Suge Knight is not afraid.
That’s what the fearsome rap mogul told XXL magazine in an interview conducted before he was shot last weekend in Miami.
Asked about rumors that one of his many foes had put a price on his head, Knight replied, “If you raised up or born in the ghetto, (watching your back) is what you do naturally. You don’t choose the day you’re gonna go. ... I don’t walk in fear.”
Knight, the 40-year-old founder of Death Row Records, underwent surgery to remove a bullet from his leg after he was shot early Sunday morning at an MTV awards pre-party. Police had no leads, and Knight’s attorneys instructed the hospital not to release information about his condition.
The hulking, gang-affiliated Knight was one of the most powerful and feared music figures of the 1990s, but his empire crumbled after his star rapper, Tupac Shakur, was gunned down in 1996 while riding in Knight’s car. Although Knight recently signed the semi-famous Petey Pablo to his label, his only big sellers of the past several years have been compilations of old Tupac material.
Relatives of Tupac’s slain rival, the Notorious B.I.G., filed a lawsuit accusing Knight of having corrupt former Los Angeles police officer David Mack orchestrate B.I.G.’s killing.
According to the XXL cover story, when asked if he knew Mack, Knight replied, “I didn’t know none of them dudes,” then snatched the tape recorder belonging to the writer, Carter Harris, and turned it off.
At that point, “let’s just say that a rather tense exchange takes place between men,” wrote Harris, “one that ends with me deciding to change the subject.”