Why Suge Knight tried to kill Def Jam’s Lyor Cohen
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Why Suge Knight tried to kill Def Jam's Lyor Cohen

Businessman and former music executive Suge Knight was a very ill-tempered man. Notorious for his feuds and antics, the now-incarcerated Knight was a volatile figure. In one instance, his temper turned towards Def Jam label executive Lyor Cohen.

During an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast with Noreaga and DJ EFN, Lyro Cohen reflected on his time at Def Jam. Cohen is renowned for working with the best of rap music, including LL Cool J, the Beastie Boys, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest.

However, while working in hip-hop music, Cohen accidentally made some enemies and, on one occasion, butted heads with Suge Knight. Speaking with the hosts, Cohen explained how Knight got angry when he signed Warren G. However, the emcee (real name Warren Griffin) was more than happy to be on the label.

Speaking about a run-in with Suge Knight’s crew, Cohen recalled, “There was a moment in LA at the Palace on Vine Street where Chris Lighty [of Violator Management] comes up to me and pulls out a gun and said ‘Come this way’. He said, ‘Look over there, and it was Suge and his crew coming after me.'”

He continued, “This was after I signed Warren G, and he was very upset. Chris had me go through the kitchen at the Four Seasons, and they got me to my room. It was a thing.”

In the mid-1990s, Lyor Cohen spotted that Warren G wasn’t signed to Death Row, unlike his Long Beach friend Snoop Dogg. However, he helped him release the platinum-selling album Regulate…G Funk Era, which boasted the 1994 single ‘Regulate’.

This angered Knight, and Cohen revealed that he then had several face-to-face run-ins with the Death Row label executive. Admitting he doesn’t regret his decision, Cohen expressed, “There’s no reconcile or apologies for what I did. I used to say to my artists that, ‘The answer I’m giving you now is the same one I’ll give you if you fling me out the window and I hit the concrete. The only difference is you’re going to jail. Threatening me and scaring me [does nothing], you’ll get the same answer’.”

You can watch Lyor Cohen speak about his experiences with Suge Knight in the video below.