Erotic D Has Worked With the D.O.C. and Dr. Dre, But Dallas Hip Hop Comes First
Erotic D (center) with his modern-day collaborators Buddha Fingers and K-Phlx
From working with the D.O.C. to owning furniture stores and now considering a run for city council, Erotic D has had a varied life. After growing up a military brat and later seeing the Jackson family fight amongst themselves to the nth degree, he has now made being a husband and father the priority. But with the upcoming release of his new album, Erotic D is looking to nurture more than just those in his own family; he wants to help the hip hop scene in North Texas.
“I believe that every rapper on my compilation out-raps everybody who has a record out right now,” Erotic D says, referring to Game Over 2, which sees him branching out in his support of local artists beyond simply producing. The release features fellow Dr. Dre collaborator El Dog, Alize Ali, Blaze Won and Colby Savage among many others. He is planning an elaborate listening party to coincide with the release of Game Over 2 in October.
Erotic D has been in hip-hop for more than three decades. He says he has a few recording studios in North Texas, but has been working out of a makeshift studio in a house in Keller of late. Known for his production and writing, these studios are all mainly used for projects he is involved with. If he is sitting in a studio he refers to it as the “War Room,” but his studios don’t have names otherwise. He also owns a few furniture stores and the makeshift studio is near another store he is working on opening in the near future.
Throughout his music career, Erotic D has worked with some huge names but has been mostly happy to stay in the behind-the-scenes world. He rarely does any press and outside of his own projects he is only properly credited with producing most of the D.O.C.’s second album, Helter Skelter. He acknowledges that there is a lot of work he has not been properly credited for. But for the most part he insists on being tightlipped about it while hinting at being paid well for his efforts.
Regardless of his level of fame or recognition, Erotic D has been making money off music since he was a 13-year-old DJ in Arlington back in the early 1980s. “I had this idea to just start throwing parties,” he says. Every week he rented out a space, threw a party where he would scratch records and charged $5 for entry. He packed out the shows and it paid well.
By the time Erotic D was in his late teens, one of his contemporaries was the D.O.C., who was then going by Doc-T. The D.O.C. was in a group called the Fila Fresh Crew, who appeared on the 1987 compilation N.W.A and the Posse. The D.O.C. liked Erotic D’s beats and eventually went to California to work with N.W.A. He was planning to bring Erotic D to the West Coast but then the two lost contact. Before cellphones and social media in 1989, Erotic D had no idea that the D.O.C. had been in a car accident. But The D.O.C. had kept his word. By the time Erotic D was headed to California, Dr. Dre knew his work and Suge Knight had sent people to Texas looking for him.
Erotic D says he tried to get a contract with Priority Records, but they wanted him to start by helping Dr. Dre finish Niggaz4life. “That’s how I started working with Dre,” he says. Soon after completing work on N.W.A.’s second album, Erotic D says he was asked to work on The Chronic and happily agreed. By 1990, he was young, making money and working in the music industry. He even says Suge Knight set him up with a job making beats for a Jackson family album that never happened. “They wanted the R&B sound of that day with hip-hop beats under it,” Erotic D says. He thinks the album would have sounded something like Bell Biv DeVoe.
He remembers the project was quickly abandoned when Joe Jackson’s Rolls Royce hit Jackie Jackson’s Ferrari and the enormous family had to prevent a father and son fistfight. “I quickly understood that this family was very dysfunctional,” says Erotic D. “Anyone they feel comfortable around, they’ll tell you dirty shit about their family. I didn’t feel comfortable about that.”
Erotic D remembers Suge Knight as a good guy who showed up at a producer’s house at 3 a.m. and threatened to shoot the poor guy and Jackie Jackson in the mouth. Erotic D was paid very well for operating a drum machine on the Jackson family project with checks distributed on a daily basis. One day they ran out of checks and Knight found out about it hours later. Erotic D said it wasn’t a big deal, but he couldn’t make Knight see it the same way.
By 1996, it was clear that Death Row was going to focus on newer acquisitions like Snoop Dogg and Erotic D abandoned ship with the D.O.C. to record Helter Skelter in Atlanta. He was also disillusioned with what he saw in California, with so many famous people who actually had less money than he did. “They were all telling me how their cars in the videos were all rented,” he recalls. But he also remembers famous people who had nothing but cars.
He returned to North Texas and started E-World Entertainment that same year. His imprint is a production house first. It's not just for his music but also has an increasing focus on spotlighting local talent. He lists Buddha Fingers, the aptly named DJ from Grey Matter, and producer K-Phlx as two of his most important collaborators. “I want to bring the music industry here to Dallas-Fort Worth,” he says. “We don’t have a music industry, we have a music scene.” Erotic D doesn’t want to have to leave Dallas to make money. Sometimes he has to go alone, for months at a time. Having a system of studios and over 30 years of experience helps his cause.
An owner of multiple businesses, Erotic D — who's almost always with one of his four children — says he employs 65 people. He is now even talking about running for city council in Keller within the next few years. “I want to be on the city council to help everybody,” he says, and notes that he will continue to open local businesses. “This city is totally about families,” he says. And these days, so is Erotic D.
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