Big U recalls the time he prevented a conflict between Jimmy Henchman and Suge Knight — who happened to be rolling with twenty goons.
Eugene “Big U” Henley, producer of Hip-Hop Uncovered, respected street legend, and community activist among other titles, recently sat down with The Breakfast Club for an extensive and wide-ranging interview. Having recently made headlines by addressing (and shutting down) Quando Rondo’s attempt to reach out, it feels appropriate to highlight another interesting gem from the conversation. Unsurprisingly given Big U’s track record, this one falls comfortably under the hip-hop history category.
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Around the fifty-four minute mark, Big U reflects on the time he previously ran into Jimmy Henchman, who was in the midst of some brewing tension with Suge Knight. “I got out [of prison] six months before Suge,” explains U. “Me and Suge hooked up. The first money I ever made in hip-hop, I made it doing Game’s shoe contract with Jimmy Henchman. So I meet Jimmy through Henry Black — now I’m naive to hip-hop. So Jimmy is coming to meet me, cause he had heard of me coming home. Jimmy comes and meets me at the restaurant, and I didn’t know about this beef between him and Suge. I really don’t get it.”
“So Jimmy comes in the restaurant, and I’ll never forget this,” he continues. “He got on all white, a black muthafucka in all white. And he got a bad chick with him. This n***a look like Miami Vice. Right when he’s walking into the restaurant, Suge’s pulling up in the back with about fifteen cars. Suge was coming to pick me up, I was going to meet Jimmy then jump in with Suge and roll off.” Upon receiving a call from Suge, who seemed ominously interested in Henchman, Big U began to put two and two together.
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“Now there’s like twenty dudes coming, and they’re walking in,” says U, who then learned that Jimmy was in the midst of a beef with Suge. “I was like [to Jimmy] why don’t you go leave out the back? And I’ll talk to Suge. And the n***a Jimmy was like, I can’t do that. That’s where I gained a measure of respect for him cause he was like I can’t run. And it was just him! Him, and the female. I don’t know if he was strapped or not.”
“I made an appeal to Suge, I’m not telling Suge what to do,” he reflects. “I’m like ‘listen, I’m trying to do business with this dude.'” Evidently, his appeal did manage to quell the tension, though not entirely. “Suge blew a puff of smoke, and told Jimmy ‘my brotha is the only reason you gon make it out of here,” recalls U. “And I’m like damn, I gotta go learn these politics.”
For more gems from the OG, check out the entire Breakfast Club interview below.