Suge Knight and Snoop Dogg have a relationship that goes way back to the early 90s when the two worked at Death Row Records. The music label was co-founded by Suge Knight, The D.O.C., Dr. Dre, and Dick Griffeyand and was at the time revered for having the best rappers in the entertainment industry. They included artists such as Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, The Lady of Rage, The Outlawz, Young Soldierz, MC Hammer, Sam Sneed, DJ Quik, RBX, Michel’le, Jewell, LBC Crew, Nate Dogg, Danny Boy, Warren G, and O.F.T.B.
However, the label started sinking quickly following Tupac Shakur’s death and Suge Knight’s incarceration, and soon artists such as Snoop Dogg started to look for ways of getting out. His close associate, Dr. Dre, the label’s main music producer, left Death Row Records in 1996. The following is an excerpt of a news report detailing the situation surrounding Dr. Dre’s departure by the LA Times at the time.
“Dre will leave Death Row in the hands of Knight, 30, a shrewd entrepreneur from Compton who is credited with engineering the company’s transformation from an unknown start-up label into a thriving and respected enterprise that generates more than $100 million in revenue annually. Dre’s departure and Knight’s decision to purchase the remaining 50 percent of Death Row could be announced as early as today, but some financial details were still unresolved late Thursday. Death Row will continue to be distributed by Interscope.
“Neither Dre nor Knight could be reached for comment. But sources familiar with the split said tension has been building for the last six months over the creative direction of the company. Sources also said Knight and other Death Row associates were disappointed that Dre didn’t show up to support rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg at his recent murder trial. Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, was acquitted of the most serious charges and will not be retried.”
That said, Suge Knight and Snoop Dogg’s relationship became strained when the former was behind bars. Their beef apparently began when Snoop asked the Death Row CEO for permission to shake hands with the East Coast rappers Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G on TV so they could move forward. Suge Knight’s response to this, “F**k them b**ch *ss n****s.” Snoop Dogg was from then on viewed as a potential traitor and according to his revelation while speaking to CRWN, the Death Row Records crew turned on him.
Master P is said to have saved Snoop Dogg’s life by signing him to No Limit Records. By 2001, a lot of diss tracks between Death Row Records and Snoop Dogg were exchanged, with the situation getting more volatile by the moment. At one time during this period, Death Row released Death Row Uncut. The music video featured unreleased clips by Snoop Dogg and even gave directions to his house, urging people to “pay him a visit.” This is as reported by Stereogum.
However, the most bizarre of the threats directed at Snoop Dogg was on the Death Row website, which declared 2001 the year of fear. The actual statement read, “2001 the year of fear…. All doggs run and hide…. Suge is coming home.” It also featured sounds of a barking dog followed by gunshots and whimpering. Below is a video showcasing this.
Presently, however, Snoop Dogg and Suge Knight are no longer feuding after talking things out. According to Snoop, “It wasn’t never that he [Suge Knight] hated me. I just think he was disappointed that he couldn’t control me.” This was while speaking at the Breakfast Club. DJ Envy also confirmed the seriousness of the situation then, stating, “It was serious. For everybody out there, Snoop had security guards. To meet Snoop back in the day…It was a vetting process.” Below is the video.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]