DEATH ROW RECORDS and the label founder MARION ‘SUGE’ KNIGHT have been found guilty of defrauding rapper KURUPT’s former management resulting in a $4.3 million judgement against them.
Knight is liable for just over $1 million dollars of the verdict, with Death Row the remainder. Prosecutors in the Los Angeles Supreme Court case have also revealed they will be seeking further punitive damages.
The complaint, going back almost a decade, essentially hinged on the fact that Knight convinced Kurupt (real name Ricardo E. Brown) to enter into an exclusive recording, songwriting and management agreement with Death Row, promising the young rapper “wealth and fame through defamation” of his then managers Lamont and Ken Brumfield.
According to the Brumfields’ complaint, they began managing Kurupt in 1990, when he was still a minor, providing him with a place to live and expenses after he was kicked out of his family’s home. From there, Kurupt signed exclusive recording, songwriting and management agreements with them once he reached the age of 18. The Brumfields claim they introduced Kurupt to Knight, and Dr. Dre in mid-1992, when the rapper was hired to perform and write for Dre’s first solo album, ‘The Chronic’.
Pamela Koslyn, co-counsel for the Brumfields told [url=]www.rollingstone.com that “we’re very pleased with the outcome. We’re hoping that there will be more further down in regards to the punitive part of this civil matter. There’s a psychological and moral basis for this, and we may settle, that’s what we’re discussing right now.”
It brings to a head a dark period for Suge Knight and his ailing Death Row empire. Once controller of the most powerful label in rap label in the world, Knight was forced to give videotaped evidence in the trial from his prison cell where he is four years into a nine year sentence for a 1996 parole violation.
And earlier this week No Limit Records, the current home of his former friend and biggest seller Snoop Dogg, announced they were considering just what legal action to take against Death Row after they illegally posted Snoop’s forthcoming album ‘Tha Last Meal’ on their website.