t seem like a compliment, but he’s so pro-Compton, N.W.A, Eazy-E, Ruthless. I weigh all the good things he’s done for Eazy’s legacy against this one thing that maybe is or maybe isn’t a compliment. And I like him.

How do you feel about him as an actor?
I saw him in Waist Deep, and even though he had a small part, he was very powerful. I thought he was very good. I didn’t love the movie, but I liked the acting. Larenz was great. That lady Meagan Good was terrific. I thought that Game, for the small scope of his part, was very believable. He’s a big guy, 6’5”, probably 240, so if he goes up to 270 or whatever, I could see him overpowering the screen with the force of his intensity.

[continued on next page]

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    Stephen “Flounder” Furst.

  • http://www.myspace.com/3ndles3records myspace/3ndles3records

    Dat’s the shit right there. Lauren would be the perfect actor.

  • http://www.myspace.com/3ndles3records myspace/3ndles3records

    oh yeah..2nd bithces.

  • http://dronkmunk.blogspot.com dronkmunk

    “The Game or Ving Rhames or Michael Clarke Duncan to play Suge.”

    No I don’t think so. Each one of those people looks less like Suge than the last

  • yo

    jesus this should be simple. hire uncle phil

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    He robbed the Black Man!!!

  • Technique

    They should tell Common to get buffed up

    and dress him in red clothes and there

    ya go, a Suge Knight.

  • e

    They should tell Common to get buffed up

    and dress him in red clothes and there

    ^^^^
    LOL @ Common bulking up too bad Common only eats tofu

  • Trae Bizzo

    Did he ever answer the question about him and eazy taking a bigger cut than the rest of the guys and the deals behind cube and dre’s back.

  • jon-jon 23

    Even though I think Jerry Heller’s a crook (along with all the other managers and record company personnel) I would love to see a movie made about Ruthless Records. That was real rap shit. He hit dead on with the actors– Ving Rhames would be the only well-known actor that could play Suge, Larenz Tate would make a perfect Eazy (see O Dog Boyz in the Hood toned down a bit), Terrence Howard could pull off Dr. Dre. (get it)…That leaves Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella.

  • Sushi K

    Er… Ice Cube could play Ice Cube?

    Nah.

  • Killa

    Gayme as suge Knight muahahahaha, thats the most rediculous shit LOL

    Gayme is the exact opposite of Suge

    POOR CASTING LIKE THAT WOULD FUCK UP A GOOD MOVIE

  • DOUGH-BOY

    yo, its dangarous in da musik biz

  • Lex

    FUCK JERRY HELLER the lyin’as son of a biatch. He’s only after the money. you are too old 4 this shit man, go and have a hart-attack or sumthin’…

  • lil eazy

    jerry shoulda let me play my dad!

  • H-MAN

    I think tha Game should play dead

  • jon-jon 23

    It is ridiculous to think the Game could play Suge Knight. He doesn’t have that same larger than life sinister presence.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com Clyde Barker

    though he might sound genuine, i still think theres something fishy about jerry’s side of the story. I think Cube and Dre are more believable

    Then again im black so im naturally biased

    i think ving rhames or game would be aight..they got that “dark” acting persona

  • MR. OAKTOWN

    what a snake he sould sit his old

    ass down some whare talking about

    gangstar rap he can he can give a fuck

    fuck him

  • OG Frank

    This Guy is a bitch ass

  • Dermeezy

    I have one question, what is the difference between Jerry Heller, and Suge Knight? They both were out for themselves, and they were willing to steal from their own artists. Jerry Heller did help gangsta rap get to the main stream. Even with all the bad shit he did he was still responsible for getting people like Cube, Easy, Dre, etc… out in to the main stream. Without Heller, their might not be the west coast rap scene like their is today.

  • Indigo Kid

    He seems like a weasel fucker who’s just trying to make himself look like the good guy in the story. Ice Cube was right, don’t believe this rat.

  • LLLim

    i cant honestly believe cube went 2 a upper class jewish high school,sounds like a description of jerry.

  • LANDIGGY

    go vote nov 7 if you want a change vote dem if you want the same vote rep but go vote this is ptobaly one of the most important vote of you life

  • SUPERMAN

    DAMN HE EXPOSED THE SHIT OUTTA ICECUBE. I NEVER FELL FOR THAT WEST COAST GANGBANGING SHIT ANYWAY.

  • SUPERMAN

    H-MAN Says:

    October 19th, 2006 at 9:14 pm
    I think tha Game should play dead

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    COSIGNING THAT.

  • Trae Bizzo

    This guy is good, he want’s to set the record straight by dissin ice cube first and then telin his made up story. And didn’t cube go to College in Arizona before he moved out west.Old ass still lyin.

  • SHINE ON

    This book is tyte as hell.

