Suge Knight is currently serving time in jail on charges of murder. Though once the co-founder of a major record company, Suge Knight’s net worth is now estimated to be $200 thousand. If you want to know more about Suge Knight’s earnings and how much he is worth, then keep on reading.
Suge Knight’s Early Life
Marion Hugh “Suge” Knight Jr. was born on April 19, 1965 in Compton, California. His parents are Maxine and Marion Knight Sr. He got his nickname from his father who shortened “Sugar Bear” to simply “Suge.” Knight went to Lynwood High School, where he was a track and football star. In 1983, he graduated from high school, and played football for El Camino College for two years. He transferred to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1985 and played football there for two years.
After graduating from college, despite not being drafted by the National Football League, Knight secured a position as a defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams. The team dropped him, but he managed to play two games for them as a replacement during the 1987 NFL players’ strike.
Suge Knight’s Record Labels
After a brief stint in football, Knight worked as a bodyguard. One of his most famous clients was Bobby Brown. In 1989, Knight started his own music publishing company that had songs that were allegedly used by Vanilla Ice (Robert Van Winkle) for his hit album, To the Extreme (1990). Later, the rapper signed over royalties for “Ice Ice Baby” to Knight, but it wasn’t easy. Apparently, Knight and his bodyguards confronted Van Winkle about handing over the royalties of the song, and allegedly dangled him off his hotel balcony, though Van Winkle claims only threats of them doing that were made. The matter was resolved in court.
The Start of Death Row Records
Suge Knight, along with rapper and producer Dr. Dre, co-launched Death Row Records via Time Warner’s Interscope. Death Row garnered significant success with Snoop Dogg’s 1993 debut album and the 1994 Above the Rim soundtrack. The record label signed artists like Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre. However, Death Row Records soon started to fall apart when Knight was imprisoned on parole violations. After this, many of Death Row’s best-known artists left the label, including Dr. Dre.
Besides co-owning Death Row Records, Knight was also part of a car hydraulics business and started the hot Vegas night spot, Club 662. On top of that, he also made charitable contributions to several local California communities. However, there were a lot of controversies surrounding Death Row, with investigations by authorities claiming that the label was involved in a gang and drug related activities. In fact, there were several times when Knight was charged with weapons possession, assault, and even attempted murder.
In the mid-’90s, Tupac Shakur signed with Death Row and released the album, All Eyez on Me in 1996. On September 7, 1996, while he was in the passenger side of a vehicle driven by Suge Knight, Tupac was shot to death. The same evening, Knight had violated his probation and was sentenced to jail from 1996 to 2001.
After his release from prison, Knight tried to re-launch his label, but unfortunately got even more jail time for violating his parole. In 2006, he filed for bankruptcy protection, and in 2008 his label was sold.
Knight’s Run-ins with the Law and Financial Problems
Over the last two decades, Knight has had several run-ins with the law. The latest being in 2015, when he was allegedly part of a fatal hit and run in Compton. According to sources, the incident may have been related to a fight that took place during the filming of Straight Outta Compton. Witnesses at the scene named Knight as the driver of a truck that ran over the victim before driving off. Knight is said to have fled the scene and abandoned his car in a parking lot.
Besides his legal problems, he also faced a lot of financial issues. So, there is little wonder why Suge Knight’s net worth has declined to a mere $200,000. In 2002, the IRS declared that Knight owed around $6.5 million in back taxes. In 2006, Knight filed for personal bankruptcy. During that time, he claimed that his assets were worth between zero dollars and $50,000. Furthermore, Knight also stated that he had debts which totaled over $100 million. Because of his financial troubles, Knight forced Death Row Records to file for bankruptcy later that year.
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To get out of his situation, the record label’s assets were sold at an auction for $18.0 million in 2009. WIDEawake Entertainment Group had the winning bid for most of the items in the auction. Eventually, WIDEawake was sold off to a Canadian company called New Solutions Financial Corp. In 2012, New Solutions Financial Corp filed for bankruptcy. It is currently believed that Entertainment One possesses Death Row’s assets.
Suge Knight on the Big Screen
Knight has been played in several films by various actors. His role was a significant part of biopics like Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story, Straight Outta Compton, All Eyez on Me, Notorious, Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le, and DPG 4 Life: Tha Movie.