Death Row Records was a powerhouse in the music industry and a symbol of Black success in the 1990s.
After helping to launch the careers of rappers like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, virtually every other artist in the genre wanted to record for the label.
Suge Knight, often regarded as the rap industry’s “godfather,” ran the wildly successful organization.
Knight, a music executive, fell from grace in the early 2000s, but he was no stranger to celebrity controversies.
What happened to Suge Knight?
Marion Hugh “Suge” Knight Jr. played football for El Camino College from 1983 to 1985. This was the beginning of a relatively short professional career for the future rap mogul.
After a brief time as an undrafted NFL player, he went on to promote concerts and provide security for celebrities like Bobby Brown.
Once Vanilla Ice signed over his “Ice Ice Baby” earnings to Knight’s publishing company in 1989, the business took off.
One of Knight’s clients, Mario Johnson, was reportedly accused of writing the song, which contributed to the settlement.
After that, Knight started a management company and began working with musicians like the D.O.C. and DJ Quik.
Knight met Dr. Dre thanks to them, and the two eventually formed Death Row Records alongside the D.O.C.
After Dr. Dre’s debut solo album, The Chronic achieved triple platinum status, the label took off.
Knight and Sean “Diddy” Combs have been at odds since 1995 when Knight publicly attacked Combs for having his artists participate in music videos.
At the end of the same year, Knight paid $1.4 million to get Tupac Shakur out of jail on the condition that he sign with Death Row.
After serving his sentence, Shakur immediately entered the studio to start recording All Eyez on Me.
While at Death Row, the rapper released several successful albums, including The Don and Killuminati: The 7-Day Theory.
But sadly, a year after signing with the label, Shakur was shot and killed in the car that Knight was driving.
A number of Shakur’s close associates blame the executive for the rapper’s demise.
Where is Suge Knight now?
Suge Knight was ruthless in his pursuit of success, despite his uncanny ability to spot promising newcomers.
Throughout the late ’90s, Knight was incarcerated for several offenses, including assault, parole, and probation violations.
However, it appears that the music mogul did not take anything from his time spent behind bars.
Knight killed Terry Carter, a businessman, when he drove his pickup vehicle over him in 2015.
In the same incident, former Compton gang member Cle Sloan was brutally injured by Knight, who was upset that his likeness was being used in the film Straight Outta Compton.
After Knight approached the crew, the situation became more tense.
For his part, Sloan tried to attack Knight, but the Death Row Records executive smashed Sloan’s ankles with his truck before fatally mowing down a fleeing Carter, according to NBC News.
A judge found Knight guilty of voluntary manslaughter in 2018, and although the ruling was postponed due to Knight’s condition, he was given a 28-year prison sentence.
The first 22 years are for the crime of running over Carter, and the additional six are because this is the third strike against the ex-hip-hop executive.
Suge Knight will be available for parole in the year 2034. He is now serving his time at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, a California state prison located in the San Diego area.