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As everyone is surely aware of, Danny Boy's "It's About Time" CD recently dropped on Death Row / Wide Awake. Rap Talk interviewed Danny Boy about the release and more...

Quote:Raptalk hooks up with former Death Row crooner Danny Boy regarding the (finally) release of his Death Row material via Wide Awake released album, It's About Time. Danny Boy speaks on the album very candidly with us and is not afraid to go into details.

Not holding his tongue, Danny Boy describes his time on Death Row with Suge Knight - as expected, a lot of good and a lot of bad.

Read on...

Titling the album It’s About Time” – “I had nothing to do with titling the album. That was all Wide Awake, but thankfully they came up with a good, fitting name. If I would have added anything myself, it probably would have been “damn” – “It’s About Damn Time.” But thankfully, the good people at Wide Awake came up with a good title.”

Having DJ Quik & Devante Swing produce the album – “Even though its material that was recorded about 15 years ago when I was a teenager, it feels very good to have DJ Quik produce the majority of the album. To me, DJ Quik is the king of the west coast when it comes to production. His music is so organic. And plus he is a good dude with a good spirit. If you were in the studio with DJ Quik and had a headache, Quik knew which herb to give you to make you feel better (laughs). When it comes to Devante Swing, I find not a lot of people are familiar with him today. Devante Swing was the number one guy back then for R&B. He could have talked or whispered on a track and it would be a hit.”

Favorite song on the album: My favorite song on the album would have to be “Ride” with Roger Troutman and JoJo. JoJo is someone I grew up listening to and watching. He’s a legend and it was an absolute blessing to be able to work with him and to have built a friendship and brother ship with him. Who doesn’t know Roger Troutman? We’re talking about “California Love.” Roger Troutman treated me like he was my uncle. I was very young during the Death Row days, 15-17 years old. Roger Troutman would take care of me and come around like he was my uncle. I remember he used to put on a bunch of different cartoon character voices and be very entertaining. He had a lot of soul and personality in him. And who doesn’t know Roger Troutman from the tube? He would put that tube in his mouth and get busy. I’m very grateful to have worked with Roger Troutman and JoJo on “Ride.”

On potential future Roger Troutman-Danny Boy releases: “Me and Roger Troutman completed about 7 songs while on Death Row together. To my knowledge, “Ride” is the only one that is released. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to put more Death Row material via Wide Awake, and include more of these unreleased collaborations with Roger Troutman”

A 2nd Danny Boy-Wide Awake album: We’ve talked about the possibility. They have about 300 songs of mine in their vaults that I at least started. I used to record daily at Death Row. They probably have more material on me than anyone else. I would love to get some of those tracks and re-cut them to make them sound perfect. If everything is right, we will do more projects together. The start of this relationship between me and Wide Awake is off to a great start.”

Being an R&B artist on Death Row: “Everybody knows Death Row for its hardcore gangsta rap, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 2Pac and so on. I’m glad Wide Awake gave me an opportunity to show my fans and the Death Row audience a different side of Death Row with the release of “It’s About Time.” This is all about letting people hear the history of Death Row, something that Wide Awake now has and let me tell you, it’s an incredible catalog of music that is still going to be released.”

A Death Row book: I’ m working on a book that covers my time at Death Row. This is strictly how I saw Death Row, through my eyes. I’m in the process of gathering a lot of old footage and photos to include with the writing of the book. Hopefully, I’ll be able to also include a CD at the back of the book to allow the fans not only the reading experience of my time on Death Row, but also give them a chance and opportunity hear some of the other music as well.”

Time on Death Row: “It started off great. Suge [Knight] was a great person to me in the beginning and he adopted me. Suge Knight was my legal guardian. I was fooled in the beginning. I depended on him to do a lot of things. It started off great. It went from good to bad, to good and then back to bad in the end.”

Return to Chicago: “After my time on Death Row had soured for the final time, I returned to the Westside of Chicago where I’m from. It wasn’t a bad thing because I love my hometown but I returned broke and starving. It was a terrible experience. After all the good I had done on Death Row, I returned to step one. I took a bunch of regular, terrible jobs that I didn’t want to take – but I had to support my family. How do you go from Death Row to being a mortician and working at a memorial home? How do you go from that to driving a hearse and seeing someone get buried every day? How do you go from Death Row to becoming a waiter? To becoming a janitor? These are real jobs I took after I left Death Row. But you know what? Looking back on it now as a man, it humbled me and made me who I am. That’s the time when I was supposed to become a crack addict and a drug fiend. That’s when I was supposed to jump off a building and kill myself. But I didn’t, God kept me and I got through all of that. I look back on Death Row with a lot of bad, but it made me the man I am today.”

Fondest Death Row memory: “My fondest memory while on Death Row was the video shoot for “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” with 2Pac. Me and Pac were talking about it on the side of the set and Pac told me, “I’ve never seen anything crazier than this.” We were all kind of spooked out about the video. It looked like we had a bunch of dead legends right there with us. I don’t know how the people saw it but to us, those people looked a lot like the legendary musicians that had passed. It was crazy; we had a set and felt like we were walking on heaven.”

Worst Death Row memory: “We were shooting a video for a single of mine titled “Slip N’ Slide.” We were on a plane on the way to a tropical location to shoot the video. It was a small plane, a 12 passenger jet and it was me, Suge Knight, Michell’e and a few other people. About 30 minutes into the plane ride, the plane started shaking. We were yelling [for them] to emergency land it and the plane started falling sideways. We look outside and see the plane propeller on fire. The plane started filling up with smoke and we were going crazy. Thankfully, the pilot was able to successfully make an emergency landing.”

Wide Awake relationship: “I have a great relationship with Wide Awake. I’m a publisher over there among other things. I wrote a lot of these songs we’re releasing. When looking at the situation, I have to make sure that I view it as the start of a brand new relationship, not re-igniting the Death Row relationship. When I hear the name Death Row Records, I’m not interested. That’s like growing up and graduating from college only to go back years later. This is a new relationship and I don’t think Wide Awake is trying to re-ignite Death Row. I think Wide Awake is trying to allow people to hear the history of the catalog of Death Row that they’ve acquired.”

On Wide Awake becoming a permanent home: “It’s a possibility. I’m open to having that discussion with Wide Awake. I am eager to release some new music, not just the Death Row stuff I recorded 15 years ago. I’m releasing a new single in a few weeks online and to the radio. I have my own label titled Artist First and I’m looking for a home that believes in Danny Boy and that will help promote my project. I’m working with a few new artists as well.”

Next up for Danny Boy: “I love the entertainment industry as a whole. I want to be apart of it and I enjoy helping people. My poor experience with Death Row allows me to help the younger generation and I can ensure they don’t make the same mistakes that I did when I was a young artist. I’m into acting as well and I’ve been doing some theatre. Hopefully you’ll see Danny Boy on television and in some movies shortly.”

“It’s About Time” is in stores now.