  • rap-artis

    Hey, wat about 50 Cent starring as Suge?
    Ha Ha Ha……

  • aftermath

    i would laugh my ass off if the game played suge haha im defiantly getting the book and ima see tha movie Dr. Dre Nas and Eminem best lyricsiscts alive
    R.I.P. Eazy E

  • pat

    lol at game chiling at starbucks for hours

  • Detroit City Playa

    i bet game drinks a latte with soy, he’s so weak

  • dat cracka dan

    1st off, this guy’s bullshit… i’d still read the book though…
    and yeah ice cube went to college to study architecture or something… so what??? he just wanted something good for himself…

    2nd, the whole movie idea is fuckin’ great… and as someone said above, casting suge knight is easy… uncle phil… he’s the spitting image and we all know from the fresh prince that this guy can be VERY imposing onscreen… i can imagine him hanging vanilla ice off a balcony… and fuck it, cast jim carey as vanilla ice… loool…… did anyone see that “in living” color performance?….

    it is well known by now that music biz executives are crooks… and u ain’t no different jerry…

  • LANDIGGY

    you people are not on par go vote

  • SouthSider

    I hope Bone Thugs could play apart in the movie, maybe like at the end cause Eazy died just when Bone was about to blow up even more with there East 1999 Eternal album.

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    UCLA eh? Kinda makes me wanna go to college

  • Trae Bizzo

    dat cracka dan Says:

    “and yeah ice cube went to college to study architecture or something… so what??? he just wanted something good for himself”

    I got a co sign on that one Jerry Springer Heller is a lier, and an old one at that. He is trying to make a comeback in the business by useing them again. These behind the scene snakes are not to be trusted.

  • http://DAMMITBOYPRODUCTIONS.COM FREAKS

    he needs to get RICKY RO$$ to play SUGE!

  • SHINE ON

    Say what you want about Heller. But he has a way of bringing the importance and the legacy of EAZY-E’s life to light.

    His wife is on myspace, ya’ll are gonna feel stupid sayin all that shit cuz she is cool as hell!

  • trae bizzo

    What about the other four members? they where holograms huh, didn’t exist? they all brought something to the table thats why they called it a group. And your right i just go off of my space and i am ashamed of my self. SHINE ON i think you should shut your sesame street soundin ass the f**k up.

  • Layz-E MC

    This man waited for so long to write his book coz he never felt it was the right time? If someone has to speak on some shit that happened back in the day then it’s only coz they got no paper and the bills aint getting paid. The way he’s bitching about Dre and Ice etc. is pathetic, they’re all passed that, he’s just pissed off because his money came from NWA’s efforts and Easy’s efforts and NOT his own. Any jackass can manage accounts, you don’t need an upper class white dude.

  • GETDAGWOP

    HA HA HIM AND EAZY E USED TO HAVE SEX

  • SEAN P

    I HOPE THE SEX SCENE WITH HIM AND EAZY IS IN THE MOVIE LMAO!

  • trae bizzo

    Nobody responded to him but us.
    sounds desperate tho on his part.

  • Hussein Mad aSS

    True. Uncle Phil is the only one good for that part. The best to be honest just with a tan and beard die. I don’t think it has anything to do with lokkking like Suge Knight anyway. I think he’s trying to money-bait The Game or something. I can’t see the claim that he’s lying. To make his claims you have to know what you are claiming or it’s a civil case and lawsuit. That” why interviewee say a ‘certain someone’ or ‘known few’ instead of names. Shit This guy FINACED and made Ruthless so he’s more familiar with them than perhaps some of their kin. But I do believe The Game is looked at for a snare. Perhaps to get back at Dre for leaving Ruthless which was technically Jerry’s Label. Look at the signs folks both black and white Suge as the part as well????

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  • Papi

    well about those guys that were sayin jerry heller and eazy e had sex i think thats direspect to eazy and i agree wit everyone about dat stupid old ass white talkin half pipe dick suckin bitch jerry heller cuz he is a snake he shouldnt own ruthless cube and/or dre should own ruthless to put it back on the map hes jus gettin money and credit off eazy to look good to like he was eazys partner wen he was really gettin in between NWA and fuckin up everything and fuck suge knight 2 him and jerry heller r alike backstabbin dey homies like suge killin tupac and jerry heller gettin in between NWA and dat movie hes talkin about there should be a sex scene wit him and suge havin sex cuz dey got a lot in common
    R.I.P EAZY E
    R.I.P TUPAC

  • Shorty G

    He’s a white man that made a whole lot of money off some black kids. Now the money has ran out and he just trying to make some more. Don’t by that shit.

  • Solja

    the game as suge no fucin way the only thing thay have in common r thay r both slobs but other wise i will watch the movie

  • JonnyE

    Pinky from Friday should play Eazy haha

  • RESSE

    Man fuck Jerry!!! He played the fuck outta Easy. How in the hell you have one of the tightest producers in the game and you don’t pay him? N.W.A.’s last cd dropped at #1. The album ever to debut at #1 w/o a video or radio play. And this greedy as Jewish bitch made motherfucker fucked it up. On the real it is Easy’s fault for letting that motherfucker pimp him.
    “I never had dinner with the president punk and when I see your ass again I’ll be hesitant. Now I think your a snitch Throw a house nigga in the ditch you half pint bitch. lil maggot, easy e turned faggot, with your manager fella fucking mc ren dr. dre and yella, but if they were as smart as me easy e would be hanging from a tree, with a match and a lil bit of gasoline flame on till that jerry curl is gone. Can’t be the niggas for life crew with a white jew telling you what to do, heard you both got the same bank account dunmb nigga what you thinking about

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