Suge Knight has never been shy of voicing his opinions, and he’s now shared his thoughts on how to make Hip Hop better for its veteran performers.
In the most recent episode of his new podcast, Collect Call With Suge Knight, which aired on Sunday (November 19) via Dave Mays’ Breakbeat Media, the incarcerated former Death Row Records mogul expressed that he feels Hip Hop needs its own union.
“They got one [with] retirement and health care and dental for basketball players, football players, even truck drivers, police. Why Hip Hop don’t have one?” Knight said.
To bolster the case for his vision, he pointed to “all these billions and billions and billions of dollars that Hip Hop brings. Look at all the executives at these major companies that are billionaires because of Hip Hop — not because they put the time into it, not because they work harder than people like myself or Ruff Ryders or Bad Boy or any other label.”
He then went on to enumerate a number of rappers he saw as worthy of a pension. The list included Ja Rule, Ashanti, and the members of Salt-N-Pepa. He singled out two artists for special praise.
“Treach and Scarface, those two bad muthafuckas,” he said. “What they contributed to Hip Hop, they should get checks every month, at least 20-30 grand a month.”
Check out Suge Knight’s comments around the 9:12 mark in the latest Collect Call episode below:
Knight, a former college football star who played two games in the NFL during a players’ strike, compared rappers’ situations to pro football players.
“If an NFL football player played five years, he get a check for the rest of his life,” he said. “So why these [rappers] can’t get a check for the rest of they life? They bring more money to the table than those guys as an athlete. They got more influence.”
The idea of a payment for veteran rappers was recently put into practice by the Paid In Full Foundation, which recently gave grants to Rakim and Scarface at its Hip Hop Grandmaster Awards.
People associated with the foundation have used the figure of $500,000 in connection with the grant. But it was unclear whether that figure was for each MC, split between the two initial winners, or was the total amount that would be paid out to multiple grant recipients over the course of a number of years.
The awards ceremony took place on Saturday (November 18) and kicked off with Nas reciting lyrics from “Paid in Full,” before paying tribute to Rakim, who was one of the inaugural recipients of the grant.