Ex Death Row CEO says Compton rappers are "slaves" to Interscope Records.
Kendrick Lamar and Game have more in common than being from Compton. Both rappers are signed to Interscope Records and, according to Suge Knight's latest interview, both are locked into "two of the worst deals in the industry."
The always outspoken ex-music mogul shared his opinion on the subject of shady business deals during an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show Tuesday (Feb. 18). "If you look at Interscope, the two guys from Compton got two of the worst deals in the industry," Knight said.
He went on to outline exactly how many benefactors get paid from Game's label deal. "What people don't realize is Universal [Music Group] is the ship, then Aftermath get they cut, then G-Unit get they cut, then the guy who really have Game signed [gets a cut] then it came to Game."
In Lamar's case, "the guy who put the deal together" gets a portion of the 26-year-old rapper's earnings in addition to Interscope and other label-related payees, Knight claimed. "In reality [it's] more slavery now than ever," he continued. "When you was a slave you like 's--t it's bad,' but it's worse when somebody makes you be a celebrity ... and you're thanking a person for like stabbing you in the back. Period."
Knight is well-versed in the area of bad business dealings. As Death Row's founder and former CEO, the 48-year-old built a reputation for intimidation tactics (like allegedly dangling Vanilla Ice over a balcony) and has watched his once profitable imprint crumble over the years. Death Row was once home to West Coast heavy hitters Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Kurupt and Snoop Dogg, but by the turn of the millennium the label descended into financial ruin and was eventually auctioned off to a Canadian entertainment company in 2009.
Last week, Dre brought a $3 million lawsuit against Death Row for unpaid royalties from his 1992 solo debut The Chronic.
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(Photos from left: Michael Bezjian/WireImage, Christopher Polk/Getty Images, London Ent / Splash News)