*As one of the most controversial people in the music industry, a lot has been written and said about Marion “Suge” Knight, Jr. Now it’s the rap mogul’s turn to tell his story, via an upcoming documentary from director Antoine Fuqua.
According to Fuqua, the film, tentatively titled “Suge Knight,” will finally see the light of day this year and showcase Knight as is without any filter while setting the record straight on his experiences over the years as a mover and shaker in the music business.
“He looks like who he is,” the Pittsburgh native told fellow Pittsburgher, EUR’s Lee Bailey. “The point of making the documentary was – and I spoke to Suge about it – I said ‘it is your responsibility, especially being Black. I think you have a lot of young people who constantly want to get into the music business and there’s a lot of pitfalls and we lost great artists. Tupac. Biggie. A lot of guys went to jail. A lot of guys lost their lives. A lot of people made a lot of money.’”
The “Suge Knight” documentary will highlight the former bodyguard’s rise and exploits as co-founder of Death Row Records, as chronicled by Knight himself. The opportunity to get the scoop on some of the most infamous incidents in music was second to Fuqua compared to the lasting effect of having Knight personally share his triumphs and struggles with those who dream of fame and only know him from media reports.
“I said ‘you know, I have children. You have children, Suge and we gotta stop letting everybody else tell our stories. Even if it’s bad, at least tell the story and give some advice and some sense of how it happened so that maybe the next young cat that comes along and wants to become a mogul in that business or any business may not make that mistake,’” the filmmaker stated. “I said ‘put a face on yourself just as a human being because you’re looked on as a monster and let’s talk about the things that nobody else wants to talk about. Let’s talk about Tupac’s death. Let’s talk about how you did what you did, what’s true and what’s not true…You never know if either one of us will be here in the morning but here’s an opportunity for you to tell your own story and let the people judge for themselves. At least let the young people hear what happened.”
In addition to Knight, Fuqua revealed that he met the record executive’s mother and father, among others. The former West Virginia University student’s desire to shine a light on Knight came while hearing things about the rap mogul as he worked on his biopic on Tupac Shakur. Despite all the talk, Fuqua’s impression of Knight veered from popular opinion.
“I gotta tell you he used to come up to me and just go ‘man. I’m so proud of you man. Brother keep pushing,’” the “Training Day” director shared. “He would just give me encouraging words. And I would hear things about him and I would go ‘Wow. This doesn’t seem like the same guy I met.’ Eventually we started to sit down and talk and I said ‘Look Suge, let’s do this. Let’s just put it out there. Tell your own story. Be as honest as you can be. And so that’s the whole thing.’”
According to Fuqua, Showtime is looking to air “Suge Knight” in April or May. In the meantime, filmgoers can catch the former music video helmer’s latest film, “Olympus Has Fallen,” which arrives in theaters on Friday (March 22).