(AllHipHop Features) BET recently took it's viewers inside the world's most notorious record label, Death Row Records, with their documentary, 'Death Row Chronicles'!
The three-night, six-part series chronicled Death Row's exciting yet turbulent rise and fall through the use of never-before-scene archival footage and Death Row documents.
The unique docu-series gave viewers a raw, inside look at the record label that pushed West Coast Hip Hop to outright dominance with a concentration on the label's artistic geniuses, conflicts, and court cases.
'Death Row Chronicles' gave firsthand knowledge and commentary from not only Suge Knight himself, but also from those on the world's most infamous record label, and those that knew the roster and no-nonsense label head the best.
Death Row Records was living large as they changed the face of music with a massive impact.
The series and narrative alone prove to be a cautionary tale of what can happen when a label, its leadership, artists, and street politics all spiral out of control.
Though the series did highlight some of the label's turbulent past, it emerges as one of the most balanced and objective documentaries that we've seen on the subject of Death Row and Tupac's murder.
Although 'DRC' sheds light on some of Suge Knight's run-ins with the law and alleged violent rumors and myths, the series also painted Suge as a brilliant businessman and people's champ.
Viewers are taken through the journey of the label from Suge's introduction into the music business, the success of Dr. Dre's 'The Chronic' along with Snoop Dogg's 'Doggystyle', the addition of Tupac [to the label], to the demise of the label and the departure of its artists, the death of Shakur, and the imprisonment of Knight.
Death Row's story is told by a montage of commentary and [sometimes archival] interviews by Death Row artists, journalists, professors, label heads, former security guards, and even former interns.
The documentary also included various reenactments of legendary Death Row stories.
Suge Knight, Kurupt, Danny Boy, and Michel'le are a few of those featured in the documentary who give their versions of what happened back then.
“We traced [Knight’s] evolution from a guy from Compton, who was not necessarily associated with gangs, who had a promising football career, then his left turn to music. He learns how to influence people, sometimes through intimidating tactics, sometimes because he’s just so business savvy. And then [we look at] how he steered Death Row, what things helped to make it great and what things he did to bring it down,” said Mario Diaz, executive producer of the series.
The documentary served as a platform for many involved with Death Row to tell their truths, and it truly gave Suge an opportunity to debunk a number of violent and aggressive myths associated with himself and the label.
While it was always believed to be much craziness, media hype, and menacing appeal surrounding the label, 'Death Row Chronicles' shows that it seems to have been all of the above.
Hip Hop fans were reminded here of how all of Death Row's releases were huge hits, but the label was still spiraling out of control which was evident with so many criminal cases pending against it's members.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the series was the firsthand eye-witness account of Tupac's murder by Keffe D. Keffe essentially alluded to and seems to confess to his nephew, Orlando Anderson, being the one to pull the trigger in Tupac's murder.