Suge Knight has questioned the validity of Snoop Dogg’s ownership of Death Row Records, accusing his former signee of acquiring control of the label in an “illegal” manner.
On Monday (April 24), TMZ released audio of a phone call with the incarcerated mogul discussing Snoop’s current role as owner and CEO of Death Row. In the clip, which was uploaded to YouTube, Knight claims Snoop’s stake in the label only occurred due to an alleged crime committed by the rapper and Michael “Harry-O” Harris, a convicted drug kingpin and an initial financier of Death Row Records.
When asked about his thoughts of Snoop’s ownership of Death Row, Knight questioned whether Snoop is actually the true owner of the label he helped bring to prominence during the ’90s. After stating he doubts Snoop’s claims of ownership, he accused Harris of committing bankruptcy fraud, which he says he and his lawyers only discovered a week prior to the phone call.
“Snoop has a partner, which is Michael Harris, right” the 58-year-old told the outlet. “If you look at it, they committed bankruptcy fraud. I didn’t lose my company by doing anything wrong. They went in, and the lawyer didn’t show up, and they got a default judgment. I settled the judgement, they turned around and said I didn’t settle the judgement.”
Knight, who referred to the sale of Death Row as “illegal” and a “crime,” says that Harris’ wife and legal team knowingly participated in the fraud stemming from the bankruptcy claim, which occurred in 1995. “When they filed [for] bankruptcy in 1995, they said it didn’t have anything to do with Death Row-anything and the lawyer did also,” the infamous music exec claims. “And their lawyer knew.”
He continued to argue his point, highlighting the discrepancy in the legality of the sale and acquisition of Death Row Records amid Harris’ prior bankruptcy filing. “You can’t take a person who committed the worst crime of the century to take Death Row from Black people to try to give it to white people,” he said. “And think you’re gonna turn around and reward and say he’s gonna grab Snoop and he’s gonna go get it back and have Death Row. It don’t work like that. So if we’re gonna talk about something, let’s talk about it.”
During the conversation, Knight says he believes that ownership of many of Death Row’s most popular releases will be transferred to him before it’s all “said and done.” “I am Death Row. Suge Knight is Death Row,” he said at one point during the phone call, evidence that he’s not willing to walk away from the label he helped build without a fight.
In February 2022, it was announced that Snoop had acquired Death Row Records in a deal with MNRK Music Group. However, the terms of the deal were undisclosed. Snoop released a statement reacting to the news, which marked a full-circle moment in the rap legend’s illustrious career.
“I am thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value,” shared the “Gin And Juice” rapper. “It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career and as one of the founding members.
“This is an extremely meaningful moment for me. I would like to personally thank the teams at Blackstone, MNRK, and especially David Kestnbaum, who worked collaboratively with me over several months to make this exciting homecoming a reality. I’m looking forward to building the next chapter of Death Row Records.”
Listen to Suge Knight discuss Snoop Dogg and Michael “Harry-O” Harris’ ownership of Death Row Records below.