Tupac Shakur was always an outspoken and at times boisterous personality, but many believe that when he signed with Suge Knight’s Death Row Records, things magnified for the worse. One person who feels like that is Mob James, who worked at Death Row Records at the time. James believes that the label wasn’t the best fit for Tupac because of the way things were run.
Mob James says Death Row Records was the beginning of the end for Tupac Shakur
James is a former associate of Knight’s. He recently spoke with The Art of Dialogue about Knight and Tupac’s dynamic. When asked whether or not he feels Tupac joining Death Row Records was his downfall, he says yes. “If Tupac would have got out of jail, or let’s say if Tupac never got out of jail, all of that s–t wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have been a victim of circumstances. Whatever Bad Boy and Death Row were going through now, when Tupac came home, it intensified the situation,” he said.
Tupac and Biggie were once friends. Their friendship ended when Tupac accused Biggie and members of the Bad Boy Records crew of being involved in him being robbed and shot in 1994 in a New York recording studio. Biggie and Bad Boy denied any involvement, but the damage was done and a war of words quickly turned into a turf war once Tupac signed to Death Row Records. Tupac and Biggie were at the center but Tupac was the most vocal.
“Now he [Tupac] is putting out songs, he thinks Puffy is dissing him, so it only intensified the situation between both record labels and both neighborhoods,” he continued.”
He believes Suge Knight was a bad influence on Tupac
Many believe that Knight altered Tupac’s personality and outlook. James is a person who shares similar sentiments.
“I believe Suge had a lot of love for Tupac but I think Suge was trying to find an identity for himself at the same time Tupac was or try to be identified as something that he wasn’t, just at the same time Tupac was,” he said. “So, he was more lost than Tupac. And he f—-d up by bringing Tupac along on a ride he wasn’t even familiar with. He didn’t even know which way he was going. He had no clue. Suge wasn’t a straight gang member, went to school, and then now he just involved in this CEO.”
Despite his belief that Knight had good intentions, he says the execution was done poorly. He specifically says Knight shouldn’t have allowed Shakur to take part in certain activities, mainly witnessing criminal acts.
“Was he a bad influence, yes, because he didn’t teach or show Tupac different s–t. If you’re going to mentor him. Mentor him,” he said. “If you’re going to use him as a tool as far as it’s just for money, you should have sent some guys on him and far away from that s–t [the drama]. Tupac could have had his own weed and own liquor, he didn’t have to smoke with the homies. He didn’t have to watch the homies beat up on people and he shouldn’t have been around that.”
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