Suge Knight Says Kendrick Lamar & Game Have "Two Of The Worst Deals In The Industry"

posted Wednesday February 19 ,2014 at 12:45PM CST | 105 comments

Suge Knight Says Kendrick Lamar & Game Have

Suge Knight compares industry deals to slavery and says "when you were a slave, you knew it was bad." Knight also explains D.O.C.'s deal.

While visiting The Arsenio Hall Show yesterday (February 18), former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight explained how the record industry woes he saw early in his career continue to have an effect on today’s rappers.

“The deals are still messed up,” Suge said. “I think it’s unfair if you really look at it, if you look at Interscope, the two guys from Compton—Game, Kendrick Lamar—got two of the worst deals in the industry. And when you look at it, it’s not so much the production company fault, but what people don’t realize is that if you’re on Universal, it’s the ship. Then Interscope get they cut, then Aftermath get they cut, then G-Unit get they cut. Then the guy who really has Game signed, it was another production company, then it came to Game. The reality is there’s more slavery now than ever.” While Hall checked Knight’s statement—and later quipped "12 Years A Rapper"—the record exec touted some industry deals as “worse.” “When you were a slave you knew it was bad,” he said. “When you was a slave, you was like, ‘Shit, it’s bad.’ But it’s worse when somebody make you be a celebrity and put you on a status and you thanking a person for stabbing you in the back.”


Suge Knight Explains D.O.C.'s Record Deal 

Before referencing Game and Kendrick Lamar specifically, Suge Knight explained that an artist who had negotiated a poor deal more than twenty years ago pushed him into the industry in the first place. “One of the reasons I got in the business is that there was a guy named D.O.C.,” Suge said of the former Dr. Dre collaborator. “And he had an accident where he lost his voice. And every person abandoned him, you know, I took what I had to help him. And I [asked], ‘Do you still have your publishing?’ Come to find out, Jerry Heller and [Eazy-E] bought his publishing for a watch and a gold chain. Then come to find out, Dr. Dre was getting two points off of anything he gets—that means two pennies—out those two pennies, one went [away], and one went to him. So if you sold a hundred million records, and you only get a penny a record, you will never get rich. So that was the thing that made me say, ‘You know what? We shouldn’t have to do a deal in Compton and do another deal in Beverly Hills; it’s still the same deal, we still doing the same business. It shouldn’t have to be that the same deals that applied in the ‘50s and the ‘60s [are used] today.

"And one of the things you can’t take from it," Knight added. "I love Death Row. That was my baby. I enjoyed the people on there, and we done that. And you know, 'Pac still moves on or lives on in every person from there I feel is successful. That’s a blessing. But more importantly we’re supposed to learn from that. We’re supposed to grow. I’m not trying to do a new Death Row, I’m not here to create a new Tupac, there will never be another Tupac, no matter how much they shout about it it’s not gonna happen. At the end of the day, it’s up to me not to try and get in the way and say ‘I wanna keep pushing the label.’ You have guys out here with great labels, we gon’ support him, let them grow, even these youngsters.”

While on the show, Knight also fielded a question about a recent incident at a Los Angeles marijuana dispensary explaining that a misunderstanding with a security guard was behind the incident.

