Over 20 years after Death Row Records’ pinnacle, people are still talking about the iconic label – including the principle players. In an “unauthorized” interview posted by YouTuber Jesse Surratt on his Jmix channel, Death Row co-founder Suge Knight spoke from prison (where he’s serving 28 years for manslaughter) about the fateful acquisition of Tupac Shakur. There’s been a lot of speculation about who had a hand in convincing Suge to visit the then-incarcerated Tupac and bail him out of prison, but Suge gives credit to an unheralded source: Tupac’s ex-wife Keisha Morris. Tupac married Morris in April 1995 while he was incarcerated on a charge of first-degree sexual abuse.
Suge told Jmix, a channel devoted to Tupac and Death Row-related content, that Morris called the Death Row offices in 1995 and told him, “Tupac said the only person who can help him is you. Please come see him so you can get him out of prison.” Knight says that he then made the trek from LA to New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility to see Tupac, who told him he didn’t want to rap anymore and that his Thug Life movement was “dead,” reiterating a proclamation from his infamous Vibe magazine interview.
Suge claims that he told Tupac frankly to “get that bullsh*t out your head,” and that all eyes were on him (the inspiration for the title of his classic Death Row debut). Indeed, Tupac was the first artist to have a No. 1 album while incarcerated with his Me Against The World album. Suge was able to get Tupac bailed out, and the rest is history.
Elsewhere in the interview, Suge talked about seeing Tupac’s prolific work ethic firsthand and some of the things that he arranged for Tupac in order to help comfort him after his prison bid. Though plagued by legal and health issues, the 53-year-old seemed in relatively good spirits, suggesting future interview and content ideas for Jmix, where he will apparently do more interviews while incarcerated.