By Hillary Crosley with reporting by Shaheem Reid
This week marked the 14th anniversary of the day Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas and hip-hop has never been the same. Suge Knight echoed that sentiment when he spoke with MTVNews recently and he had a few choice words for Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.
The embattled former head of Death Row Records discussed whether he’d saved the late MC’s life by facilitating his release from prison, as well as offering the icon a chance to express himself through music.
“Yeah definitely,” said Suge. “He was in prison, it was all bad for him. He had a manager before then and not one person said ‘I’m going to get Tupac out of prison.’ Then Tupac got his girl to call me and say that he needed me. I’m on the next thing smoking to go down there to get him out of prison.”
And while Death Row gave ‘Pac the avenue to become a bigger star than he’d even before in his career, some would say the label also facilitated the circumstances of his demise. From tireless beef with the late Notorious B.I.G. to rumored association with gangs, the label that boasted Dr. Dre, Tha Dogg Pound and Snoop Dogg also seemed a dangerous place.
“I don’t regret [getting him out of prison and signing him]. ‘Pac was another half of me, a little brother, so anything I could do to help him was great for both of us and not because of his talent as an artist,” said Suge. “You got a lot of people that like Tupac because he could rap. I like Tupac because of Pac, because of who he was and, if you look at it, since he’s not around, everybody claims that they was great friends and went to his show.
“Some artists knew him but like Pac and Snoop hated each other at the end,” Suge continued. “You can tell that by the simple fact that when Snoop did Tha Doggfather Pac wasn’t on one song. Tupac didn’t like Dre and the jealousy of Tupac would change the Death Row camp. He was now this major star getting all the light and all the attention. To me that was childish on their part, they could never fill Pac’s shoes or walk in his light.”
What do you think of Suge Knight calling Snoop and Dr. Dre “childish”? Is he right or harping on an old beef? Tell us in a comment below or at @MTVRapFix!