Suge Knight, the troubled former Death Row Records CEO, was sentenced to 28 years in prison last month. He pled no contest to voluntary manslaughter after he was involved in a hit-and-run in a Los Angeles restaurant parking lot. Now, in his first interview since going behind bars, Knight tells The Blast that it’s all Dr. Dre’s fault.
This isn’t a new revelation, as Knight threatened to sue Dre for $300 million back in 2016, alleging that the rapper, Universal Music, and Apple tried to have him killed. Now, he claims his recent trial proves his story to be true. Calling it a “murder-for-hire case,” he says, “They also got the paper trail with all the checks and proof of when they talked to the witnesses saying that Dre came to them first and asked the two guys how much it cost to get rid of me. And they said, ‘What you mean by get rid of?’ And they said, ‘Kill him.’”
The pair’s beef goes back to the ’90s. Knight claims that he had a life management deal with Dre, which entitled him to 30% of Dre’s earnings — including the 2014 sale of Beats by Dre to Apple, estimated to be worth about $3 billion. Knight’s attempts to pursue that money is what he says led to the first attempt on his life—a nightclub shooting in which he was shot seven times.
The second attempt on his life, he alleges, is what led to the hit-and-run incident that landed him in prison. Knight says Dre and Universal — the studio behind the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton — paid Cle “Bone” Sloan $300,000 to kill Knight that day. According to Knight, he was avoiding an ambush when he ran his car over Sloan. Sloan survived, but a second victim named Terry Carter was fatally hit.
A lawyer for Dre responded to the claims back in 2016: “Given that Dre has had zero interaction with Suge since leaving Death Row Records in 1996, we hope that Suge’s lawyer has lots of malicious prosecution insurance.”
Asked why he took a plea deal, Suge tells The Blast, “So when they gave me an attorney, he seen me two times in eight months and told me he went to the court and said he needed help and other attorneys. And they told him no. He said no way he can do my trial because he really don’t know the case and he won’t win.”
He adds, “So if somebody stacks the deck against you, to the point where they’re not trying to fight for you, and let you get the attorneys you wish to have, what can you do?”