By far, Suge Knight’s greatest accomplishment is winning over Tupac Shakur. Deep in his feelings (and rightfully so) after his blockbuster sexual abuse trial in 1995, the “Strictly 4 My Niggaz” star (he’d yet to release his masterpiece “Me Against The World”) sat in jail plagued by doubts and seething with anger. It would be Knight and Jimmy Iovine who’d ultimately pay the $1.4 million dollar bail, and it would be that move that assured Shakur’s three album deal with Death Row Records some 18 months later. The three albums would become some of the best Hip Hop music of all-time.
Suge Knight & Death Row Records
Death Row was born out of greed and necessity. Dr. Dre had decided to leave Eazy-E at Ruthless Records and Knight was there to offer an out. He eventually got the star to start a label with him and the D.O.C, a Dallas emcee that had his career cut short when he crushed his larynx in a horrific car accident. Thus began one of the most storied record labels in music history. His roster during their hey-day was absolutely loaded. Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Tupac, DJ Quik, Tha Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger all called the record label home at one point or another. But more importantly were the sales figures. Death Row was a cash cow, generating upwards of $400 million dollars in record sales throughout its history. Suge Knight became one of the most powerful men in music, and nothing can ever take that away from him.
The 1995 Source Awards
“And there’s one more thing I’d like to say. Any artist out there that wants to be an artist and wants to stay a star and doesn’t want to worry about the executive producer trying to be all in the videos, all on the record, dancing… Come to Death Row!”
Obviously thrown at Sean “Puffy” Combs, the jab was just one part of the epic 1995 rendition of the soon-to-be-defunct Source Awards. Teeming with disdain, the shot heard round the Hip Hop world would send the East Coast v. West Coast beef into overdrive. The unthinkable soon happened to the G.O.A.T’s of Hip Hop, but for one brief moment, it was just an awkward jab delivered at a foe. We all thought it would disappear. It didn’t.
ABBA Bail Bonds Bailed Suge Knight Out… Twice
The first came on May 10, 2010 after Knight was arrested for assault a deadly weapon . That bail was a cool $65,000. The second time was, unfortunate, for everyone in involved, far more recent. In September of 2015, he and Katt Wiliams were caught on camera chasing down a woman and groping her. Bail was set at $500,000.