Teddy Riley says he passed on an offer to partner with Suge Knight at Death Row Records in the late ’90s out of no desire to “go back down that lane.”
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“Suge wanted to partner. I didn’t wanna do that,” Teddy told HipHopDX in the third part of our interview. “I wasn’t afraid of it, cause I’ve dealt with his mentor, which was Gene Griffin. That was my godfather. I just didn’t want go back down that lane of dealing with gangsters and things like that. I came from that life, I was once in that life, and I desired not to be back in that. I felt like that would have been a step backward.”
Riley says the offer was only made as a result of Dr. Dre leaving in 1996.
“I think [the offer] only happened because of Dre leaving. That’s how I got Dre on ‘No Diggity,’” noted Teddy. “I guess 2Pac was in the midst of leaving, but he was still with Suge and did [‘Toss It Up’] with Jodeci and Aaron Hall. So I guess that was a shot against [me, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre], letting us know that he’s still got those guys on his side. I was still doing what I was doing with Jimmy and Dre. It was a crazy situation.”
Earlier this year, Riley was tapped for a Verzuz appearance with Babyface, but in the initial go-around, Riley couldn’t get his sound working and was forced to reschedule.