Suge Knight is no stranger to controversy and was at one time referred to as the most dangerous man in hip-hop. Currently aged 50, he is still considered to be as dangerous as he was two decades ago, and is serving time for allegedly being involved in a hit and run incident that occurred at a filming location for the Straight Outta Compton biopic. The film told the story of the rise of the N.W.A. rap group that consisted of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy E, The D.O.C., DJ Yella, MC Ren and Arabian Prince. It focused on Eazy E, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. That said, the following is a highlight of Suge Knight’s relationship with Tupac Shakur and N.W.A. members, Eazy E, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre.
Suge Knight and Tupac Shakur
Suge Knight’s relationship with Tupac Shakur goes way back to 1995 when the latter was serving time. Suge Knight was believed to have made one of the best decisions at the time for his label by posting his bail in exchange for a Death Row Records contract. The move was viewed by some to have saved Tupac Shakur’s career as he became one of the greatest rappers to have ever lived thanks to the team at Death Row. But the negative is that his involvement with Suge Knight may have indirectly led to his death as it exposed him to feuds and brought on powerful enemies.
Tupac is reported to have taken comfort in Suge Knight’s muscle, an element that enabled him to run against past close associates such as Biggie Smalls and Puff Daddy (P Diddy) that he felt had betrayed him by ignoring him after he being shot five times, robbed and jailed, all within 24 hours in 1994. The so-called friends did not visit him in jail nor offer their support in any way.
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Suge Knight became the man that Tupac Shakur needed to align with as he had a violent street cred that was intimidating to anyone looking to go against his affiliates or members of his label. In consequence, Tupac Shakur had the protection he needed to publicly diss the likes of Biggie Smalls and P Diddy. Some conspiracy theories, however, implicate Suge Knight in Tupac Shakur’s death, something that he has denied on numerous occasions.
Suge Knight and Eazy E
Eric Lynn Wright aka Eazy E was one of the founding members of the NWA music group. Suge Knight’s relationship with Eazy E was a nasty one, with their most documented run-in almost leading to violence. Their feud began when Eazy E became reluctant to release Dr. Dre, Michel’le and The D.O.C. from their contracts.
Suge Knight is said to have strong-armed Eazy E and Jerry Heller, N.W.A’s lawyer, into achieving this. Apparently, he and his goons, armed with baseball bats and lead pipes, threatened to beat them up if this was not done. Conspiracy theorists have implicated Suge Knight in Eazy E’s death. He died from AIDS.
Suge Knight’s relationship with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube
Suge Knight’s relationship with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube dates back to the N.W.A. era. Suge Knight is said to have helped get Dr. Dre out of his record deal with the music group under Eazy E, so that both could form Death Row Records. Dr. Dre left Death Row in 1996 to form Aftermath records. Moving away from the studio, Suge Knight and Dr. Dre both dated Michel’le, who has a son from her relationship with the latter and a daughter with the former.
Michel’le and Suge Knight were married for six years. In total, they were together for eight years, six of which he spent incarcerated. This is as reported by the Daily Mail. On Suge Knight’s relationship with Ice Cube, there were less interactions and altercations as the latter pursued a solo career after N.W.A.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for LMVH]