Was 2Pac Scared of Suge Knight when He was on Death Row?
“Gotta follow your sergeants directions or get your ass popped with the Smiff N Wesson!” Eazy E on Real Compton City Gz
Its been said that Tupac signing to Death Row was the gift and the curse. The gift was the fact that it helped Pac reach his peak as the biggest name in rap and officially made him a mega star. Him signing to Death Row proved to be a smart move career wise as he would sell 7-8 million records with his double disc All Eyez on Me. The album would be the highest selling album in 1996 along with Death Row Records being put back on the map as a megaforce due to Bad Boy dominating much of 1995. The Curse being that his death would lead the fall of the empire.
When Pac was locked up, He felt depressed, betrayed, and angry about the whole incident. He was robbed, shot 5 times and sent to prison within 24 hour span along the media crucifying him and trying to assassinate his character by potraying him as a rapist and a knuckleheaded convict. The epic pic of Tupac being carried in and out of court in a wheelchair with his head wrapped up stuck in many people’s minds for years. The reality of prison life started to set in on Pac. His so-called friends didn’t visit him or took time to write letters checking on him. He was an open target for no only in prison due to the nature of his reputation but in hip hop as well as New York artists and DJs started disrespecting him on New York Radio stations and even went as far as to spread a rumor of him being raped in prison,
It was hard for Tupac to sit in prison and receive this treatment without having the outlet to respond to it. Despite having the #1 album in the country with Me Against the World, Tupac still had a lot of anger in his heart and wanted to extract revenge. He knew that he needed a team because he felt betrayed by Puffy, Biggie, and all of New York so he signed with Death Row Records in late October 1995 and was released on 1.4 million dollar bail.
Death Row Records was what Tupac felt he needed at the time. He finally felt that he had a team powerful enough to go against Bad Boy, Who was running the game heavily at the time and had finally had a platform to abstract revenge on his adversaries. He also felt that he had Suge’s street muscle to give him the protection he needed as well so people would think twice at firing back at him.He felt now that he can intimidate his enemies and he did so throughout 1996 with his onslaught of diss records towards the Bad Boy camp, Nas, Mobb Deep, JayZ or whomever said anything slick or disrespect towards him.
The difference between Tupac and the rappers today is that he didn’t care about industry politics. Tupac didn’t care if you sold five million records or five records, You said his name and he was gonna come after you. Everybody from the biggest artist(Biggie) to the smallest(Chino XL) got hit with Tupac’s wrath. He was on a mission to eliminate those who felt betrayed him and said anything bad about him or the west coast. It wouldn’t be until Dre’s departure is where he would officially be Suge Knight’s pitbull as he would even go after Dre as well.
But on the inside, You can tell deep inside that Tupac didn’t want to be on Death Row. He even said himself that “He was successful on Death Row but not happy”. It was an obligation that he felt he had obtain. He felt obligated to take on all of Suge’s demands because Suge bailed him out of prison. He also owed money to Death Row as well and was already in debt due to his incarceration.Therefore He had to prove his loyalty to Suge and had to partake in alot of Suge’s beefs from taking parts of the Death Row beatdowns, Going after Dre for leaving the label and even if it had to go through certain bizarre rituals that were demanded by the label such as this picture here with Pac naked covered in chains in a bathtub:
Now why Pac decided to take this picture in this manner I would never know. Maybe its to boost his sex appeal but its clear that on the shoot that he looked very uncomfortable and not happy in having to go through this. There have been many people who worked within the label that claimed that Pac wanted to get out of Death Row badly and was the main reason why he would release these albums so quickly even though Pac himself publically never admitted any friction between him and Suge. Its obvious from hearing the stories of people who knew him personally including Fredro Starr and Tha Outlawz that He wanted out of Death Row as he told them to NOT sign with them.
Pac felt trapped in a obligation that he didn’t want to obtain. He felt that he sold out his beliefs and himself as he would even switch his style from the political conscious route into a more street savvy style rapper to represent Death Row’s gangsta rap image.
