Suge Knight is the founder and CEO of Black Kapital Records and co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records. He had many nicknames, such as “Sug”. Death Row Records rose to dominate the rap charts after Dr. Dre’s breakthrough album The Chronic in 1992. After several years of chart successes for artists including Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Outlawz and Tha Dogg Pound, Death Row Records stagnated after Knight’s incarceration on parole violation charges in September 1996.
Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. wanted to leave both N.W.A. and their label, Ruthless Records, run by Eazy-E, another member of N.W.A. According to N.W.A’s manager Jerry Heller, Suge Knight and his henchmen threatened Heller and Eazy-E with lead pipes and baseball bats to make them release Dre, The D.O.C., and Michel’le from their contracts. Ultimately, Dre and DOC co-founded Death Row Records in 1991 with Knight, who vowed to make it “the Motown of the ’90s.”
Initially, Suge Knight fulfilled his ambitions: he secured a distribution deal with Interscope, and Dre’s 1992 solo debut, The Chronic, has sold over three million copies. It also made a career for Dre’s protégé, Snoop Dogg, whose debut album Doggystyle was another multi-platinum album.
Meanwhile, Death Row had begun a public feud with 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell, and when Knight traveled to Miami for a hip-hop convention in 1993, he was apparently seen openly carrying a stolen gun. The following year, he opened a private, by-appointment-only nightclub in Las Vegas called Club 662, so named because the numbers spelled out MOB, which stands for Money over Bitches, on telephone keypads. In 1995, he ran afoul of activist C. Delores Tucker, whose criticism of Death Row’s glamorization of the “gangsta” lifestyle may have helped scuttle a lucrative deal with Time Warner.
How Suge Knight Made His Money – Record Producer
Estimated Net Worth: $950 Thousand
Birthday: April 19, 1965