Death Row Records has suggested that something major is coming from its team in days to come, and as fans await news about what the infamous label has to offer, a producer close with the camp is speaking about their glory days. Last week, a clip from Curt “Kurt Kobane” Couthon’s interview with The Art of Dialogue caused a ruckus after he made claims that singer Michel’le, Dr. Dre’s ex-fiancé and mother to his child, told Tupac Shakur that she caught Dre in bed with another man. She later came forward to reportedly deny any such conversation, but the story had already gone viral.
In another clip from the same interview, Kobane shares that he believes Tupac’s affiliation with Death Row is what helped lead to his untimely murder during a Las Vegas drive-by shooting in 1996. He was 25-years-old.
“He wasn’t just in the circle, he was next to the guy who ran the circle,” Kobane said of Tupac’s relationship with Death Row’s former head honcho, Suge Knight. When asked if he believes that Tupac joining the label was his downfall, Kobane said yes. “I might get a lot of bullsh*t for saying it, but looking at it, and being in the inside and not just looking at it from a fan point of who this person was and who this person was, yeah. It was his downfall because he became something that he’d never been before. He never had that power.“
Then, Kobane was asked about Keyshia Cole’s involvement with the label around that time. “She was a part of, I believe, Hammer’s situation from Oakland,” adding that Keyshia was “eleven or twelve.” He said, “She was really like a fish out of water in this situation ’cause she’s only 12-years-old, she’s trying to do R&B at Death Row Records… So, we was really working with her project which we wasn’t taking too serious at the time.”
According to Kobane, he was the co-leader of the R&B department and while Keyshia wasn’t a priority to them, Kobane claims “Suge was giving her power. She was like, Suge little niece or something, you know what I’m sayin’? At twelve. She was gettin’ whatever the f*ck she want so if she want studio time, you had to go work with Keyshia.”
He added that Keyshia and Tupac were “close” because they bonded over Oakland. “When Pac died, she was right there with us. She was right there.” Watch Kurt Kobane share his experiences below.