The rituals that Pac seen within the Entertainment industry started getting more bizarre and it drove him crazy. From having Quincy Jones(Pac was engaged to his daughter) asking him to “fuck him in the ass”(According to Professor Griff) to the weird pictures takened in the tub wrapped in chains. Tupac seemed to have had enough of the Industry and was gonna work on his Makaveli album which was gonna be a bombshell. He not only would address not only his enemies but also the people who were pulling the strings which is why he named it Killumanti the 7 Day Theory. From turning down the Jones ritual and actually claiming to “kill the illuminati” Pac was marked for death and he knew it.
The Makaveli album was gonna be the album that was gonna shake up the industry. He said himself that he did All Eyez on Me was an album done for Suge and that this album was gonna be darker and him going back into dropping knowledge. Upon recording this album, It seemed that Pac was either foretelling his death or figured his name was calling so he was gonna spend his last days fearing no one. He completed the album in SEVEN days further showcasing his genius as an artist and further fueling the rumors of him wanting to leave. Many of the Death Row artists were afraid of asking about their money and allowed Suge to punk them out for many years. Pac realizing that his deal was almost up felt he had nothing to lose started asking Suge about the money that was owed to him and there were many arguments between the two which Pac was ready to fight Suge and he would throw him a couple of grand and a car to keep him happy. It would be the same tactic that Suge would do to many of his artists as Snoop Dogg would claim in the March 1998 Source Issue.
Another thing that people didn’t notice is that Pac wasn’t even wearing the Death Row medallion as much anymore during the record of Makaveli. He was wearing his Euphanasia medallion even more into the public. He actually walked in NYC which was Biggie’s stomping ground to address Nas in front of seventy of his people at Central Park with just fifteen of his people with him. Snoop Dogg talked about this during an interview earlier this year. Pac had plans of doing a One Nation project featuring Boot Camp Click, Greg Nice, Melly Mel, Bone Thugs, Spice 1, Scarface, Big Daddy Kane, The Luniz and others to show that he still had love for NYC and that his issues were mainly with certain people in that state, He also had plans of Makaveli Records and further continuing that movement after leaving Death Row.
Suge knew that he couldn’t have his biggest asset leave the company at a time where they were making so much money. He had already lost Dr Dre which was a huge contributor to their sound and was actually the originator of the Death Row sound so having Pac leave would result into many questioning from his artists that he knew cheated money out of and Pac leaving would put the company in a serious hole.The only way Suge could have possibly kept Pac’s masters and catalogue with him is if he had him killed according to one of Death Row’s ex Bodyguards.
Pac didn’t even want to go to Tyson fight in Las Vegas that night but he figured that it was in his destiny to go and knew he was gonna go down sooner or later so he went ahead after confinement from Suge and company. Im not gonna breakdown the details of his whole death because its been done many times before but there was no denying that Pac’s reasoning for being killed has to be his new inner fearlessness of Suge Knights muscle or the fact that the higher-ups seen him as too much of a serious threat. A rapper selling 7-8 million records addressing the Illuminati and wanting to kill it? Thats way too much power for a young black artist to have. Mix that with his Black Panther background and you have a serious problem.They possibly felt that they had to eliminate Pac and use Suge to do it.
When the Makaveli album dropped after Pac’s death. It was like a bomb dropping into the Industry. The Cover art had Tupac deplicated as Jesus Christ and he’s hung on a cross with the nails showcasing that he was crucified by the media. You can even check the booklet where it has no thank you, shoutouts or nothing, Just:
WARTIME, NATIONWIDE,CITYWIDE,REAL NIGGAZ DO REAL THINGZ
The Makaveli album was the bombshell and final album that he recorded before his death .It continues where Hit Em Up left off at and You can feel Pac’s rage, anger, and venom as he went at all of his adversaries on My Bomb 1st and Against All Odds respectively. Whats different this time around is that Pac is addressing the people who he felt were involved with him being set up with the rape charges and shot in 1994 (Hatian Jack, Jimmy Henchman, King Tut). The Makaveli album would be labeled as Pac’s best work to date as he delivers an album good enough to please all of his fans and keeping new ones. The album further cemented Pac as a legendary icon figure.