Rick Rock looks back on the day 2Pac recorded one of hip-hop's greatest diss records.
Rick Rock has been present in the game for decades. Having blessed a variety of artists, including E-40, 2Pac, Jay-Z, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg, Tech N9ne, Bone Thugs, G-Unit, and many more, the West Coast-based producer has earned a reputation for excellence. In fact, many consider him to be a pioneer of the "hyphy" movement, which in itself establishes him as a bonafide legend. As such, you know the man has stories for days. Evidently, Rick shared some gems a few weeks ago, speaking with the Murder Master Music Show on June 6th. Though much ground was covered, some of the more interesting moments arose during his reflections on working with 2Pac.
"We caravaned out there to get with Pac," he explains. "He was coming out when we was getting there, so we followed him to [Death Row] Studios. He's playing us the album, and right after that, he's like 'let's do a song!' He's talking to [E-40] and all them." Upon hearing Pac's request, Rock served up the instrumental that eventually became "Trading War Stories," and Pac wrote his rhymes on the spot. The experience no doubt left an impression on Rick, who details calling his people back in Alabama after the fact, barely containing the excitement in his voice.
"He exuded a lot of energy," explains Rick, speaking on Pac. "Fun, a lot of laughing. He was exactly what you see." Yet sometimes, as Pac's enemies can likely attest, that boundless energy could be used to destructive effect. "I was there when he recorded Hit Em' Up," says Rick. "He like 'I'll make sure all your kids don't grow!' I was there. I seen the Outlawz come in and tell him about whoever was saying something. Chino XL, or Xzibit - that's the homie though - but back then, Xzibit had said something. They was talking about that, and [Pac] went in and recorded it."
"There's some part where his mic distorts," continues Rick. "That just happened on accident. He was like, just keep that shit like that. All these weird moments. After the Soul Train awards...It was right after a confrontation at the Soul Train awards with Pac and Biggie. They came back to CanAm, and me and [Mike Mosely] was still working on a beat for him. He came in, Left Eye was there, Goodie Mob was up in there. That shit is coming back to me! This n***a had Left Eye sitting right here, chilling with the hoodie on!"