Dungeon Family PART ONE (pg. 7)

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Vibe / January 19, 2010

Back at LaFace, Goodie Mob and OutKast continued successful careers despite the Dungeon Family’s disintegration. Andre 3000 says he had little knowledge of what was happening at Interscope. “I knew they had a few groups that didn’t take off like they thought they was. [Organized Noize] has classic albums. Years from now, people will bump them. When we old and gray, they going to be like, Aww, man, this is great. It just didn’t happen, man. I can’t explain it. you know, almost like a curse.”

“From a business standpoint, that situation got fucked up over misappropriation of funds dealing with Kilo’s Ali’s ass,” says Nikki Marshall, 29, Dee Dee’s assistant in the Atlanta office of Organized Noize Records. “In almost every factor of the Dungeon Family, what you find is that they don’t pay attention to business.”

Rico had come up on Kilo in Atlanta’s bass-music scene, but not everybody agreed with his signing. “I was against it,” says Big Rube from Rico’s house. “Kilo had a reputation for being kind of fucked up.”

“I was the only one who Kilo would talk to,” says Dee Dee Murray. He’d be like, ‘Ms. Dee De, I just wrecked my BMW! Tell Rico I need another one!” Soon after completing his debut, Organized Bass (Organized Noize/Interscope, 1997), Kilo, now 35, burned his house down and is currently in a Georgia prison for first-degree arson and cocaine possession. “The drugs had got to him,” says Ramon, who had to bail Kilo out of jail. “It spiraled out of control.”

Meanwhile, Rico says, “I’d stopped loving music. Every day, Jimmy asking me, ‘What do you think?’ And I’m like, I don’t know any more!” By 1998, Nuri was let go. “Erik was tripping,” Ray explains. “He was a cool person, but he just couldn’t handle it.” Nuri says he feels he let Rico down. “My job was to organize their business,” he says, but due to “personal issues” that affected his health, he was unable to focus on his work. “It’s unfortunate that after I left they didn’t bring on somebody to take the production company to the next level.”

But Rico doesn’t blame Nuri for the label’s demise. “Sleepy helped end that for me,” he says. Though Organized Noize was a trio, Sleepy––a talented keyboardist and singer who brought live instrumentation to the Organized Noize sound––stayed focused on his solo project. “We had internal turmoil,” says Ray. “Me and Rico had to step up and do what our third partner wasn’t doing.”