RELATED: Dr. Dre Suing Death Row Records For More Than $3 Million

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Comments 105 Posts

  • Escuchama
    Suge is still upset with Dre for leaving his label, plus Dre is making more money then him now which is why he is trying to defame him
  • Yes Cypher
    Funky Suge Music
  • Anonymous
    Talk about that deal you forced Pac to sign tho. And then talk about how you killed him after you realized his contract was up
  • John-Boy
    Suge Knight definitely knows about bad deals cause he raped 2Pac royally. Pac was flashing all those jewels in the videos but when he died he was not worth ANY money and 2Pac has a diamond album.
  • 901DATSME
  • rakimthagod
    didn't suge himself make questionable/bad deals back in the day himself? isn't this the same nigga who let dr. dre out of his contract empty handed (meaning suge kept the publishings/masters to his work on deathrow)?? this dude would be giving the same "slave" deals if he could, so i say "nigga please" to suge's comments
  • yugang
    suge knight, the former ceo of death row, talking about other artists signing bad deals and being slaves. how ironic considering the bad deals HE himself gave to artists back then
  • Tim Dog
    Suge "SugarBear" Knight owe me money too and my main men Dr.Dre(3 million) and da real dogg Snoop D-o double G!!
  • Ken Junior (EA Streetwear)
    Can't even front with Suge on this. Independent route is the way to go these days. Yeah, that record label money look good, til' you find out how little you can make unless you tour like 9-10 months of the yeah or sale merch n' that what it is unfortunately. Ya'll rappers just better learn how to navigate these music waters. It's dangerous. Sharks is ere'where...real shit. Follow Endless Ambition Streetwear. Urban wear for those who grind nonstop and want more out of life. IG: @endlessambition_streetwear @kingstutter Twitter: @Gwillisjr89 @EA_StreetWear @Kongo4488 Blog:
  • Anonymous
    you should already know kendrick has a bad deal...interscope.
    • Anonymous
      could be worse, he could have a joint deal with Bad Boy/MMG like French and flop on his debut album, at least Kendrick sold 1.1 million or something without every hot rapper in the industry on his singles
  • Anonymous
    I'm tired of millionaires acting like they have it so bad. Its a chain of command we have it to my district manager makes the most money then the store manager then the assistant then me. The only difference is that unlike game and kendrick im not making millions. They are no where near to being slaves they just dont make as much as execs and thats life the business man makes more than his workers.
    • Anonymous
      He never said they should make more than the execs. He just said they arent getting whats owed to them. Using your example, I bet you make more than half of what the assistant manager makes, but what if you found out he actually makes double what you make?
    • bill nahsby
      that's life? life is what you make it don't ever forget it - you sound brainwashed... if that's what you want to accept for yourself fine, but leave the rest of the world out of it
    • Anonymous
      basically talking about blacks not owning anything due to ignorance and economic exploitation
  • ice
    Jay-Z is worth as much as he is today not because of rap, but because of other ventures. he's not just a rapper, he's a mogul. he owns a record label, clothing lines, he was the executive producer of NBA 2k13, etc. Kendrick and the Game will never reach that level.
    • Anonymous
      it was rap that made those other ventures possible...look at will smith queen latifah and marky mark lol
  • Anonymous
    "Juve still puttin out good music though" He just dropped something this week on ITunes.
  • ice
    they're still millionaires...shit, I would definitely take it. rappers get most of their money from tours and such, instead of record sales. all they have to do is rap and write rhymes and record. shit, millions of people do that shit for free already. I'm sure Kendrick and the Game sure as hell ain't complaining
    • Anonymous
      uncle thomas says "be happy with your scraps".
  • Anonymous
    Kendrick doesn't have Drake's money making ability, but if he's smart, he can still make 15-20 mill, and retire young.
  • yeah
    the game has sold probably 20 million album and he barely worth nine million and he worth nine million if you want to be nice to him and throw in some asset to help him get to that number. Kendrick is worth 3 he is right it wasn't much of a deal.
    • thefacts
      the game's net worth is 25 million, i don't think he's sitting on 9 million
    • Anonymous
      Game is worth 25 million and Kendrick's been in the mainstream spotlight about 2 years and is already worth 10 mill. I think they're both doing alright lol
    • Anonymous
      you guys gotta stop taking those celebrity networth numbers seriously... they are extremely over inflated and don't really factor in evereyday expenses that come with being a famous rapper and playin the part. my homie worth 8 million according to that site but doesn't own any property or even have 20k in his account
    • BP
      that's the point of net worth numbers you dumdum.. they never factor in everyday expenses... it represents the person's total worth, excluding casualties considering solely what they brought to the table when you tour as much as Kendrick did, your net worth will go up bonkers... you think anybody puttin tabs on the expenses Kendrick had to make during, nigga please
    • Anonymous
      game not worth 25mil stop the bullshit his albums been flopping since lax
    • Anonymous
      Kendrick ain't worth 10 million. Game should be set for life assuming he invested some of his money. Album sales mean nothing to him now. It's touring, movies, Vh-1. Anything else is a bonus.
  • Anonymous
    He's an expert on giving bad deals so he should know.
    • Javi
      HAHAHA So true.
    • Anonymous
      thank you! this the same nigga who let dr. dre out of the deathrow contract empty handed
  • M
    These rappers don't need to be mad at anyone but themselves for signing these deals. No one puts a gun to their head. Dudes like Tech N9ne and even the christian rapper Lecrae put out music on their own label and keep all that. Props to those guys.
    • BP
      Tech is an entrepreneur and Lecrae has a very tight demographic. props to them but it's not the same. sometimes you gotta sign deals to make it to the next level.