RIP Death Row

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Death row boss Marion Suge Knight failed to save his pioneering rap label after missing a court hearing on April 1. A judge ordered the record company into receivership on March 24, and Knight failed to turn up to court to fight the order. The legendary label launched the careers of Snoop Dogg, 2Pac and Dr.  Dre, but now all of the company's assets, including the music library, could be auctioned off, while Knight could be jailed for contempt of court.

Knight is been on the front pages of music magazines for more than a decade now, being one of the instigator of the ill-fated east coast v west coast saga of the mid 90s, he has always managed to keep making headlines. Knight has been in a legal battle since he lost a $107 million judgment last year to a woman who claimed she helped start the record empire. Attorneys for Lydia Harris and her ex husband, an imprisoned drug dealer Michael Harris, who is seeking half of the award as part of their divorce, urged the judge to place Knight’s company in receivership.

Michael Harris, who is serving a 28-year sentence at San Quentin State Prison, claims he put up $1.5 million from behind bars to help start the record label a claim that Knight has repeatedly denied.

Death Row records has been reported to have generated more than $300 million since its inception in 1991. The Record label bust into the scene with a ground breaking gangsta rap hit track “Deep Cover� ( Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg) in early 1992, and then made musical history with the classic album “The Chronic� ( Dr Dre), going on to sell well over 10 million albums to date, and then the follow up “Doggystyle� ( Snoop Dogg), which was the most anticipated rap album in history, selling well over 3 million copies.

In 1995, after bailing out the late Tupac Shakur from Rikers Island Prison, Death Row records released its largest commercial success album, entitled “All eyes On Me� ( Tupac Shakur). This was the point when they hit the summit, and it was down hill from then on.

Dr Dre left Death Row in 1996, Tupac was shot dead in 1996, Suge Knight was incarcerated in 1996 and then Snoop Doggy Dogg left Death Row in 1997 to join Master P’s No Limit label. Knight has never been able to revive the dying Death Row records and this is the finale nail in the 15 year existence of Death Row Records.

“Speaking Truth To Empower.� To contact The Black Star News write or call (212) 481-7745. Subscribe to this newspaper and advertise to build power.

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