Dee Barnes

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Dee Barnes
Birth name Denise Barnes
Also known as D Zire
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Hip hop, West Coast hip hop
Occupations rapper, TV host
Years active 1989–present
Labels Delicious Vinyl
Associated acts Body & Soul

Denise "Dee" Barnes is an American rapper and former television personality, whose stage name was D Zire, performed in the West Coast hip hop female duo Body & Soul, and hosted an influential radio show on KDAY prior to gaining wider fame as the host of Fox's hip hop show Pump It Up!.

Body & Soul's 1989 debut single "Dance To The Drummer's Beat", released on Los Angeles-based record label Delicious Vinyl, heavily sampled the Herman Kelly and Life song of the same name. Its b-side, "Hi-Powered", was produced by Def Jef. The same year another track produced by Def Jef would be released: "We Can Do This", on the label showcase This Is Delicious - Eat To The Beat. Body & Soul's greatest recording would apparently be their last - as part of the Dr. Dre-produced West Coast Rap All-Stars and their 1990 posse cut, "We're All in the Same Gang", which earned them a Grammy Award nomination.

In 1992, Barnes hosted the hip-hop special Sisters in the Name of Rap, taped at the Ritz in New York.[1]

Dr. Dre incident[edit]

After her 1990 interview with Ice Cube in which the rapper discusses his leaving N.W.A. at the height of their feud,[2] the group, feeling they had been negatively portrayed, sought retaliation. On January 27, 1991 Dr. Dre would encounter Barnes at a record release party in Hollywood. According to Rolling Stone reporter Alan Light:

He picked her up and "began slamming her head and the right side of her body repeatedly against a brick wall near the stairway" as his bodyguard held off the crowd. After Dre tried to throw her down the stairs and failed, he began kicking her in the ribs and hands. She escaped and ran into the women's rest room. Dre followed her and "grabbed her from behind by the hair and proceeded to punch her in the back of the head."[3]

N.W.A.'s MC Ren later said "bitch deserved it", and Eazy-E "yeah, bitch had it coming, and I'm 'bout to rib you." As Dr. Dre explained the incident, "People talk all this shit, but you know, somebody fuck with me, I'm gonna fuck with them. I just did it, you know. Ain't nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain't no big thing-- I just threw her through a door." Barnes sued in February 1991, telling reporter Alan Light: "They've grown up with the mentality that it's okay to hit women, especially black women. Now there's a lot of kids listening and thinking it's okay to hit women who get out of line."[3] In February, Barnes would file assault charges and bring a $22.75 million lawsuit against Dr. Dre, who pleaded no contest to the assault. He was fined $2500, placed on two years' probation, and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service and produce an anti-violence public service announcement.[4] The lawsuit was settled out of court.[5]

The assault was yet another reason Bronx rapper Tim Dog went after N.W.A. on his 1991 diss song "Fuck Compton" - "Dre, beatin' on Dee from Pump It Up!?/Step to the Dog and get FUCKED UP!" - and Eazy-E would later refer to the incident on his various disses of Dr. Dre and Death Row Records, including "Real Muthaphuckkin G's," "It's On," and "Wut Would U Do." Bay Area outfit Digital Underground referred to the assault in 'Flowing on the D Line' [6] "You better be glad my name is Shock G/Cause if my name was Dre, from N.W.A/I'd cold slap your ass and tell you have a nice day." It was again notably referenced in the 1999 Eminem duet with Dr. Dre, "Guilty Conscience." The song is an interplay between Slim Shady and Dre as the two sides of peoples' consciences - Dre being the "good" conscience - with Slim Shady rapping "are you gonna take advice from somebody who slapped Dee Barnes?" T.I. also mentions the incident in Never Scared: "I'll choke yo ass out like Dre did that bitch" . The incident was also mentioned on the title track of Game's 'Doctor's Advocate' album.

The incident was #37 on Spin magazine's "100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock".[7]


  1. ^ Kim, Taehee. "Sisters in the Name of Rap." Entertainment Weekly, April 24, 1992.
  2. ^ Rose, Tricia. 1994. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. p. 179. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 0-8195-6275-0
  3. ^ a b Light, Alan. "Beating Up the Charts." Rolling Stone, 8 August 1991. p66.
  4. ^ Noel, Peter. 1998. "Revenge of the Mad Rappers."The Village Voice. November 24, 1998.
  5. ^ Jerry Heller, Gil Reavill, 2006. Ruthless: A Memoir. p. 336. Simon Spotlight Entertainment. ISBN 1-4169-1792-6
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The 100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock." at, August 29 2000.

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