At 49, former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight has had more close calls than most people experience in a lifetime.
In his latest brush with death, the co-founder of Death Row Records reportedly was shot six times and badly injured early Sunday morning at a pre-MTV Video Music Awards party thrown by Chris Brown at a trendy Los Angeles nightclub.
His family asked for prayers.
“Suge is currently resting and has lost a lot of blood. He’s human,” his family told Revolt TV in an exclusive statement.
Knight is certainly human, but for so long he had seemed invincible, rising from Compton, California, a Los Angeles suburb notorious for gang-related violence, where his childhood nickname was Sugar Bear, to starting the label that was home to some of the biggest names in rap – Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
In the process, he developed a reputation as one of the most powerful and feared figures in the music industry, and trouble seemed to follow him.
In 1996, Knight began serving five years in prison for a probation violation. While he was in prison, his company languished, and it never recovered after his 2001 release. Knight filed for bankruptcy in 2006, telling his creditors that his bank account contained just $11. He sold Death Row in 2008 and started a new label a year later, but so far hasn’t been able to replicate his earlier success.
“He was hip-hop’s boogeyman,” Keith Murphy, an editor of Vibe magazine, told ABC News in 2008. “You make the bed you lie in. You go around disrespecting people and things are going to come back to you.”
While the investigation into this latest shooting continues, here are a few of Knight’s close calls over the years:
1. Tupac Shakur Shooting
In September 1996, Knight was at the wheel of the car in which Shakur was a passenger when Shakur was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Earlier that evening, the pair and their entourage were involved in a brawl at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. While Knight survived unscathed, Shakur died from gunshot wounds six days later. His killer has never been found. After the fight and shooting, Knight, who was on probation for charges including auto theft, attempted murder and carrying a concealed weapon, was sent to prison for violating his probation.
2. Previous VMA Shooting
Sunday wasn’t the first time Knight was injured at a pre-VMAs party. In 2005, he was shot in the leg at a bash hosted by Kanye West in Miami Beach, Florida. Witnesses reported at least six shots fired during the incident. Knight was treated for a fractured leg resulting from a gunshot wound.
3. Knocked Out
In May 2008, Knight was involved in an altercation involving a monetary dispute outside of a nightclub in Hollywood. During the incident, he was knocked out cold for three minutes. But when he came to, he reportedly refused to assist Los Angeles police in the investigation.