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Monday, 23 April, 2001, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Hip-hop boss leaves jail early
Hip-hop star Tupac Shakur, who was killed in 1996
The late Tupac Shakur was signed to Suge's label
Rap mogul Marion Suge Knight has spent his first weekend of freedom after spending half of his nine-year prison sentence for breaking the terms of his probation while on assault charges.

Knight, the co-founder of the rap music label Death Row Records, was released on Friday from Mule Creek State Prison near Sacramento, five days earlier than expected.


I had six of the best lawyers and I still got nine years

Marion Knight
In an interview with Sacramento television station KXTV shortly before his release, Knight said prison has been a good experience for him and that he hoped to persuade young people not to follow in his path.

"I had everything. I still do," he told the station.

"But I had everything I could possibly have and I had six of the best lawyers and I still got nine years."

Halfway house

Despite his imprisonment his record label continues to flourish. A recently-released album by the late rapper Tupac Shakur has been top of Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart for three weeks.

He has been taken to a federal halfway house or work-release facility where he will spend the next two months before being fully released.

He was jailed in October 1996 following his involvement in a fight with a rival gang just hours before Tupac Shakur, who was signed to Death Row, was killed in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting.

Knight was driving Shakur's car at the time and was shot in the head. He was also on probation for assaulting two musicians in 1994.

He turned Death Row into one of the major forces in American music in the 1990s, but often became involved in hip-hop's gangland disputes.

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See also:

23 Apr 01 | Music
Rap's stormy Knight
03 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Rappers lead Grammys list
17 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Puff Daddy cleared of gun charges
17 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Puff Daddy's life of rhyme
14 Mar 01 | Entertainment
US music fans prefer rap to country
20 Nov 00 | Africa
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