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4.2 out of 5 stars13
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on 28 February 2001
Ronin Ro paints a disturbing but very entertaining look at the record company Death Row. If you read the book then listen to the albums meantioned in the book you get a clearer picture of what and who they are talking about. I found it very hard to put down and im off now to read it again ! enjoy
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on 24 October 2000
This is one of the best books i have read in a long time a must for any serious rap fan. A true behind the scenes look at deathrow records the biggest black owned record label in America, and all the artists. A high point of the book for me was when Suge Knight had (ceo of deathrow)Vannilla ice hanging over a 6th floor balcony by his feet,forcing him to sign over the rights to "ice ice baby"
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on 14 September 2000
this book not only provides the startling, and almost shockingly violent rise of a West Coast music mogul, but also highlights the effects this growth has had upon the escalating violence within the Hip-Hop world, primarily attributed to the infamous west coast label Death Row records and its east coast rival Bad Boy records. It is detailed in its portrayal of the backgrounds of rap stars such as snoop dogg and tupac shakur. in regards to tupac, it is the only volume that i have read which portrays the man for who he was, an actor who lived his gangsta life through the actions of others, however, it is not all negative, explainign why people acted certain ways. for those who have such albums as doggy style and the chronic in their collections this book will highlight the processes and troubles behind their recordings. overall its an enlightening read, and since the writer does not need to retain favour with the artists mentioned, unlike magazines such as the source or vibe, it says what it wants to, regardless of the negative effect they may have.
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on 3 October 2011
This is a good book in which tells the story of how Death Row records was founded and funded on dirty money, corruption and brute force. There is a great chapter on how Suge Knight threatened Vanilla Ice and made him sign over the rights of 'Ice Ice Baby' to a man named DJ Chocolate who claimed to have written it. Anyway, Suge makes him drink Urine and then hangs him upside down out of the window a high rise building. There is also much more juicy inside gossip including why Warren G din't get signed to Death Row and also the effect that Tupac had on the record label. Get this book if you are interested in West Coast hip-hop and what went down in the 90's rap game...
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on 22 July 2001
A gripping read which trasports you into a world of gangstas, violence and East side/ West side tensions. I especially enjoyed reading about the life of Tupac Shakur which I found very interesting. Ronin Ro takes an issue and reports the facts allowing he reader to draw their own conclusions. A fabulous read but I found I got lost quite a bit!
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on 19 January 1999
The writer of a long list of oustanding articles for THE SOURCE and author of GANGSTA - MERCHANDISING THE RHYMES OF VIOLENCE has served up a compelling account of the trails of Death Row Records, home to the late Tupac (2Pac) Shakur. Armed with exclusive interviews from former employees amd reliable eyewitness accounts, Ronin Ro examines how Suge Knight, head of Death Row Records, founded the controversial label and how he ruled his empire with an 'iron fist'. Ro provides vivid testimony about the alleged extortion, robberies and assaults committed by Knight and his cronies, and traces the beginning of the labels downfall. There are accounts of how artists vocals were erased from studio tracks and replaced by others, amidst other gripping facts about the label that, as well as losing most of it's leading arists (2Pac, Snoop Dogg), is currently being investigated by the FBI. This book is very enjoyable, and is rated 4 crowns. Ronin Ro keeps you reading by throwing constant facts at you, each more revealing than the next. A fantastic non-fiction book.
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on 28 February 2015
Really good book, interesting seeing the inner dealings of the record label, learnt some crazy stuff. Wow.
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on 10 February 1999
Ronin Ro has clearly done his homework. And the fruits of that are for all to see, in this 380 page book that should be about half this length. It's not really as if Ro has chosen to overload us with detail - the facts which he includes are generally salient and interesting. It's just that they tend to be repeated ad infinitum. This book is in desperate need of an editor. To be told (in almost identical terms) who someone is twice on the same page, is sloppiness of a very high order (unless it was intended to be read by someone with the attention span of a flea). That said, there's a great and fascinating story here - and Ro can clearly write. It's just a shame that getting through this book is such a frustrating experience.
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on 15 June 2000
An interesting look into the most notorious record labels of the 1990's.
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on 29 July 2011
This book is a good rwad for anyone who is a fan of West Coast Hip Hop or the label Death Row Records itself. There is always some story or incident being discussed. It shows the story of how a young man from the streets rose to power as a CEO of one of the biggest Hip Hop labels of all time, and all the trials and tribulations that came along with it. Beatings, asualt, robbery, murder, it's all in here

The only downside I had while reading the book was the biased views of the writer. He takes his time to disrespect Tupac Shakur a lot in the book stating that he "raps one of his immature raps on California Love" When the song is a mature party track if he listened to it at all. He then goes on to discuss about how he feels that 2Pac did rape the alledged victim - Even though he was only convicted of sexual assualt, and even that has been long debated, and passed off as a wrongful conviction. Another is claiming he's a fake wannabe gangster, even though Notorious B.I.G. gets all praise aand respect. The writer clearly has a vendetta against Shakur in this book, and comes off as hating, and therefore writing false information, and his opinions down as fact. besides that, the book is a good read
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