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Famous Like Me > Composer > K > Marion 'Suge' Knight

Profile of Marion 'Suge' Knight on Famous Like Me

Name: Marion 'Suge' Knight  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 19th April 1965
Place of Birth: Compton, California, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Suge Knight

Marion Knight, a.k.a Suge Knight (IPA: ʃʊg naɪt, b. April 19, 1965, in Compton, California) is an entrepreneur in the hip hop music industry and co-founder of Death Row Records with Dr. Dre. The record label rose to dominate the charts after Dr. Dre's breakthrough success The Chronic in 1992. After several years of outstanding chart success for artists including Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Tha Dogg Pound and at one time even MC Hammer, Death Row Records disintegrated after Knight's incarceration on parole violation charges in 1996.

Early life

Suge Knight was born in Compton, California in 1965. His father was a custodian and his mother was a schoolteacher.

Knight went to UNLV on a sports scholarship from 1985 to 1987. It was during his UNLV football playing days that he was dubbed Suge. Short for Sugar Bear. It was a fellow team mate dubbed Cuspus Crispy that first started to call him by his now present moniker. After setting up operations in Las Vegas he moved back to L.A. and played football as a replacement player for the Los Angeles Raiders during the NFL strike. He then retired from professional sports and decided to become a bodyguard for musicians like Bobby Brown, where according to him, he learned that the key to artistic and financial freedom is owning your masters.

Accusations of violence

A physically huge man, standing 6 feet and 2 inches (1.88 m) tall, and weighing 380 lb (145 kg), Knight has been accused of acts of violence including forcing business rivals to drink urine and having extensive ties to street gangs, specifically the Bloods. Rapper Vanilla Ice has accused Knight of dangling him out of a window of a high-rise building several stories up. Vanilla Ice claims that he was forced to agree to grant him a majority of Ice's own royalties from his signature hit "Ice Ice Baby", which a friend of Suge's claimed he had written. Even though Suge Knight had business relations with him, Vanilla Ice later denied the whole balcony story or has told a toned-down version.

Alleged involvement in murder

Knight has frequently been implicated in the murder of Death Row artist Tupac Shakur and his business rival The Notorious B.I.G. In 2002, British documentarian Nick Broomfield made a film called Biggie & Tupac, which explored the theory that Suge masterminded Tupac's killing because he was planning on leaving Death Row and wanted to retain his unreleased tapes and royalties, and that Biggie's murder was a cover-up to make Shakur's death look like part of an East Coast-West Coast conflict. Suge has vehemently denied this on several occasions, calling Tupac his "brother". Whilst in the film Broomfield never explicitly accuses Suge himself, when asked "Who killed Tupac?" in a BBC Radio interview dated [March 7], 2005, Broomfield stated "The big guy next to him in the car...Suge Knight." A former policeman who investigated Biggie's murder testified that he had been told that Knight confessed to arranging it.

Further time in prison

In 2001, Suge Knight was released from prison and tried to re-start his label by signing new artists such as Crooked I, Tha Realist, Eastwood, and, under the pseudonym "N.I.N.A.", the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC, before her untimely death in a car accident in 2002. However, in December 2002 he was jailed again for allegedly violating his probation by associating with gang members. After his release, he was arrested and jailed yet again in 2003, allegedly for assaulting parking lot attendant Mehdi Lazrak, even though Lazrak was punched in the back of the head and was admittedly unable to identify the perpetrator.

Knight was released on April 23, 2004. Original artist Kurupt is now the label's headliner, and his new LP Against the Grain is currently on hiatus. After his release, Knight announced Death Row Records would join with other labels to produce a Christmas hip-hop album to benefit families of soldiers serving in Iraq.

Recent history

Suge is currently planning his autobiography "American Dream/American Nightmare" to be released this holiday season. He has hinted that he will describe his experiences as a bodyguard and rap impresario and relate stories about John F. Kennedy, Jr., Jennifer Lopez, and the "scoop" on Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, as well as his first public statement about the deaths of Tupac and Biggie. Suge has also planned a movie to tell the "real story" of Death Row.

In October 2004, Suge attended the VIBE Awards to support Petey Pablo, whom he manages, but was not formally invited. That night Dr. Dre was to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. With Suge in the audience, a man approached Dr. Dre shortly before being called up for the award and feigned interest in an autograph before punching him. In the resulting scuffle, G-Unit rapper Young Buck stabbed the man. Immediately, stories pointed fingers at Suge, who went on The Late Late Show and insisted he supports Dr. Dre.

On the evening of February 5, 2005, Knight was arrested in Barstow, California after police pulled him over for making an unsafe U-turn and found marijuana in his Ford pickup truck. He was booked on suspicion of violating his parole. Sheriff's officials detained Knight pending his transfer to state prison, where it was to be decided whether Knight would be charged or released, but he was released shortly thereafter. []

The New York Post broke a story in early February 2005, surrounding the mystery of the fight at the VIBE Awards, where Dr. Dre was punched by a "random" audience member pretending to want an autograph. The man, Jimmy James Johnson, faces life in prison due to the three strikes law in California, after Dre insisted he be charged. Johnson is now claiming that Suge paid him $5,000 to punch Dre in order to humiliate him before receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award from Quincy Jones and Snoop Dogg.

Recently, Suge and The Game have begun feuding, because of a confrontation between their respective entourages outside a Los Angeles nightclub.

Early Sunday morning on August 28, 2005, the day of the MTV Video Music Awards, Knight was shot in the leg in Miami Beach, Florida during a party held in honor of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. record label. He was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center where he was treated for a fractured femur resulting from the gunshot wound. He is expected to undergo surgery the same day and there's no word yet on when he may be released. Authorities have said that their investigation hasn't turned up anything yet on the assailants, but that they are still talking with eyewitnesses. Blogger Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins captured video from the press line just before the shooting as well as the man (spoken word artist Malik Yousef) arrested in connection with the shooting. Screencaps can be found on Hopkins' blog. It was also rumored that he was dead. []


Throughout his career in the music business, Suge has been both entrepreneurial and charitable. He insisted on owning master recordings, for instance. He also oversaw non-musical businesses that had ties to the gangsta rap way of life, notably the custom auto-hydraulics shop Let Me Ride, named for Dr. Dre's Chronic ode to cruising. At the same time, Suge embarked on ambitious programs--some not realized--ranging from entertaining single mothers on Mother's Day to caring for soul singers left poor after their careers were finished.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Marion 'Suge' Knight