Three members of what was now a four man group exited the vehicle outside a lush Hollywood home; in preparation to make their presence known to what they felt was an irrelevant record release party. Inside were artists, producers, label representatives, journalists and marketers, all kinds of important figures of the music industry. To these three young men, however, their status meant almost nothing. Regardless of who, or what you were, you were undoubtedly deemed lower than any and all members of the group made up of Andre, Eric, Lorenzo and the currently missing Antoine.
It’s worth noting that former fifth member of the group O’Shea would not make any such appearances during the night’s activities. Though this shouldn’t undermine the impact that his absence had, after all, it was his disrespectful departure that could be seen as the root of what was about to happen. One concussed and near-crippled, one bloodied, two brutish enforcers and another heavily intoxicated was the combination needed to ensure a once brotherly relationship would now turn poisonous.
The boys walked in, past the nobodies mingling in the front-yard, past the pillars holding up the above balcony and through two windowless oak doors. As usual, they had all donned black, with no item of clothing being an exception: hats, shirts, jackets, sneakers, they didn’t believe in being colourful, as it didn’t match their personalities. They walked through the front doors with their heads held high. For a mixture of reasons there was always an abundance of confidence between the group, but tonight, the levels were even higher. Confidence, testosterone, aggression, all of them raised as a direct result of the smoking and drinking they’d been doing prior.
Within said event there were two extremely pivotal characters, Andre, or Dre, as the group referred to him, and Dee. Dee and Andre were of a similar age, both in their mid-twenties, while also both being important figures of the music industry. Although, their professional status should by no means imply their relationship was civil. Dee was an averagely built African American woman who specialised as an unorthodox interviewer of hip-hop and rap artists. It was a simple role in the industry: talking to, promoting and at times exposing currently popular artists. This therefore making it a position which could give you a bad rep in an instant, for example, picturing the wrong person, or people, in a bad light. Unfortunately, this is exactly what she’d done a month prior – O’Shea had recently left the crew due to financial reasons, leaving what was once a five, a now four-man group. The boys had no issue with this, they couldn’t force him to stay and although they disliked the decision, the group parted on mutually friendly terms.
It wasn’t until Dee stepped in that the situation would become heated to a point of boiling. Dee and her cameraman decided it would be a great opportunity to have the now former member of the group on their show – Answer some questions, discuss a few topics, the usual routine. However, what Dee didn’t tell O’Shea was that she and her colleague were planning on instigating something more, and with misleading questions and video trickery, that’s exactly happened. The interview started off casually, simple questions about the future, slight nudges towards the break-up, with overall slow escalation. Words would then be removed and pieces of the interview cut together to create a video which portrayed O’Shea in a way that made it seem like he hated Andre, Eric, Lorenzo and Antoine.
No one knows how she did it, and most likely no one ever will, but what started off as work for Dee, ended up with O’Shea coming out of his shell. She’d pushed and twisted the interview to a point where he wasn’t holding back anymore. Rumours were being started, insults were being aired and secrets had been unveiled. It turns out O’Shea had a lot of pent-up aggression towards the group, ending with the quote ‘Those punks think they can tell me when and where I can get ma money? Ha! Just watch, when I get going, I’ll have those motherfuckers a hundred miles and runnin.’ And that was it. That statement was all it took to ensure the group never looked at O’Shea, or Dee the same way again.
You’d have thought the hate would be focused more on the man who gave the statement, but this clearly wasn’t the case. There was a lot of anger built up inside of Andre, and once again, it’s unknown as to why it affected him the most. Antoine was good friends with O’Shea, Eric was always laid back, hence the stage name of Eazy-E, and Lorenzo’s first thought was getting back at him on a record, perhaps Andre just wanted retaliation on whoever he saw first. It just so happened that in this poor turn of events, Dee was visible at a party where Dre was intoxicated and surrounded by his friends, making it a great environment to proceed on his horrific objective.
Eric and Lorenzo were well aware of who would be at the party, they realised the possible clash and were more than happy to witness such a meeting. For over a month they’d dealt with the interview’s repercussions and seen Dre slowly become more and more frustrated. To them, this was an effective way for him to release his anger in what they felt was a justifiable manner. For Andre, though, this went further than any emotion, further than anger, further than public relationships, even further than the difference between his and Dee’s genders. She disrespected him and his friends, for that he felt a hatred, a humiliation that compared to nothing else.
It wasn’t his sole intention, he wanted to enjoy the evening with his friends, but as soon as he saw her, something flipped inside his head. He left the rest in question as to what he was about to do ‘Yo, Dre, where you goin?’ one of them asked, ‘E, do you believe this fool? Dre, man! We’re right here, are you trippin?’ but neither of them got a reply. Dre walked towards the staircase where Dee was standing having a conversation. He slowly made his way through the crowd, casually taking his jacket off and placing it on the end of the bannister. Thoughts of using it as a tool in the process crossed his mind, but he decided against it. Without second thought, he grabbed the recipient of Dee’s conversation by the shoulders and threw him across the wooden floor six feet behind him; being six feet tall himself, the first victim had no such reason to try and argue with the action.
He introduced himself ‘What’s up? I’m Dr. Dre, with the NWA’ before grabbing her head and slamming it against the brick wall behind her. At this point Eric and Lorenzo knew what was happening ‘Uh, E, what’s the plan here?’ Eric wasn’t sure, but he knew the loyalty to his friend weighed more than any prison sentence. He made a perimeter, barking orders back ‘Grab your nine and make sure no one comes close.’ So Lorenzo did what his friend had asked, he pulled out his gun and stood guard, all the while Andre was behind them performing an atrocity he’d regret, though much later in his life. After being thrown against the wall several more times, Dee had resorted to fleeing. Dre allowed her movement, watching for her next move, as he had the utmost confidence no one would be interfering in his business. Everyone just stood aside, watching. Dee was allowed to make it up the entire stairwell before Dre attempted to pull her, with force, straight back down. However, she had countered this attempt by clinging to the bannister. What was Dre’s intoxicated response? He climbed the stairs, cocked his leg back, and kicked her in the ribs, three times.. four times.. five times.. it took eight devastating kicks before he finally stopped, only to conclude the sequence by repeatedly stamping on her hands.
At this point the interaction between the two was interrupted, not by E, not by Ren, but by a person in the crowd, which was now filled by fifty people standing at the foot of the stairs. Dre stepped over Dee’s body, leaned over the bannister and asked ‘Is there something I can help you with?’ to which a man of a similar age to the boys attempted to run up the stairs. On guard and without hesitation E grabbed him by his coat and literally swung him back down to ground level, leaving only a heap on the floor. As Ren went to pull up this heap, he was met with a fist. The fist capitalised, raising the man’s bravado to a point where he turned round to look for E, but only found the bottom of a gun in the side of his mouth. ‘I’m bored of this shit. Dre, do what you need to do, me and Ren’ll be outside.’ The two gun wielding brutes left, dragging the bloodied man by his neck to accompany them outside, leaving only three teeth and a pool of blood in their wake.
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