The business dispute that Suge Knight claims led to an alleged altercation over vanilla ice cream
Suge Knight has earned a reputation for handling business disputes for his music label with excessive force. The first public instance of the Death Row Records founder’s use of alleged bullying practices was a dispute with Vanilla Ice. Ice accused Knight of threatening her life.
Suge Knight Started a Publishing Company, Says Vanilla Ice Took All Credit for a Song He Didn’t Write
Knight briefly played in the NFL before starting to work as a bodyguard for big celebrities, such as Bobby Brown. His experiences around artists gave him first-hand insight into how artists were ripped off.
“When I was on the road, I saw [sic] everyone f—d. I had guys come up to me and say, “Man, I’ve got this hit song” and they’d give the demo to the artist or the manager and all of a sudden someone else was singing the song and they didn’t get credit, or they sold it to them for $1,000 and it was worth half a million,” Knight explained in the Showtime documentary. American Dream / American Knight. “So the first thing I did was start a publishing house.”
He says he saw Ice’s music video “Ice Ice Baby” one day while watching TV and got excited when he realized it was his song. “I hear the song, I get up and they’re dancing in the muthaf—-r, he was doing the running man and he’s dancing in the video and I’m dancing too – I’m like ‘Money! We’re about to win some the money. It’s my song,” he explained. “I paid for the dude to come out and write the song. So that was my first experience with the music industry because when I first called them about my bread, they basically said fk off… Vanilla Ice and all its people.
Vanilla Ice alleged that Suge Knight and his handlers threatened him and hung him from a balcony
Ice told a different story. In a 1996 interview with ABC News, Ice claimed that Knight nor his writers had anything to do with his 1990 hit single. He told the reporter that the first time he came into contact with Knight was when Knight and his team approached him at an upscale restaurant. Months later, Ice claimed they did the same, confusing him as to how Knight knew where he was. But Knight claimed he and Ice were still friendly.
According to Ice, Knight and his bodyguards stormed his hotel suite in Beverly Hills demanding money from the song. “He brutalized one of my bodyguards, they brutalized another and everyone around me. Suge took me to the balcony and started talking to me personally – like 15 floors (up) – he made me look over the edge to show me how high I was up there – I needed to wear diapers that day, I was very scared.”
Ice says Knight forced him to give up the song’s points to a man named Mario La Velle Johnson. But the rapper insists Johnson didn’t contribute to the song at all. Knight denies Ice’s account.
Suge Knight is currently serving 28 years in prison.
Knight was infamous for handling business issues with behavior similar to that explained by Ice. It has since ended as he is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for the death of a man during a hit-and-run on the set of the film. Straight out of Compton. He did not contest manslaughter in connection with Terry Carter’s death.
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