Marion Hugh “Suge” Knight, Jr., is in trouble with the law…again. The record producer, music executive, and a former NFL defensive end who played for the Los Angeles Rams is somewhat notorious for his brushes with the law. Knight is the co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records, which was instrumental in bringing rap to the masses in the 1990s, releasing records by legendary rappers like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur.
Knight’s reputation for being hip hop’s pugnacious producer started back in 1987, and continues until today, culminating in allegations that Knight threatened Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray. In 2014, Knight was on the Straight Outta Compton set. This film is a dramatization of the recording of N.W.A.’s first album, 1988’s Straight Outta Compton, which changed and influenced hip hop.
1988’s Straight Outta Compton, the album, was noted and a bit controversial for its brutally honest depiction of life on the streets. It signaled a departure from other late 80s rap releases, like DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper and Biz Markie’s Goin’ Off. Straight Outta Compton–both the film and the album–depict life in Southern Los Angeles, as well as how Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella, and MC Ren navigated their way through the music industry, acquiring fame, fortune, and a place in music history. Click next to read more about Suge Knight and Straight Outta Compton.