Book Love: Time Served: My Days and Nights on Death Row Records

Did you have a great weekend? We did! We’ve had a couple of weekends to actually relax and sit around our home. About a week ago I finished reading a book that I have to tell you about. Well, y’all already know by now that a belle is a rap/hip-hop head. When iconic Death Row Records was on top, we were rocking our heads to the beats. The king of Death Row, Tupac, gets daily rotation on our iPods! Who doesn’t love Tupac (Tamika is his biggest fan)? Our mom is in her 50’s and she loves his music–we know she’s too cool for school! 🙂

Time Served: My Days and Nights on Death Row by Simone Green with Tara Coyt offers an interesting look into her life as the Chief Photographer of Death Row Records. This wonderful book also include photos of countless celebs and others. What I love most is that Green does not use her novel to spread salacious material that is prevalent in books that give readers a behind the scenes look. Instead, as a career woman, she focuses on just that–her career and her love for photography.

Of course the reader gets glimpses of Suge Knight’s beguiling nature, Tupac’s sincerity, Dr. Dre’s misgivings, and the misogyny that is often present in rap music. But, the reader gets an insight into a woman fueled by a drive that is incomparable. I was blown away at some of the things Green did to make it. You have to get the book to find out though! I pinky swore I wouldn’t spoil it.

From a woman that gambled on horses to make it to L.A., to a photographer whose lens captured hip-hop royalty and the rise of one of rap music’s biggest labels comes a story of tragedy and triumph. Green offers an in-depth look into life on Death Row Records–from the beatdowns that occured at the hands of Suge Knight, to stolen royalties and unfulfilled dreams.

If you’re a fan of rap–who knew Green’s ex-husband played bass on Snoop Dogg’s “Who Am I (What’s My Name?)” and that David Ruffin Jr. helped write “Gin and Juice,” then you will want to read this book. It’s a quick read and to say I enjoyed it is an understatement. Green gives insight into the women who sang on Death Row hits, and the stifled dreams of many talented female artists.

More than anything else, Green shows there is hope. She offers insight into her own life, writing about both of her sisters death, her new marriage and WHY she wrote the book. Green is a woman whose strength is commendable. I highly suggest reading this book as it more than Death Row Records; the book signifies that anything is possible with a dream and passion. It is particularly encouraging for women to see that Green did not shortchange herself to cement her role in rap history.

Next time you look at a photo of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Lady of Rage, and others think of Simone Green. Chances are, her lens captured the picture.

ArtBLT’ers you may order the book here. If you’ve read it email/comment and let us know if you liked it.

Disclosure: The book was sent to us by the author for review. Our opinions are a belle’s own.


Shermika is a writer constantly in search of her next freelance gig and an ending to her short stories. She loves to plan trips, eat tasty delicacies, and tip toe in heels. She enjoys unique jewelry, good music, reading, and chic dresses.

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