Suge Knight Opens Up About ‘Doggystyle’ 20 Years Later

Suge-Snoop

Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle turned 20 this past weekend and everybody celebrated by either blasting the album in full or reading up about its legacy. One of the album’s main collaborators was Suge Knight, who co-founded Death Row Records with Dr. Dre. He was instrumental in helping Snoop’s career, serving as his executive decision-maker in anything business-related.

In an interview Rolling Stone, Knight speaks on the history of Doggystyle. Read some excerpts from the interview below.

The album was highly anticipated. Was that something you could feel when you went in to make the record?
Shit, yeah, definitely. One thing about Snoop at those times, you could call him and say, “Let’s go here, let’s go there,” and he’s gonna show up ready to go. He was hungry, ready to eat, ready to work. More importantly, it was that I believed in him as an artist. The first day before Doggystyle was shipped or anything, I had 800 trucks, 18-wheelers… filled with nothing but posters, snipes and all kinds of stuff.

Do you think Doggystyle solidified Death Row as a label?
When we put out The Chronic people felt there’s no way in the world somebody can ever do an album and it come out that well. When The Chronic was out, even Snoop will tell you, if he came on the Interscope side, he didn’t see Jimmy [Iovine] any of those guys call Snoop in the office, chop it up with him… because he wasn’t the one. And then when Doggystyle came out, shit, he couldn’t walk in there without them trying to give him some weed. People thought it couldn’t get no better. But the Dogg Pound came in and done well. And then came Tupac. It wasn’t Tupac because he was a new artist. Tupac was on Interscope the whole time. They couldn’t break a record on him. They couldn’t make him a superstar. But the minute I got Pac out of prison…

Snoop’s shown you a lot of love recently, said many positive things. There was that photo of you guys at a club together last February. What’s your relationship like with him?
My relationship with him is where it’s supposed to be. It’s respectful on both ends. I could never turn around and say I hate this mothafucka, because he’s a part of my life and I’m a part of his life. There was times starting this business with Death Row that some people were scared to go out of town, scared to go to New York. I’d come grab him, we’d go straight to the airport, just me and him, no entourage, not one person with us. We’d get our room, we’d go hang out, we’d be everywhere. We would go there, post up, enjoy the city, respect the city, and that went so far. Therefore, I owe a lot of credit, and a lot of other people owe a lot of credit, because if Snoop’s not gonna hit the road with me and hit all those spots, I couldn’t have did it, because I’m the business man. I’m not the artist, I’m not the talent. And pretty much everyone else was scared to go.

[via Rolling Stone]