Innuendo, speculation, rumors — Suge Knight says he's going to squash them all and tell the real story of his life and his relationship with Tupac Shakur when he puts out his autobiography in November.
"I got a book coming out, which is called 'American Dream or American Knightmare,' he disclosed a week ago in New York. "I wasn't pumped up to do a book. I felt that most people who do books are in desperate need to grab a few dollars. That wasn't the case with me. I felt there was so many books out speaking on me, speaking on Pac, speaking on Death Row. There's a lot of question marks I need to put periods [on]. It will be aggressive, plus there will be some educational things for the kids."
Knight also said that some MCs should educate themselves on Shakur's history before thinking about using his music. He praised Jay-Z for sampling Tupac's "Me and My Girlfriend," was disappointed by Nas' participation in last year's "Thugz Mansion" and had disdain for Daz because he gave out some unreleased Pac vocals to be used on the street smash "The Realest Killas" with 50 Cent.
"Pac can go hard in the paint on anybody when he wanted to and I'm gonna ride with him regardless, but I know Pac didn't have a real disliking for Jay," Knight said of some of the old disses Shakur levied at Young Hova on the Makaveli album. "[Pac] didn't have a disliking to him where if he saw [Jay] he wanted to try and take his head off.
"I think it was a situation that we get older, we grow," Knight explained signing off on Jay-Z's use of the music from "Me and My Girlfriend" (see "Jay-Z, Beyonce Are 'Bonnie & Clyde' On First Blueprint 2 Single"). "If Jay wanted to do something that he felt great about, if he wants to do something that's positive and is also not being disrespectful to Pac, why not? Sometimes we gotta be able to open our eyes up."
Knight raised an eyebrow when he heard the Tupac/ Nas collaboration "Thugz Mansion" last year (see "On Tupac Video Set, Nas Says Rapper Better Than Shakespeare"). Although Nas was asked to participate in the project by Shakur's estate, Suge said if it were up to him, the two MCs' vocals would have never been on the same track.
"I think it's real disrespectful to Pac," he lamented. "You gotta put a price on fame; it can't be to the point where you'll do anything for a hit. Be a man and have respect. If you can't respect nobody else, respect yourself. Don't go [do a song] knowing a certain individual didn't care for you. I could see Jay-Z doing what he did more than Nas on the same song with Pac, because Nas and Pac is from two different worlds."
Obviously, Dogg Pound gangsta Daz and Tupac were from same world: They were signed to the same label, hung in the same circles and made several recordings together. Still, Knight admitted anger at Daz's use of the Tupac vocals, some of which he independently sold, others he simply gave away. An unreleased Tupac verse has appeared on the song "The Realest Killas," which was produced by Red Spyda and features 50 Cent (see "50 Cent Disses Ja Rule On Tupac Joint; New Biggie Material On The Horizon").
"That's bootleg stuff," Knight calmly iterated. "Anything that Daz did, that's bootleg stuff. It's only obvious anything that 50 Cent do on [a mixtape] with Pac, it's bootleg. You gotta look at the respect level of it."
Knight is planning to release his own Tupac music in conjunction with Shakur's mother, Afeni. He does not know exactly when those songs will see the light of day.
"We still have some stuff on him that is great, but at the same time, it's not about just doing anything on Pac," the label executive clarified.