Part 2 continues with AllHipHop.com's exclusive interview with Chris “The Glove” Taylor, a former producer for Death Row and Aftermath Records, who worked with Dr. Dre on his some of his biggest hits. In the first part of our interview, The Glove details his beginnings and leads all of the way up to his work on Snoop Dogg's debut album, “Doggystyle.” Be sure to read Part 1 here to get caught up, and then come back to here for the conclusion of this special interview:
AllHipHop.com: What other songs were you not credited for?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I played the keys on 2Pac and Dre's “California Love” and I never received credit or recognition for that. I had to ask what was going on? Am I just an invisible studio guy? “California Love” was the last song that I worked on before I left Death Row. Then later on there was a song on The Chronic 2001 album for Aftermath called “Xxplosive” – that was my track!
AllHipHop.com: Did you ever ask Dr. Dre why you never received the proper credit on these tracks?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: Actually I did. I was really upset with what happened on the Snoop album. I didn't even get my name in the “Thank You” section. My name was erased on that album. Like how some producers receive a co-production credit nowadays, that's what I should have gotten. And I should have six or seven “mixed by” credits on that album too. It's not Snoop's fault. He even tried to put my name in his raps but Suge would be there like, “Change that.”
I was the second producer signed to Death Row Records, counting Dr. Dre when they first started. Suge used to tell me all of the time that I was going to be the next Dr. Dre. But how can I be the next Dr. Dre when you're leaving my name off of everything? I took issue with all of that and those were times that I took breaks from working with Dre. I would just go focus on something else. As a matter of fact, I didn't get back with Dre until he left and started Aftermath.
AllHipHop.com: Why did you go work with Aftermath after that bad experience with Death Row Records?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I had to be convinced, actually, but honestly I figured all of that happened because of Suge. It was just Dre running his own company now so everything seemed to be all good. I worked on The Firm's album, and I co-produced the song, “Phone Tap.” I got credit for the song and I got paid. I came up with the concept of having a “phone voice” for the song and did the beat but Dr. Dre really did take that song to the next level – and that's what he does.
AllHipHop.com: Since you bring up The Firm, what went wrong with that album in your opinion?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: “Phone Tap” wasn't the first single. Do you know how many people would have ran out to buy that album if the first thing they heard was that song? They chose “Firm Biz” to be the first single and I was like, “You've got to be kidding! That's not Mob music!” There were problems with that project from the beginning.
We had to replace Cormega with Nature and there was a bunch of label in-fighting. If you look at the back of that CD, you'll see like 50 logos on there [laughter]. Every label and company involved wanted a piece of that project. Plus the album was rushed because it was done in Miami. Nobody wanted to come to L.A. because Biggie had been murdered and we didn't want to go out East.
AllHipHop.com: You also worked on the Dr. Dre Presents Aftermath album, which was widely panned. Why did that album fail?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: People were upset because they wanted a “Dr. Dre” album. They weren't looking for a compilation album. That's what messed that up. Plus the single “Been There, Done That” was cool, but it was taking away from the gangster style that people wanted. As you saw with the next album Chronic 2001, he returned to the gangster style. People checked out “Been There, Done That” and when they went to see out what was next, they found that Dre wasn't on another song.
AllHipHop.com: What did you work on after the Aftermath compilation?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I did some stuff for Xzibit, a rapper named Saafir and a group called The Militia. They (The Militia) took out a 4 page ad in a magazine and it mentioned the work we did together – and Dre got pissed about that. What happened was that I had just renegotiated my deal with Dre and I was going to make some cool money. Then he cut my salary in half after 6 weeks so I left to work elsewhere. That ad came out before I could talk to him and tell him that I wasn't going to be around though – but he knows me. If I'm unhappy then I just disappear. I felt like I was missing a lot of money from the Snoop album and points from “Stranded on Death Row.” Between those 14 million albums sold, I should've had at least a million dollars from it. I always had that under my skin.
I had brain surgery in September of 1998 and when I recovered, we reconnected and did some work together again.
AllHipHop.com: And of course that leads to the “Xxplosive” song on Chronic 2001.
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I got burned again too. Let me tell you about that song. We went up to Reno, Nevada to work on King T's album because that was going to be the next album on Aftermath. I did that “Xxplosive” track for King T. As a matter of fact, that track and the one used by the reunited N.W.A called “Hello,” were done at that same session. Those were both originally for King T. “Hello” was a track that me and Dre both worked on together. He did the drum beat and I put everything else on top of it. “Xxplosive” that was some sh*t that I did.
