Death Row Records founder Suge Knight hopes to get booked again. He’s retained a literary agent and will spend this week in New York shopping around a book proposal for a tell-all about his controversial career. Variety reports that the memoir will trace his rise and fall and current attempted comeback – how he founded his label in 1992, helped launch the solo careers of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (popularizing the West Coast style of gangsta rap in the process), produced hit records for Tupac Shakur (and was with him during the drive-by shooting that killed the rapper), went to prison for five years on assault charges, relaunched his label as Tha Row with a new generation of rappers, and worked on a solo album for Lisa ”Left Eye” Lopes that was left in limbo when she died in a car crash in April.
Knight has long been a figure of controversy, having been accused of managing artists through threats of violence, of having ties to Los Angeles gang members and corrupt cops, and of involvement in the still-unsolved murders of both Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. Knight has denied such accusations, although his own rap sheet is undeniable. Hours before Shakur was killed in 1996, he and Knight got into a fistfight with a third man, a violation of Knight’s parole on an earlier charge that sent him back to prison for five years of a nine-year sentence.
Since his release last August, however, Knight has been trying to rebuild his label and branch out into other ventures, including books and possibly movie production. The book, he says, will set the record straight about his past, as well as make a case that his career is still going strong. ”I always thought people write books when their career is over,” he tells Variety. ”My career is not over. There’ve been a lot of allegations about Death Row and me. I felt I owe it to the public and the fans to hear the truth.”