The Gina Longo album is a rap album surprisingly filled with a huge chunk of blue-eyed soul. She recorded 8 tracks for the album prior to 2Pac’s death on September 7, 1996. Out of those 8 tracks included a duet with Death Row’s then-newcomer Danny Boy. One of the songs she wrote was a composition titled Caught Up. Gina had trained with a vocal coach hired by Death Row Records and recorded demo tracks at a studio rented by the company.
The Gina Longo album was another rap album and Death Row album that never was. This was another one of those albums that got archived in the Death Row Records vaults due to legal drama, business decisions, and other politics.
Some of you may remember that Gina Longo is/was the daughter of Deputy District Attorney Lawrence W. Longo handled an assault case against Suge Knight. Surprisingly the case was dropped and a probation agreement was worked out in February 1995, nearly a year before Gina Longo’s contract was signed.
Lawrence W. Longo said in an interview, “Marion Knight is one of the few guys I have ever prosecuted who I actually believe can turn his life around and really change the community from where he came. I have never seen a guy transform as much as this guy has since he was first booked. It’s remarkable.”
It all started in June 1995 when Gina Longo’s brother, Frank Longo, gave her demo tape to Knight’s chief defense lawyer, David Kenner, while talking about an unrelated music proposal. In July 1995, her brother, who is/was a lawyer, set up an audition for her with Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight. Suge Knight was impressed with her voice and look. She recorded a few test tracks before signing the deal on January 2, 1996.
She came on board to Death Row Records because of a favor her father did for Suge Knight. Gina Longo, was given a record deal by Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight. Gina Longo signed a multi-album deal with Death Row on January 2, 1996 that was worth an estimated $50,000. Under the contract with Death Row Records, Gina was to be paid a standard new artist royalty rate – 12% percent of the suggested retail record price, or about $1 per album. She also received a $25,000 advance upon signing and will receive an additional $25,000 after her first album is completed. Gina Longo told her father about the contract offer in December 1995 and received a $25,000 advance from the record company the following month.
She had never released a record or performed in concert prior to signing with Death Row Records. Gina’s public performances were limited to appearances in neighborhood holiday shows, banquets and events at Malibu’s Colin McEwen College Preparatory School, where she graduated as valedictorian in 1994, a year ahead of her class. Gina Longo had been trying to get into the music business for a long time and this was an opportunity that presented itself to her. She had been studying dance and music since the age of 6.
Gina Longo was a rapper who simply billed as “Gina”. Gina Longo was only white rapper signed to Death Row Records and was the only white artist on Death Row Records minus Michel’le. Her singing was similar to the style of Teena Marie and Celine Dion.
There are several reasons as to why the Gina Longo album never came out. Here are the reasons her album was never released.
Legal drama surrounding Suge Knight’s assault case was one of the reasons why Gina Longo’s album never was released.
Deputy District Attorney Lawrence W. Longo was supervising Suge Knight’s probation. That is why Gina’s father, Lawrence W. Longo, was not able to manage her career. So he relied on Suge Knight to manage his daughter’s career. This meant Deputy District Attorney Lawrence W. Longo had to report to the courts that Suge Knight was not violating his parole.
Controversy was another reason why her album never came out. Gina Longo received instant notoriety when it was discovered that she had signed a record contract with Death Row Records.
According to to news article written in 1996 by Los Angeles Times writers Alan Abrahamson and Chuck Phillips for the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Gina Longo received instant notoriety when it was discovered that she had signed a record contract with Death Row Records while her father, Deputy District Attorney Lawrence W. Longo, was monitoring Suge Knight’s probation stemming from a 1992 assault conviction. With her father under investigation for a potential conflict of interest and her boss in jail, the buzz in the entertainment industry is that Gina’s record deal had more to do with whom she knew than how she sings a contention she vehemently rejected.
Gina Longo told The Journal Times from Racine, Wisconsin in 1996 she had been unfairly linked to a controversy involving Suge Knight and her father Lawrence W. Longo. Her father was pulled from the case and the District Attorney’s Office was investigating a possible conflict of interest. It was also discovered that Knight’s lawyer had leased a beachfront Malibu home owned by the Longo family and that Knight had been staying there.
She told the Hanford Sentenial, “I feel angry. But even more than that, I feel hurt. My dad is a great person. I am a talented singer. Why would the media want to take this and twist it into something that it’s not?”
Los Angeles Times reported back in 1996 that Suge Knight’s lawyer who was a DA had leased a beachfront Malibu home owned by the Longo family and that Suge Knight had been staying there. This created a conflict of interest with the public and private.
Los Angeles Times reported back in 1996 about a celebration dinner at an Encino restaurant was attended by Gina Longo, friends, family, Suge Knight, and several of the record executive’s associates. Several people at the dinner told the Times that Knight said Longo had the voice of a black woman in a white woman’s body. However Gina Longo’s father apparently warned Suge Knight at one point during the dinner not to expect any special treatment in regards to the plea agreement that was worked out February 1995 in regards to his probation on an assault charge and not to expect any special treatment of any other kind just because his daughter was with Death Row Records, according to several people who were at the dinner.
According to an interview conducted in the Westwood office of her father’s attorney firm with the Los Angeles Times from 1996, Gina Longo explained the following, “It’s not like they just give you this money either. You have to pay it back. But that’s the way the business works. You have to prove yourself when you first start out.Signing with the hottest rap label in the business was a dream come true.” This probably implied Gina had notreceived any payments from Death Row Records.
Timing was one of the main reasons why the Gina Longo album was never released. That is that main reason why her album was never released.
She recorded 8 tracks for the album prior to 2Pac’s death on September 7, 1996. She had another song written down with lyrics on paper 6 days after 2 Pac’s death. However she was unable to get into their studio. This meant she was not able to complete the recording of her album. Her album was never completed and mastered. Plus her work has never been put out on a record. Now the Gina Longo album is never going to be released as Death Row Records, Hasbro, and E1 own the rights to that album.
When 2Pac died by reign of gunshots, business at Death Row came to a halt. Death Row Records stopped returning her calls after Knight was taken into police custody for violating his parole. 2Pac’s death halted the recording and release of her album also.
I rate this album 4/5****!