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      Marion "Suge" Knight

      Marion "Suge" Knight

      Highest Rated: Not Available

      Lowest Rated: Not Available

      Birthday: Apr 19, 1965

      Birthplace: Compton, California, USA

      With a reputation that matched his hardened image, Suge Knight helped popularize the genre of gangsta rap during the 1990s. Born in Compton, California in 1965, Knight excelled in high school sports and later played football at El Camino College and the University of Nevada. Though he was not drafted for a professional career on the field, Knight did play two games with the Los Angeles Rams as a replacement player during the 1987 NFL Players Strike. Following his athletic endeavors, Knight worked as a bodyguard and part time manager, hoping to forge a place for himself within the hip hop music industry. He eventually founded the record label Death Row Records with Ruthless Records defectors Dr. Dre and D.O.C., releasing Dr. Dre's solo debut The Chronic to triple platinum status in 1992. More success came when the label released Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle in 1994. Knight remained intent on signing another artist however, who was not yet within his stable of artists: Tupac Shakur. Knight found his chance when Shakur was arrested on sexual assault charges and unable to post his $1.4 million bail. Knight offered to pay the sum if Shakur agreed to sign with Death Row and Shakur agreed, with Death Row releasing All Eyez on Me in 1996. This marked another high for the label, though it remained embittered in a contentious and sometimes violent feud with East Coast based Bad Boy Entertainment. Knight's label would nonetheless enjoy some continued success over the next few years. However, financial mismanagement coupled with Knight's ongoing legal troubles eventually found the company in financial ruin. Knight declared bankruptcy in 2006 and Death Row was purchased by Global Music Group in 2009. In 2018, Knight was convicted of voluntary manslaughter after hitting two associates with his car, killing one and severely injuring the other, and was sentenced to 28 years in prison. That same year, he was the subject of director Antoine Fuqua's documentary "American Dream/American Knightmare."



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