You all know Danny Boy’s heartfelt voice from 2Pac’s mega-hit record, “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” from the record-breaking, over 10X platinum album, “All Eyez on Me.” 2Pac and Danny Boy followed that up with another chart-topping success with “Toss it Up” from the classic Makaveli album, “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” – one of the last songs Tupac ever recorded.
With numerous appearances on songs with 2Pac, Danny Boy has also been featured with Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, K-Ci & JoJo, Mary J Blige, Aaron Hall and many more.
On April 20th, 2010, Danny Boy is finally able to release his long awaited debut Death Row album appropriately titled, “It’s About Time.” This 15-song album is produced entirely by DJ Quik and DeVante Swing and has guest appearances from the late Roger Troutman and JoJo from K-Ci & JoJo.
Check out this HHR exclusive interview with Danny Boy, as he talks about his new album and reflects on his Death Row Records days and the fall of the storied rap empire, as Danny Boy says, “Suge [Knight] lost his mind around that time” and “the devil took over.”
HHR: Danny Boy, this month you’re finally able to release the material through Wideawake/Death Row that so many people have been wondering about since we first saw the promotion for it during Tha Dogg Pound’s “Dogg Food” release. With DJ Quik and Devante Swing handling all the production, how does it feel to have this material finally seeing the light of day?
Danny Boy: I am very excited, as it was an amazing experience. I like to call it the debut album of the lost records.
HHR: Why did it take so long for this material to come out? With DJ Quik and Devante producing on it, it seems like a no-brainer to put out.
Danny Boy: I wanted it to come out years ago. But with the falling apart of Death Row, Suge [Knight] and the death of Tupac, other labels were afraid to deal with me.
HHR: Was this album originally intended to be a duo-produced album?
Danny Boy: Never, but Suge [Knight] had me record with all the best producers.
HHR: What can long-time fans expect with this “It’s about Time” release?
Danny Boy: People will be able to hear me… Danny Boy. I spent a lot of time on this music and it will explain what I was going through. WIDEawake [Entertainment] made it possible for people to hear my music.
HHR: What are your current and long-time plans in the wake of this WIDEawake/Death Row release? Will we see more unreleased Danny Boy albums or material?
Danny Boy: I’m always doing hooks for different people. There is a lot of albums worth of music that I recorded while on Death Row Records, but none of it was ever released. I’m currently working on some projects for my own label “Platinum Pearl.”
HHR: While it is great to finally get to hear this unreleased music, when will we get to hear brand-new material from you as well?
Danny Boy: Very soon… Like I said, there’s a lot in the works.
HHR: When WIDEawake bought the rights to the Death Row catalog, what were your thoughts upon hearing the news?
Danny Boy: I thought, man I can’t wait to get up in there and let me see what they do with it. They approached me a few months ago, to let me know that they were releasing an album of mine and asked me to come on board.
HHR: How much involvement did you have with the track selection?
Danny Boy: WIDEawake/Death Row chose the tracks.
HHR: This new album has a song; “Between Me and U” that features the late Roger Troutman…
Danny Boy: “Between Me and U” is one of my favorite tracks.
HHR: During your time on Death Row through the 90’s, how much material would you estimate that you recorded over there?
Danny Boy: Over 300 songs. I hope one day the songs are heard.
HHR: Any songs with Dr. Dre?
Danny Boy: I did two songs with Dr. Dre and they are in the vault.
HHR: What is you past and current relationship with Suge Knight?
Danny Boy: Suge did a lot for me and my family and he was good to people then. He was grooming me to run the company, so I sat in all the meetings. I have no ill feelings and you have to forgive people.
HHR: For you, when did you start to see the beginning of the end for Suge Knight-owned Death Row Records?
Danny Boy: When Suge went to jail, people didn’t know anything about the music company. Whenever the head is gone, the body will fall.
HHR: Were certain artists “blackballed” in the industry that had been affiliated with Suge Knight and the old Death Row?
Danny Boy: Other labels were afraid to deal with us.
HHR: You worked with 2Pac a lot during the last couple of years of his life. What was that experience like for you…
Danny Boy: Great experience… [Pac] was in studio B and I was in studio A. I was in the next [recording] room and Pac would come in and say, “Hey Danny Boy come over here.” I was young and happy to do it, even though I never was paid for any of what I did. [At the end] I was glad to go.
HHR: What was the atmosphere like around Death Row in the days or months following the murder of 2Pac?
Danny Boy: Things went crazy. Suge lost his mind around that time. Pac was a brother. When a loved one is gone, you loose it. The devil took over.
HHR: What’s your favorite song that we’ve never heard of yours?
Danny Boy: “Lady,” [which] is a remake that Jimmy Rodgers [originally] recoded… Mr Tom Tom with a full orchestra, it was great, there were flutes, and percussion… It was great!
HHR: Johnny J recently passed away, what are your thoughts on his passing, and had you two worked on much material before his passing?
Danny Boy: Johnny J was a good dude. I saw him a year before [he died]. He was a friend [and] we did a lot of material together. We made great music together.
HHR: What’s been going on with you over the last few years?
Danny Boy: I’m always doing hooks for different people. I am currently working on some projects for my own label “Platinum Pearl” A lot is in the works!