RBX: It was about 4, 5 in the morning, Dre was pounding it out in the studio. Dre woke me up, nudging me. I’m wedged between the floor and the sofa probably, with a coat as a pillow. Knocked out. Dre was like, “Yo, I got this shit, man, see what you could do to this. I’m listening to this and I just say, “Seven execution-style murders.” And he’s like, “Yup! That’s it!” We started about 4 and we finished about 4:45. I had no idea what he was gonna do with it. Maybe a day later I heard it and I’m like, “Dre, I need to re-record that,” and he looks at me like I said something crazy. I’m like “I’m not really feeling that vocal, I think I could do it better.” But Dre knew what he wanted to hear. It had that raw, just woke up at 4 in the morning sound, and that’s what he wanted. It felt good that Dre trusted me enough to throw me out there on that song as one of his protégés. There wasn’t that many limbs on the tree, and for him to trust me to walk out on one of his limbs for his legacy, that was a good thing. I didn’t recognize that then, but now I see what he did and I appreciate it to the utmost. But on the flipside, a lot of people told me, “We bump that when we’re getting ready to do some way crazy shit.” It’s a rabble-rouser song. I don’t know if I like that; we striving to be on the positive side of things. But it is what it is.
Rage: I was gonna have a verse on that. My verse was gonna start, “Come, come, come again, come, come again, get with the wickedness.” And Dre was like, “Just say that. Just say that over and over. “I didn’t even do a verse. Then RBX did his part. You could go in the studio with certain intentions, but that’s not how it ended up. I think RBX and I were the first ones there for this. It was on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you were there while things were going on, you would most likely be part of what was going on.
Rage: I think I was being rushed. That’s why I don’t like writing in the studio. I don’t like being around a lot of people because I write slower than most, so I think I was a little slow that day. This song it sounded even harder than “Lyrical Gangbang,” and all of us are on there. I was like, “I really gotta turn it up a notch; I gotta outdo what I already done.” I ended my verse with “cell block H” ’cause I remember running across a television show called Prisoner: Cell Block H, and I think it was about a women’s prison. Me being the female in the crew, I just referenced a female’s prison, cell block H. When it all came together, that’s one of my favorites ever. I love it when we perform it, I love it when I hear it. Everybody’s verse is just “ooh-wee.” It’s just dope. That beat evoked some kind of emotion to me. I’m really picky too. A lot of beats I didn’t like. Like, “Ew, I don’t like that, And Dre would be like, “Damn Rage, I’m not even done—would you shut the fuck up?” As soon as I walked in the door—“I don’t like that.” He would give me that look, like, “Please don’t come in here with that. But [this song] was different. To me it sounded kind of like an East Coast track, and me coming from New York that was the type of beat that I liked. It sounded like an MC-type beat. It was incredible to me. It was rare that I would walk in and like a beat at all. I didn’t even like “Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thing” at first, but it grew on me. I didn’t like most of the beats at first.
RBX: I was trying to outdo the world on that song. I always tried to be the best. That song was when everyone was frustrated as hell and didn’t wanna be over there. That’s what that was. Me, myself, that was when everyone said I went AWOL, because I refused to be stranded on Death Row. It felt like nothing was happening. Money was being made—we was seeing Suge popping up in brand new Benzes and Rolexes, but we still in the studio grinding, riding the bus to get to the studio. We got frustrated. That’s when I started standing on my square. Me being from the block, I wasn’t scared to ride out. I was like, “Hold on, something ain’t right.” We putting work in, but they need to let some of that money trickle down. The money wasn’t trickling down. That’s when they were trying to get contracts together. And in between that time, we weren’t very pleased with the way Suge was running things, but our loyalty was to Dr. Dre. So we couldn’t go nowhere—we stranded on Death Row. We wanna ride with the homie Dre, but Sugarbear took the chips!
RBX: That was another situation where Dre had a beat playing, I was just talking and Dre was like, “Say that again. Go say that in the booth.” Dre just captured the moment, as he does. Honestly, I didn’t know what the album was going to sound like, because so much didn’t make it, and so much was getting done. The fact that I was on it as much as I was, it was a blessing. I didn’t ask for that, I was just being a team player. I used to come to the studio on the bus, on the train. I would get on the bus, open the back window, and just post up.
Rage: I think that was something where we were the only ones there and Dre would say, “Just go in there and do whatever.” There was a lot of that. “Just do whatever.” I remember one time I was so upset. I always told Dre, I tell anybody, “When I go in the booth, just press record. Even though I’m just checking the mic, press record.” And I was doing a mic check, and I was going off the head. I don’t know what possessed me but when I got through I was so excited, like, “Dre, did you get that? Did you record that?” He was like, “Na, ain’t that the rap you gonna do? I was like, “No, I told you to press record!” Me, when I’m going off the head, once I say it it’s gone. But it was so incredible. We’ll never know.
Rage: I wanted to be a part of “Bitches Ain’t Shit.” When I heard it, I was like, “Oooh, if I just could come back and tell y’all how y’all ain’t shit.”
NEXT: RBX AND RAGE ON THEIR LEGACY, BEEF WITH SUGE KNIGHT AND MORE