Former cocaine kingpin Michael ‘Harry O’ Harris, who helped found Death Row Records, the label behind music legends Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, and Snoop Dogg, is set to be released from prison after 31 years behind bars.
Now Harry O has transformed into an activist and plans to get to work with a non-profit called 2nd Chances in San Antonio, Texas, where he will head when he is released from prison in California.
“Over 30 years ago I was part of the problem. However, over the years I have repeatedly proven myself to be part of the solution,” Michael “Harry O” Williams said. “It’s about returning to society with my new found vision, talents and insights. Giving back to the communities where my help is so desperately needed.’
It was Harry O who put money behind Dr. Dre and Suge Knight’s Death Row Records, which was launched with $1.5 million worth of Harry O’s money. He also had other businesses including a theater company that gave actor Denzel Washington his first break.
Deathrow Records made millions upon millions during its height of power and many claim that the character of Cookie Lyon was inspired by Harry O’s wife, Lydia, ended up bankrupting Deathrow Records after a lawsuit against Suge Knight in 2005. Neither Harry O or his wife received any compensation from the company after being rewarded $107 million.