During the latest edition of the Connection Is Magic podcast, Peter Paterno – who has also represented Pharrell, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses – recalled the period following the release of Dre’s seminal debut album, 1992’s ‘The Chronic’.
“The first album that I was actually involved in was [1999’s] ‘2001’,” Paterno told host Samson Shulman. “So I was working with Dre, and [‘The Chronic’] came out and it blew up… it was Number One.”
Paterno served as the president of Disney’s Hollywood Records at the time, as Hot New Hip Hop notes.
“We’d have these music meetings every week with Michael Eisner at Disney, and Michael Eisner came by and he sees the record’s at Number One and he goes, ‘I thought you had a relationship with this guy?'”
“I said, ‘I do’. He said, ‘How come we don’t have this record?’ I go, ‘Well, Michael, let me just read you some of the lyrics… Motherfucker, motherfucker. And you know what this is on the cover? That’s a marijuana leaf’.”
Paterno continued: “The deal was $4million. He goes, ‘We can’t do that!’ I go, ‘That’s why he’s not on the label.'”
‘2001’ was ultimately released via Interscope and Dre’s own label Aftermath.
“To be fair, Jimmy [Iovine, co-founder of Insterscope] would’ve probably would’ve gotten it anyway ’cause he was smarter than I was. But I didn’t even try. I mean, to be really honest I had enough problems with hip-hop with Disney.”
You can hear the conversation from around the 30-minute mark in the above video.