2Pac. Dr.Dre. Snoop. Rage. Tha Pound. She’s shot them all. Being the chief of photography at Death Row Records, Simone Green has had the opportunity to spend numerous amounts of time with Hip Hop greats and capture some of their biggest moments. Time Served; My Days and Nights on Death Row Records is Green’s memoir about working behind the scenes for one of Hip Hop’s most recognized record labels. In cohesion with her story, the book has never seen before pictures of Dr. Dre, Snoop, the late 2Pac, and more.
A very gracious and candid Green sat down with me at the A Loft Hotel in Harlem, whose lobby has some of her best work displayed beautifully, to discuss her new book.
Your time at Death Row Records was from 1992 to 1995. What made you decide to write and release this book now?
From day one when I left I wanted to do a book but, I really didn’t know how to go about putting it together. It took me a minute to learn that part of it and it took me another 5 years to realize that I was going to keep getting the door closed in my face. People were either scared to do something or they didn’t want to hear the story because they didn’t think it would sell.
Do you have any regrets and are you afraid of any possible repercussions of publishing this book?
No. I’m not worried about that at all. I had made a pact with Suge that if I did a book I would tell the truth. So as long as I told the truth he was cool with it.
Suge Knight has no qualms at all?
He gave me his blessing for the book. He said, ” Just do you and you’ll be alright. Just tell the truth.”
Without giving too much away what is some of the content of the book?
It tells my story getting out of college, going to California and everything that happened after that. Working at Motown. My cousin is Melvin Franklin from the Temptations. So it’s just a whole lot of stuff that went on. It’s a little book but, a good book.
As a female, what was it like traveling and being surrounded by so many men?
I think what the guys liked about me is that I don’t get around. I was always a lady all of the time. They were protective in the beginning. I had been knowing Snoop a long time already . My ex-husband was with Death Row also.
Well men are groupies anyway. They already knew I was 25 years older than all of them. My book isn’t a gossip book. So I’m not talking about just one person in particular. I’m telling a story.
So the book is just about your journey?
Being that 2Pac is no longer with us and you had a chance to be around him. Can you tell me about your most memorable experience with him?
I put one in the book. That boy loved chicken wings.
What advice would you give to any upcoming photographer?
Don’t go for the wooden nickel. In the entertainment industry they don’t want to pay and you have to demand your money.
If you could do it all again, would you?
Yes! I would do it a little bit differently but, I would definitely do it again.
Where can people purchase your book?
It’s online at www.DeathRowTimeServed.com .