Suge Knight says the environment at Death Row records was akin to the competition between athletes in sports with the power packed roster of Tupac and Snoop.
Suge Knight is revealing another side of the iconic Death Row Records in an interview. The infamous music label executive spoke with TMZ on Wednesday (April 19) while preparing for the upcoming series on BLK Prime that documents his life and professional journey. In the interview, Suge discussed the environment at Death Row. He acknowledges that it was as brutal as it was portrayed. However, he also mentions that both Pac and Snoop were accustomed to it. Still, it would be fair to say Snoop probably wouldn’t agree. In an interview, Snoop revealed how he felt about everything that went down at Death Row. “N*ggas broke my spirit. Thet broke me, man. They broke my spirit. Look, Doggystyle, workin’ on Doggfather, win my murder case, Dre leaves,” Snoop said. “Tupac get killed, Suge going to jail, Death Row want to kill me. That’s all in the same year.” Sounds like a pretty tumultuous relationship.
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Death Row was formed in 1991 under Suge Knight, Dr. Dre and Harry O. The label would go on to have one of the biggest rosters in rap history. The line up boasted of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur. The label gained a reputation for its aggressive and often controversial lyrics. Furthermore, many of its artists had a strong association with violence. Despite its success in the 1990s, the label faced financial and legal troubles, including the imprisonment of Suge Knight and the death of Tupac Shakur. In 2006, a bankruptcy trustee acquired Death Row Records. This effectively ended its run as a major player in the hip-hop industry. However, Snoop Dogg bought the label recently. It was a move that was praised by many.
BE ABOUT YOUR LYRICS BE ABOUT YOUR MUSIC
“It is true that stuff was aggressive at Death Row,” he said. “But you had your choices. If you wanna be the best, and be a man and do how you wanna do it – do it. Be about your music, be about your lyrics. You know, everybody understood that. So when it came to ‘Pac, I think ‘Pac understood it more than anybody in the world.” Suge went on to say that Snoop understood how things worked as well. “But at the same time, you can’t take nothing from Snoop either because I knew I could get Snoop to come to New York with me and promote Death Row faster than anybody else would.”
Suge went on to describe specifically what the environment at Death Row was like, comparing it to sports. He said that he made sure it was very competitive. “…If you hear any of the albums I did, they was always competitive. It was competition. Because if a person didn’t have a good verse, somebody else had a better verse,” Suge explained. “Just like sports! We didn’t live in church. We not in heaven, you know? That’s like if you in the jungle, you gotta survive! I named my label Death Row Records.”