Early Sunday morning at a Los Angeles night club, Suge Knight, gangster rap mogul and founder of Death Row Records, took six bullets to the torso, that bystanders indicated were meant for singer Chris Brown. Brown was hosting a pre-MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) party. Knight, able to walk out of the club on his own two feet, was subsequently rushed into surgery. He is said to be resting comfortably at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Reports from the scene indicate that the club was filled with revelers. Two other people sustained gunshot wounds but both are expected to survive. Other injuries included scratches and minor bruises resulting from the frantic efforts of party goers to exit the club as the shots rang out. Police have not revealed any leads at this time.
It is not hard to believe that Knight may have taken bullets for Chris Brown. It seems that both men have had their share of scrapes with the law as well as some personal misunderstandings. Ironically, Knight who co-founded Death Row Records in the 1990s was shot in the leg at Kanye West’s 2005 pre-VMA party. Death Row Records, reported to have generated more than $750 million dollars at its zenith, was responsible for introducing gangster rap to the hip hop world. Knight signed artists like Snoop Dog and Tupac Shakur.
The Death Row empire began to crumble after Knight continued to face legal challenges. Artists, including Dr. Dre, were leaving the label and things went from bad to worse. It was suspected that Knight was involved in the shooting deaths of both Shakur and another artist, Notorious B.I.G., but the crimes were never solved. Knight continued to have run-ins with the law even as recently as 2012 when he was arrested on drug possession charges.
Chris Brown started his career at 15 and quickly wowed young audiences with his good looks, smooth moves and his soulful sounds. His first album moved quickly up the charts and young Chris was firmly established as a rising star. His talent as a singer and a dancer often caused others to compare him to Michael Jackson and another of his idols, Usher, but Chris was sidetracked in 2009 when he had a physical altercation with his girlfriend.
It was this incident in 2009 where he is said to have gotten angry and beaten his then girlfriend pop star, Rihanna, that caused some of his popularity to fade. Brown, said to have anger management issues stemming from Bi-Polar disorder, has had continuing run-ins with the law. He has been in court ordered treatment programs and most recently, he was arrested in New York for assault.
Police have still not been able to provide any details around the shooting that took place early Sunday morning at the party hosted by Chris Brown. It is likely that some will speculate about the who and the why and surmise that either Brown or Knight somehow caused the violence. Brown himself posted a tweet in which he expressed his disappointment about not being able to get together and have a good time without some kind of altercation. For now, it has only been reported that Suge Knight took six bullets to the torso that may have been meant for Chris Brown, according to bystanders.
By Constance Spruill