The controversial legacy of Marion “Suge” Knight includes co-founding legendary Hip Hop label Death Row Records, several run-ins with the law, and a public persona that promotes his supposed close relations with underworld dealings.
Two of Knight’s former close associates are set to explore if “government informant” and “rat” are terms that should be added to the music insider’s Wikipedia page as well.
Lloyd “TaTa” Lake first met Suge two decades ago, and Reggie Wright is Suge’s childhood friend and ex-head of his security at Death Row. Both men are now working on a new documentary that covers the circumstances surrounding the still unprosecuted murders of rap icons Tupac Shakur and Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace.
Justice for Tupac and Biggie will also take a look at whether the U.S. government has infiltrated the Hip Hop community with secret sources willingly to provide information on rappers. In particular, the film will shine a light on Suge’s possible ties with the FBI.
In an interview with AllHipHop.com, Lake and Wright discuss their forthcoming documentary, their history with Suge and Death Row, all the people suspected of being involved in the deaths of 2Pac and Biggie, and of course why they believe Suge Knight is not who he claims to be.
Read excerpts concerning Suge’s alleged ties to the government from the full AllHipHop 3-part article that will be published this week.
You gotta look at the Whitey Bulger case; these people that were long-time government informants. You don’t get paperwork when you work in that capacity for the FBI. They offered me that job before, and I said, “no thanks.” So I know that’s real that you don’t get paperwork. You just gather information for the FBI like Whitey Bulger was doing.
Another example, one night [Suge] called me and said, “I need you to go push on Drake for me.” I already had in my mind this guy could be an informant, but the only reason I went down there was to check to see if I could figure out if he really was an informant and to see if I saw any FBI or anybody in the vicinity or in the club. Sure enough I did. They followed me everywhere I moved through there.
Let’s talk about Las Vegas when he’s standing over Melissa Issac, and he’s beating her with a knife in his hand and with drugs in his front pocket. He doesn’t go to jail. This is a slam dunk case. You got a cop as an eye-witness. You don’t have a better eye-witness than a police officer. And there’s no way Melissa can just say she doesn’t want to testify against him. They would have forced her to testify. They would have subpoenaed her. There’s no way out of those cases.
I wasn’t under the impression about him being an informant. I just know he has rat things in him… The one thing is when he was doing his time in jail for the probation violation on the state side. He knew he had a six months tail on the federal side. He actually reached out to the U.S. Attorney that was handling the matter for his six month probation violation and said, “Y’all been trying to get me to cooperate on David Kenner. I’m willingly to do that now, because I don’t wanna go six months. I’m ready to get out of here.”
He had me call the U.S. Attorney. I did. The U.S. Attorney advised me that, “I can’t talk to you Reggie. You’re not his attorney of record. I would have to hear from his attorney.” Which at the time [the attorney] handling the federal matter was David Chesnoff out of Las Vegas. So I called David Chesnoff and told him Suge wanted to do the six months and cooperate against David Kenner… David Chesnoff told me, “I represent tough guys from the Mafia. One thing I don’t do is represent rats that would do any type of telling, so you tell Suge if that’s what he wants to do then he needs to remove me or I’ll remove myself as his attorney of record.”
For more information or to donate to the crowdsourcing fundraiser for the Justice for Tupac and Biggie documentary visit kickstarter.com.
Follow Lloyd Lake on Twitter @Lloyd_TataLake