RBX And Lady Of Rage Reminisce On Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’
RBX: At that time I was very street, and I was loyal to the cats I was loyal to. This who you ride with. This that L.A. mentality. It’s still in me but I’ve grown. You ride with your folks until the wheels fall off. Being that Snoop was my little cousin, I was down, so I just talked before the last verse. When he jumped in it, I jumped in it 10 toes in. I didn’t have no problems with Eazy though. I seen Eazy after that, and he was like, “Yeah, I know what it was.” I didn’t understand the severity of the beef but I was just riding with my team.
RBX: I was working on a project at the same time as everyone else. That song was going to be for my album. But Dre’s a perfectionist, and we had backed ourselves up to a wall, and our deadline was coming up. Dre was like, “We need one more joint. “ And I’m in working on my song in Studio B, and Dre came in creeping, like, “I need that. I need that so we can finish The Chronic off. Let’s put that on The Chronic.” Me being a team player, I said, “No problem.” Me and Snoop, we were really tight at the time, this is before all the hoopla came into the thing. That was my little cousin. He was like, “OK, I’m gonna jump in. You write the first verse, I’ll write the second verse.” And then we each did eight bars on the third verse. The first eight bars Dre is spitting on the last verse are mine, and the last eight is Snoop. I knew it was gonna be mad bananas. We was a team, so I never had hard feelings that it started as my joint.
RBX: It was right around the riot. A bunch of wilding out going on. I was at a bar where Suge was affiliated with the owners, I was just hanging out, and I saw the Rodney King verdict. I was seeing wild craziness, and the cops weren’t even doing nothing. I would be posted up and suddenly it would be a sea of people 40 deep and just five cops, so the cops wouldn’t even do nothing. From all that I went back in the studio and I just shared my story of what had happened and what I saw. Everyone just had different stories and they shared that. It was an experience of a lifetime. It was an iconic event.
Rage: That’s my first verse on the album. I just wanted everybody to now what I’m about. Just wanting everybody to feel me. Like, “I got something to say, I’m not just your average MC. I’m not just a female MC. I’m an MC and I do this for real.” When the beat came in like that, it was just so hard, I was just like, “Ooh.” [That song] makes me smile. Before I went to California, I lived in New York. Me and DJ Premier we’re very close, and I remember trying to tell them that I could rap but he would always kinda brush it off, ’cause you know he got a million people telling him they could rap. When he heard that he called me and he apologized. He was like, “Yo, man, I’m sorry, I didn’t even know.” I said, “I tried to tell you.” A lot of people were shocked, but a lot of people already knew and they were probably happy for me. That was my moment. My main goal was just to let everybody know that I could do this and I wanted to be remembered. When it comes to the history of rap, I wanna be in that conversation, like, “Rage, damn, she’s one of the best.” That song was the beginning of me making that happen.
RBX: It was the time we were in. There was gangbanging going on; we did it lyrically. We had gone to all the projects in L.A., we had been to Nickerson Gardens, a few other ones. Suge wanted to see if he had the truth. “If y’all can run through everyone in the city unscathed, then y’all are the truth. We need real rap cats who can do it in the street.” He was like, “Let’s see what these cats are really made of,” and we passed the test. That’s where that came from ’cause we had to battle damn near the whole city. We were the ones that rose to the top. Me, Rage and Kurupt. Dre said, “I’m going to put you on the track and I just need y’all to tear shit out the frame.” Dre felt that we was the most lyrical as far as gutter. Snoop is more suave, he’s more the smooth macadamian, but for this song Dre didn’t want smooth—he wanted bang. It was like [the 1972 Bruce Lee film] Game of Death, and I was like Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. It was just like that, in a rap format. Like, “We got a real tall dude with some sunglasses on who will kick you in your chest.”
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