The story of Suge Knight, the former CEO of legendary rap music label Death Row Records, recently sentenced to 28 years imprisonment for manslaughter.
Suge Knight the former CEO of legendary rap music label Death Row Records was recently sentenced to 28 years imprisonment for manslaughter and other violent crimes not typically associated with a highly successful record executive. This film takes a look at Death Row and how L.A.’s street gang culture had come to dominate its business workings. Artists such as Snoop Dogg were Crip affiliated, whereas Suge Knight and his team were all Bloods from the Mob Piru area of Compton. There was also the unholy and highly profitable alliance with Interscope Records, headed by Jimmy Irvine and Ted Fields, who’s office was just across the corridor from Death Row. Interscope would quietly ignore the beatings and gang violence that was regularly occurring just outside their door in the Beverly Hills building they shared.
When Tupac Shakur was in prison for sexual abuse, he was an artist signed with Interscope. But it was Suge Knight and Death Row Records, a subsidiary of Interscope, that would come to his rescue and offer Tupac a record deal in exchange for his freedom. This resulted in Tupac taking a gang allegiance with Mob Piru and with Suge Knight he fully embraced that world. The association with Mob Piru would end up being the cause of his death only 11 months later when Tupac was murdered in a drive by shooting.
The film also looks at the allegation of former LAPD detective Russel Poole that the reprisal killing of Biggie Smalls, a retaliation to the murder of Tupac, was commissioned by Suge Knight with the help of corrupt LAPD officers who were moonlighting at Death Row Records. These police officers were also members of Suge’s criminal gang the Mob Piru’s and with their resources helped orchestrate the hit on Biggie Smalls. The film produces new evidence and witnesses who actually saw these LAPD officers present on the night of Biggie’s murder, and who also testify that critical information had been deliberately withheld and concealed by the LAPD from the Biggie Smalls estate who had filed a $500 million-dollar lawsuit against them.