In keeping with its iconic logo of a hooded figure strapped to an electric
chair, Death Row Records, apart from being the prime purveyor of gangsta rap,
has also allegedly been the shadowy, hooded presence behind an extensive
catalogue of criminal activity, up to and including murder. Recently in Los
Angeles, a brick couldn't be thrown in a police investigation without hitting
the notorious but highly profitable rap label, or its kingpin, Marion Hugh
"Suge" Knight. Tracks of dirty cops reportedly working for the company led
even from the bubbling, bottomless tarpit of the Rampart scandal.
Carney is a contributing writer for Los Angeles
Out of L.A.'s Ruthless Records--which in 1988 produced the kick-off gangsta
album, "Straight Outta Compton" by N.W.A. (Niggaz With Attitude)--came Death
Row Records, by virtue of a visit from Suge Knight and baseball-bat-wielding
thugs to the management at Ruthless which resulted in the release from his
contract of rap artist, Andre Young (Doctor Dre).