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JERRY HELLER

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詳細 2012年1月9日 17:44更新

JERRY HELLER

Jerry Heller is best known for managing West Coast rap group N.W.A. and the founder, Eazy-E. He is co-founder and CEO of Ruthless Records (together with Eazy-E). Over the years, Jerry Heller also managed War, Average White Band, Marvin Gaye, Michel'le, A.L.T. and Kid Frost.

・Early life and career

Gerald E. Heller was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 6, 1940, to Jewish parents, Dave and Hilda Heller. He grew up in the Shaker Heights area of [[Cleveland, American tours, representing (in addition to the artists named above) Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Boz Scaggs, The Grass Roots, The Standells, The Guess Who, Joan Armatrading, Credence Clearwater Revival, Ike & Tina Turner, Van Morrison, and Crosby-Nash. Heller formed his own agency with partner Don Fischel, and began managing artists.

・Managing the rise of West Coast rap

In the 1980s, Heller began managing acts on the nascent Los Angeles hip hop scene, many of whom recorded for Macola Records in Hollywood. He managed both C.I.A. ("Criminals in Action"), which Ice Cube was a member of, and the World Class Wreckin' Cru, which included both Dr. Dre (Andre Young) and DJ Yella (Antoine Carraby). On March 3, 1987, he met a Compton rapper named Eric Wright (Eazy-E), and became the general manager of Eazy's label, Ruthless Records. Heller helped mastermind the climb of Ruthless to the top of the West Coast rap world.[citation needed]

Heller managed the rise of Ruthless's most popular act, N.W.A., which brought gangsta rap mainstream popularity. Produced by Dr. Dre, the group included Eazy, Dre, Cube, Yella, Arabian Prince (who later dropped out), and MC Ren. Under the direction of Heller and Eazy, Ruthless Records had six platinum releases across three years: Supersonic (J. J. Fad), Eazy-Duz-It (Eazy-E), Straight Outta Compton (N.W.A.), No One Can Do It Better (The D.O.C.), Michel'le's self-titled debut, and Efil4zaggin (N.W.A.). Chris Rock was asked in Rolling Stone’s "Hip-Hop 2005" special issue to name the top twenty-five rap albums of all time. N.W.A’s Ruthless release, Straight Outta Compton, was Rock's choice for number one. "Nothing has ever been the same since they came," Rock writes. "It was kind of like the British Invasion for black people.

・Deathrow Records and Jewish Defence League

During Dr. Dre’s departure from Ruthless Records (during which time Eazy-E was physically harmed by Suge Knight), there was a fear of further violence. Ruthless Records executives, Mike Klein and Jerry Heller sought assistance from the Jewish Defense League (JDL).[1] Mike Klein, former Ruthless Records director of business affairs said "The Defense League offered to provide bodyguards to Eazy-E when Knight allegedly threatened him in the early 1990s." This provided Ruthless Records with muscle to enter into negotiations with Death Row Records over Dr. Dre’s departure. While Suge Knight violently sought an outright release from Ruthless Records for Dr.Dre, the JDL and Ruthless records management were able to sit down with Death Row and negotiate a release in which the record label would continue to receive money and publishing rights from future Dr. Dre projects. It was under these terms Dr. Dre left Ruthless Records and formed Death Row with Suge Knight.

The FBI launched a money laundering investigation, assuming that the JDL was extorting money from Ruthless Records to fight their extremist causes. This led to JDL spokesperson Irv Rubin to issue a press release stating "There was nothing but a close, tight relationship" between Eazy-E and the League.

Jerry Heller has explained JDL’s involvement with Ruthless Records for even more reasons than the FBI investigated. Heller has acknowledged that Eazy E received death threats, and it was discovered that he was on hit list by some neo-Nazi skinheads. The FBI never bothered to inform Eazy that his life was in danger. Heller has speculated that it may have been because of the Fuck tha Police song. Heller said "It was no secret that in the aftermath of the Suge Knight shake down incident where Eazy was forced to sign over Dr. Dre, Michel'le, and The D.O.C., that Ruthless was protected by Israeli trained/connected security forces."[2] Jerry Heller maintains that Eazy E admired the group for their slogan "Never Again," and that he had plans to do a movie about the group.

・After N.W.A.: author, teacher, music manager

Under manifold pressures, N.W.A. broke up, with Ice Cube and Dre departing and aiming vicious dis raps at Heller, Ruthless, and Eazy. But Ruthless went on to release Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's platinum hits of the mid-1990s, before the era came to a close with Eazy-E's death in March 1995. Heller continued to work in rap, prompting the rise in Hispanic hip-hop at Hit-a-Lick Records.

Jerry Heller's memoir, Ruthless, written with Gil Reavill, was published by Simon & Schuster/Simon Spotlight Entertainment in 2006.

Heller teaches a course about the music business at the University of Southern California.

Heller is married to former actress Gayle Steiner, and lives in Calabasas, California.

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2007年12月24日

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