Friday's arrest of onetime rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight, now facing murder charges as the driver in a fatal hit-and-run collision Thursday in Los Angeles, is just the latest development in a long history of criminal behavior for the Death Row Records founder. On Friday, Knight, 49, surrendered to the Los Angeles Police Department after he struck one man and injured another with his truck while trying to escape alleged attackers on the set of "Straight Outta Compton," a film based on N.W.A., the pioneering gangster rap group. Police said a 55-year-old man died in the Thursday incident. Knight turned himself in at 3 a.m. on Friday and was being held on $2 million bail, the Associated Press reported.
Best known for helping to popularize the West Coast hip-hop music that glorified gang violence and criminal activity, as well as for his rumored involvement in the shooting deaths of rap icons Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., Knight has real criminal and legal troubles that stretch back more than 20 years. In October 2014, Knight and comedian Katt Williams were arrested for the alleged theft of a photographer’s camera in Beverly Hills. Knight and Williams were charged with second-degree robbery and, because of prior convictions, Knight faces 30 years in prison. In August of 2014, Knight was shot six times at a pre-MTV Video Music Awards party hosted by the R&B singer Chris Brown in Los Angeles. Knight was released from the hospital Aug. 27, but the shooting contributed to health problems that have plagued him ever since, his attorneys have said.
That wasn’t the first time Knight had been the target of gunfire or assault in recent years. In February 2009, Knight was treated for face injuries after being punched by a man he'd argued with outside an NBA All-Star Game event in Arizona. The mogul also filed a lawsuit in October 2008 against rapper-producer Kanye West and West’s associates, stemming from another pre-MTV Video Music Awards party hosted by West, where Knight was shot in the upper leg. His lawsuit cited mental and physical pain caused by the shooting and the cost of the surgery, among other damage claims. In May 2008, Knight was knocked unconscious after a monetary dispute outside a Hollywood nightclub.
Arguably the most infamous story of Knight's antics was when he allegedly dangled rapper Vanilla Ice from a hotel balcony, convincing him to sign over royalties for the 1989 hit song "Ice Ice Baby." Knight then allegedly used the profits from those royalties to found Death Row Records. Knight has also spent years in prison for probation violations. His longest stint was a nine-year prison sentence beginning in 1997. He has been sued by former business partners over their financial stake in Death Row Records, which rapidly declined and was eventually auctioned off in 2009 because of Knight’s constant legal and criminal troubles. Knight has also been arrested on other drug-related and aggravated assault charges, for which he has received probation. Some charges, including allegations of domestic violence in 2008, were never brought against Knight.