Suge Knight will be sentenced on Thursday for the 2015 manslaughter of a man on the set of “Straight Outta Compton” and the controversial rap legend believes one man is responsible for landing him behind bars: Dr. Dre.
The Blast spoke with Knight via telephone in his first interview since accepting a plea deal that could land him behind bars for over 20 years.
Touching on a wide range of topics, Knight opened up about his health, why he took the plea deal, whether or not he’ll live to see the light of day again and his belief that Dre paid two men to kill him.
Suge Knight tells The Blast he is looking forward to moving to a more permanent facility because he has not received proper medical attention for the past four years. The Death Row exec was hospitalized several times, for a number of health issues, during his time in the Los Angeles County Jail.
It is Knight's belief that the trial brought to light the circumstances that led to the two men confronting him on that fatal day at Tam’s Burgers in Compton, and he believes it all comes back to Dre.
Their ongoing beef can be traced back to the 90s, when the two hip-hop bosses stopped broke off their business relationship. Knight has claimed that he struck a deal a lifetime deal with Dre to collect 30% of the producer's earnings, and that Dre's $3 billion deal between Apple and Beats is subject to the terms of their agreement.
Because Knight tried to collect the money, he believes that Dre not only put a hit out on him that day at Tam's Burgers, but also during a 2014 nightclub shooting that left him riddled with multiple gunshot wounds. He thinks Tam's was put in place because he survived the nightclub shooting.
"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," Knight says. "And they said, ‘What you mean by get rid of?’ And they said, 'Kill him.'"
He describes it as a "murder-for-hire case" and sued Dr. Dre in 2016 claiming he was behind it [The Blast reached out to a rep for Dr Dre, who did not wish to comment].
As for why Suge decided to take the plea deal instead of trying his luck at trial, he claims he had no choice.
"So when they gave me an attorney," Suge explains, "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?"
When Suge starts his sentence, we're told he will begin working on a biopic with Pacific Cove Media, and its owner Rick Neely, who tells us he "is currently in meaningful discussions" with Lionsgate.
Suge Knight is 53 years old, in failing health, and not likely to be released until he's 70 — so does he think he'll see the light of day again?
"Absolutely," Suge tells The Blast. "Of course."