Mobb Deep had an Issac Hayes sample for a song and I wanted to flip that – and I turned that in to “Xxplosive.” We would generally take the sample off and play the instruments slightly different so that it's not an interpolation or a sample at that point. I had to get my lawyer involved because I didn't even get paid the bare minimum that I should have been paid for my initial work.
AllHipHop.com: You got your lawyer after him?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I had to! He tried to tell me that he was still recouping from The Firm or some kind of bullsh*t. He had all of that money and he didn't want to pay the basic $1500 fee for the track. I had to fight just for that and I still didn't get credit on the album.
One good thing that came out of that though, is that if I didn't stand up like that, Mel-Man would have never received his co-production credits for the tracks that he worked on.
AllHipHop.com: I feel bad for you. I've interviewed other artists from that era and it seems like everybody got ripped off by someone.
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: We all got screwed. Nate Dogg, Jewel, Rage, RBX and The Dogg Pound signed their contracts on the same day. We were getting ready to go on The Chronic tour. Dre and I were putting the tour music together at Trax Studios and Suge had them all sign their contracts. They got $5,000 each. When I signed my deal I got way more than that. I was like, “Damn. Y'all got $5,000? That's f***ed up.”
AllHipHop.com: What was your friendship with Dr. Dre like?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I used to be in the inner-circle and I went to Jimmy Iovine's house several times with Dre. I went there for a birthday celebration one time and and he (Jimmy) had a tent set up that had a musician playing "The Godfather" theme song on his violin to welcome his guests. I was hanging out with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Nicks, Eddie Murphy, and all kind of other celebrities.
There was this other time Dre was thinking about doing something with Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, and he asked my opinion. I told him we should consider it, so we went to the studio that Trent was working it and it turned out to be the house that Sharon Tate was murdered in! This guy rented that house and had a studio put in there – the place where the Charles Manson family committed all of those murders. That's a memory that I'll never forget.
AllHipHop.com: And you guys haven't spoken since the “Xxplosive” situation?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: Not since 1998. I went on to work with a group called Chico & Coolwadda and we had some heat on that album. However, MCA was just stupid and they blew it on that project. I then became the DJ for Tha Pharcyde on one of their tours, and we did a show out in the East Coast.
As the group was being introduced, the host stopped and started talking about me to the crowd, and they all started cheering for me. I was just expecting them to just bring out the group. To me, that was the great big “Thank You” that I had been looking for. I had to get that from the East Coast! I never got that from the West, except for my neighborhood. This was at The Goodwill Games with 10,000 people in the crowd.
I don't have any regrets. I think I've made some miss-steps but everybody makes those. After that, I moved on to television music and made a career out of that. At one point every Monday on the UPN Network, my music was played on every show that came on from the evening until the news came on. I'm talking "Girlfriends," "One on One," "The Parkers" – I scored "The Parkers" for over four years. A lot of that was ghost production too.
AllHipHop.com: You've got to be kidding me!
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: Let me ask you, who painted the Sistine Chapel?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: That's who got the credit but it was a bunch of guys like myself. I found out that throughout history most of these great people didn't even do the f*cking work. The Sistine Chapel was painted by a bunch of guys. Michelangelo taught them his strokes but they did the work and he would come in and just touch up a few things – the same with Dre. One dude could not have painted all of that! This has always been going on. It's been like this forever. Michelangelo was the person connected to the Vatican that could get the money. Dre was that guy connected to Jimmy Iovine that could get us all paid.
AllHipHop.com: After all of this, would you be up for reuniting with the Doctor and making some music again? And if so, what's stopping it?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: The only thing stopping it is a phone call. If he needs me to come in to the studio and help get it in, then I'm there. This is about the West Coast. I'm sure this time it would all be done the correct way. The past is the past. It's all about now.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think about some of the recent tracks that he's put out?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I think he needs to call me. He needs to call The D.O.C and everybody else who worked on those first two albums – and let's get it in on this last one – the last ride.
AllHipHop.com: Are there any special projects that you're working on right now?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I'm doing music licensing right now, but I'm also working with Asphalt Entertainment on this project called “Independent Grind” that helps independent artists on what they need to do to get on. It's about showing how hard you have to work in order to make that dream come true.