Outlawz member E.D.I. Mean explains what really happened with Dr. Dre and the Outlawz.
The hottest producer in the rap game was ready to work alongside the Outlawz. Tupac had just signed to Death Row records and with Dr. Dre’s production, Shakur had already made an impact with his comeback single California Love.
Although Dr. Dre worked on another record on Tupac’s Death Row records debut album All Eyez On Me, the pairing between two rap greats was short lived. Dre decided to part ways with Death Row records and the rest is history.
“From our perspective you have to understand we weren’t privy to the s*** that was going on behind-the-scenes. We the little homies. We the solider playing our position. So for us we went from being on the set of the California Love remix video. Dre happy. Everything is lovely,” explained E.D.I. Mean.
One thing was well known, Dre had heard the original Hit ‘Em Up record aimed at Biggie Smalls and the Bad Boy camp and was ready to take the song to new heights. Despite Dre’s eagerness to work with the Outlawz. Tupac ended up working with Johnny “J” on what became one of hip hop’s greatest diss records of all time.
“Pac was like Dre wanna holla at us,” recalled E.D.I. “‘Yeah, Dre wanna holla at us. We gon’ chop it up real quick.’ Long story short, Dre had told ‘Pac that he wanted to direct the Hit ‘Em Up video. Because he was f***ing with it so tough and he was f***ing with our music.”
Dre and the Outlawz would have that convo on the set for the California Love remix music video. According to E.D.I., Dre went as far as stating that the Outlawz are the new NWA, as the newly formed group reminded him of his days in one of rap’s most controversial groups ever.
Unfortunately for the Outlawz nothing ever materialized. Just as with everything during the height of the Death Row records era, anything could change at a blink of an eye.
“A couple of weeks later ‘Pac is like Dre is leaving Death Row. We like, ‘Ahhh f***! No video?,'” said E.D.I. Mean during his interview with Cam Capone News.
E.D.I. Mean also noted that Tupac wasn’t really upset with Dre, but more disappointed that the two weren’t going to work together after Dre’s departure. “It was more like damn I just got here and now he’s gone. This is Dr. Dre arguably the greatest hip hop producer of all time. He’s the sound of hip hop at that moment. The top of the food chain. I think ‘Pac was more disappointed. Like damn we could have made more California Loves,” said E.D.I. in the 7-minute clip below.
Despite their fallout and Tupac dissing Dre on Toss It Up, Dr. Dre paid tribute to Shakur during the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show. Hitting the keys on the piano live on stage, Dre briefly played the instrumental to I Ain’t Mad At Cha. (Watch here)