Snoop Wanted To End The Death Row/Bad Boy Beef In 1996 But Was Shut Down By Suge (Video)
Over the last few weeks, Snoop Dogg has been very vocal about his complicated relationship with Suge Knight, both past and present. Two weeks ago, he sat down with The Breakfast Club and explained how he was able to forgive the Death Row Records CEO for literally trying to have him killed, and become friends with him again. In the same conversation, Snoop also expressed his support for a film about Death Row, saying that it could only be done properly if he and Suge were at the helm. Recently, Snoop sat down with Elliot Wilson, as part of his CRWN series, and he revealed an exchange that he and Knight had 20 years ago that quite literally could have changed history radically.
When asked why his and Suge’s relationship soured in the 90s, Snoop said “The leader, when he lead you in the wrong direction, it’s your job to wake up and take the lead. You can’t go down that dark alley if you see it’s a dark alley. That’s why Dr. Dre left. That’s why things started to fall the way they fell, because it was a dark alley and [Suge] was the leader. He lead us.” In expanding on what he believed to be Knight’s downfall, Snoop called him “hypocritical,” saying “the same way he talked about ‘all them people being in the videos’ and all that, 6 months later he was in videos, doing the same exact thing. On the front of magazines. On the cover of the magazine with me and Tupac. ‘What are you doing? Why are you up here? It’s not enough room for all 3 of us.'”
Snoop’s comments were in reference’s to Knight’s infamous speech at the 1995 Source Awards, held on August 3, where he took shots at Sean “Puffy” Combs for being in his artists videos, dancing. Many consider the moment to be the official start of the Death Row and Bad Boy beef that would pit the East and West coasts against one another. The wars would also become deadly when an altercation between the two camps allegedly lead to the death of Knight’s friend and associate, Jake Robles, on September 23, 1995 in Atlanta. To this day, speculation continues that the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were also related to the bitter rivalry between the two men and their respective record companies.
Snoop commented on the Death Row/Bad Boy feud, and his desire to make peace after Tupac’s death. In 1996, Knight was in prison for violating his parole during a skirmish earlier on the night Tupac was killed. “When he was locked up, it was a pivotal moment where I wanted to go see him, and, I couldn’t see him because they shut the visiting down, but I was able to get on the phone with him,” said Snoop of Knight. “I was like ‘Cuz, why don’t you let me shake Biggie and Puffy’s hands on TV and end this so we can figure out a way to move forward,” he continued. Apparently, Knight was completely unreceptive as Snoop said the word that got back to him from one of Suge’s associates on his behalf was “Fuck them bitch ass niggas.”
Snoop expounded on how his attempt was the beginning of the end of his relationship with Knight and Death Row, saying “It made me feel fucked up because you see me trying to reach out and show love and this is the message that you send. And, then slowly but surely, the turned on me because they seen I wasn’t with the business move. I wasn’t with the bullshit. I was with the realness.”
Punctuating just how real the situation was, the clip ends with Snoop saying “I was going through shit like ‘I’m trying to live. Y’all niggas trying to die.'” Months after Snoop’s attempt to end the war between Death Row and Bad Boy, The Notorious B.I.G. was killed in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. Though his killer has never been convicted, the prevailing theories link his death directly to Death Row Records.
Twenty years later, Puff Daddy and Snoop would perform on the exact same stage where the 1995 Source Awards took place and, using footage from Knight’s speech, the two men symbolically put the beef to rest once and for all. How might history have changed had Snoop been able to move forward with his plans two decades before?