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Marion ‘Suge’ Knight, former CEO of Death Row Records, is under fire again as attention is redirected towards a HIV/AIDS joke he made over a decade ago about N.W.A rapper Eazy-E.
Eazy, real name Eric Wright, died from the illness in 1995.
In 2003, Knight appeared on Jimmy KimmelLive!, where he made the tasteless comment about the rapper and Ruthless Records label owner. Knight, who at this point was recently released from prison, asked Kimmel why he was wearing a bulletproof vest on the show, suggesting there are more efficient ways to kill a person.
“Technology is so high. If you shoot somebody, you go to jail forever. So the kids, you don’t want to go to jail forever right? They have a new thing out. They have this stuff they called — they get blood from somebody with AIDS and they shoot you with it. That’s [a] slow death. The Eazy-E thing, you know what I mean?”
Knight’s words have some theorizing he conspired to transmit the virus to Eazy-E. The two men became enemies after N.W.A decided to part ways due to intense financial disputes.
Knight has a violent reputation, terrifyingly portrayed through his character in the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. He is currently awaiting trial on a murder charge stemming from accusations of a fatal hit-and-run that killed his friend and actor Terry Carter in January of this year.
In a recent interview, the former manager of N.W.A. and co-founder of Eazy’s Ruthless Records, Jerry Heller, hinted that he was wrong for talking Eazy-E out of killing Knight, a scene that’s depicted in the box-office breaking biopic.
Recently, the famed music executive spoke with the Murder Master Music Show and opened up about the time when he had to prevent Eazy-E from murdering Suge Knight, something he now feels was wrong.
“I think, even more so now, that Suge Knight is an evil human being,” Jerry Heller said. “And I always said when Suge Knight started to get involved — because he was a bodyguard at Ruthless [Records]. He drove [Dr.] Dre around sometimes. Usually he was with The D.O.C., who I feel was probably the greatest, pure rapper. He and Rakim were the two greatest pure rappers that I ever heard. But [Suge Knight] was a bad guy. He was a bad guy then and he’s a worse guy now. The guy is lucky. I think, like they say in Vegas to O.J. Simpson, ‘It’s payback time, man.’ Eric [Wright] knew he was a problem from the beginning and that was that meeting when I talked him out of doing what he felt that he wanted to do and if you know Eric, he was very firm in his ideas,” Heller added. “Actually, it turned out that he was right and I was wrong.”