In time for the April 7, 2017 induction of legendary “Rap” artist Tupac Shakur into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, former Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight, confirms from his Los Angeles County jail location that details of the 1996 shooting that claimed Shakur’s life alleged in the new 2017 documentary “Tupac Assassination: Battle for Compton”, are, in fact, true.
Knight was with Shakur in Knight’s BMW when the shots rang out in Las Vegas September 7, 1996; Knight was grazed by glass and shrapnel as he and the 2017 inductee were being pummeled by gunfire at near point blank distance at the intersection of Flamingo and Koval. They were stopped at a traffic light, trapped in the traffic when the shooting occurred.
To this day, Knight has refused to state specifically who he saw or who he believed was responsible; he has often alluded to the need for him to be “taken away from the money” indicative of a hostile takeover attempt of the once renown Death Row Records, worth close to 500 million dollars at that time. But Knight has also played to the media, even offering the thought that Tupac is still alive in an on- camera interview.
But this has now changed; Knight has passed word through his criminal attorney Thaddeus Culpepper that the story laid out in the new movie “Tupac Assassination: Battle for Compton” was, based on his reading of salient points of the movie’s underlying book “Tupac: 187 The Red Knight”, also written by “Compton”’s co-directors and producers Michael Douglas Carlin and Richard “RJ” Bond, a true portrayal of the attempted coup at Shakur’s record label, which lead to the shooting in Las Vegas.
According to Culpepper, Knight is ready to give his statement on both cases.
Culpepper spoke to both Carlin and late LAPD detective Russell Poole- who died before “Compton” was released, but whose work was heavily featured in the movie- who signed an affidavit of the discussion prior to his death. Culpepper spoke to both Poole and Carlin individually that not only did Knight confirm the events as portrayed in “Compton” (which portray Knight was the intended target and Shakur as collateral damage) as true, but also goes on to allege that these 1996 events may have been the first in a history of attempts on Knight’s life (culminating in the recent attempted killing of Knight at the One Oak Club in Los Angeles, where Knight was shot an astounding six times, still managing to live.) When Knight was not being shot at, he has been the target of allegations that he was responsible for the shooting of Shakur Rival Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace in 1997 (while he was incarcerated for 9 years). In fact, even now Knight is held pending trial where he stands accused of running a man with his truck in what he contends to be yet another attempt on his life.
Knight’s reactions to the events laid out in “Compton” were “Who are these guys?” and “How did these guys put all this together?” before he admitted to Culpepper that the theories in the movie were in fact true. Bond had met with Knight’s private investigators, who were interested in how this information was collected, and Bond and Carlin stand by their insistence that Knight was a victim in Vegas, at One Oak and in the Compton incident Knight is currently pending trial for. For their part, Bond and Carlin suggest that this is the third eyewitness collaboration of “Compton’s” theory of the shooting; the late Frank Alexander testified to the suspect vehicle. Yafeu Fula (one of Shakur’s back up artists) gave a description of the vehicle’s driver to Vegas Police, which bears an uncanny resemblance to a person of interest in a “confession letter” featured in “Compton.” Now Knight’s confirmation of the story laid out in “Compton” may put a final stamp to close this mystery- after 20 years.
This closure would certainly be a fitting end for an artist whose life will be celebrated April 7, 2017 as he is inducted into the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the producers of Compton hope he can finally rest in peace.