“I’m about to blow the top off of everything I saw,” writes Bruce Williams, the long-time best friend and right-hand man to Dr. Dre, and a prime mover at Aftermath, one of the most successful start-up labels in music history. In Rollin’ with Dre: The Unauthorized Account, Williams, owner of a sports bar in downtown Los Angeles, gives us an unprecedented inside look at–and the up-and-down story of–two decades of hip-hop culture and “The Life.”
As Dre’s confidant and the problem-solver to a stable of artists and others who came to know him as “Uncle Bruce,” Williams was either there when the action went down or close enough to feel the hollowpoints whiz by: Dre perfecting the gangsta era’s signature sound displayed on his highly influential album The Chronic and its Snoop Dogg-helmed follow-up, Doggystyle; getting out from under Death Row Records, the label Dre co-founded with impresario Suge Knight; launching the careers of Eminem, 50 Cent, and The Game.
Williams lays it out in black and white, from dish on Tupac Shakur’s chaotic rise and fall to the deadly feud between Tha Row (formerly Death Row Records) and East Coast MCs and bigshots, from Suge’s legal battles to Dre’s reconciliation with Eazy-E before E’s untimely demise from AIDS, from the hard-won “overnight” successes of Snoop and Eminem to what it was like rollin’ with giants and legends-in-the-making–and living the life (and bearing the burdens) as a bona-fide master of the game.
Williams takes us on a wild ride, showing us the never-before-seen side of the infamous West Coast scene. With one foot firmly planted in the Hollywood establishment and the other in the sex-and-violence-drenched netherworld of the hip-hop music industry, Rollin’ with Dre: The Unauthorized Account, is the impossible-to-put-down story of music icons and the culture that created the soundtrack of a restless generation.