Call it a Knight's tale a New York publisher has bought the world
rights to the sure-to-be-controversial memoir of Marion "Suge" Knight, in
which the hip-hop mogul plans to not only tell all about himself, but also
to dish on Dr. Dre, J. Lo and Snoop Dogg.
Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Putnam, hopes to put out the
still-untitled book by next spring.
"I see this book as another opportunity to give back to the community,"
Knight said in a statement Tuesday (July 23). "I want young people to know
how terrible prison is. I want them to understand the importance of
education, that there are more ways to get out of the ghetto than by being
an athlete or a rapper. I want them to dream about success and then make it
Knight first shopped his autobiography to publishers in late June, according
to one New York publisher who took a meeting with him (see "Suge Knight To Pen His Life Story").
Without a written proposal, Knight instead took meetings with different
publishing houses and relayed the sorts of stories he could tell in his
book, from growing up in Compton to the rise of Death Row (now Tha Row) to
his incarceration for violating probation on assault charges (see "Suge Knight Sentenced To Nearly Eight Years In
Most of Knight's life story, the publisher said, was straightforward, but it
got salacious when Knight turned to his run-ins with artists and music
industry notables. In those pitch meetings, Knight told what the publisher
called "outrageous" tales of sexual rendezvous between stars and execs.
"This was bizarre as any meeting I've seen," the publisher said. "No
proposal, nothing on paper, just Suge telling tales that can never be
published. It was fascinating, but is it legal? Is it true? Who knows?"
After the meetings, Knight's agent sent out a memo about which of those
stories would make the book. According to the memo, the book will examine
Knight's relationships with Snoop Dogg, Vanilla Ice, P. Diddy and John F.
Kennedy Jr. Riverhead reps also said the memoir will be the first time
Knight publicly addresses the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.
"What he knows, he'll discuss in the book," his agent, Frank Weimann, said.
"Knight's story is a classic American rags-to-riches saga that also
illuminates the most significant revolution in popular music of the past
several decades," Riverhead's Julie Grau, the project's editor, said in a
statement. "He is the most singular combination of showman, businessman and
gangster, and a natural born storyteller. Suge intends to write the most
candid, unflinching and thoughtful account of his many lives, and it
promises to be the definitive story of the life and times of hip-hop."
Riverhead Books has previously published authors such as Nick Hornby ("High
Fidelity"), Alex Garland ("The Beach") and the Dalai Lama and recently
bought the Kurt Cobain diaries (see "Kurt
Cobain Diaries Expected In Stores This Fall").