It was less than a minute long, but Suge Knight’s acceptance speech in New York at the 1995 Source Awards for Best Motion Picture Soundtrack (Death Row’s “Above The Rim” took home the honors) is arguably the most infamous in hip-hop history and undeniably set off a malaise bi-coastal hard feelings and changed the course of hip-hop history. The Big Apple crowd started booing after Suge’s words as they seemed like an obvious dis aimed at hometown favorite Puff Daddy, who had a penchant for appearing alongside his artists on their songs and visuals.
“Any artist out there wanna be artist, and wanna stay a star and don’t have to worry about the Executive Producer being all in the videos. All on the records, dancing. Come to Death Row,” Knight, accompanied on stage with singer Danny Boy, said with a stone serious face.
Last night, on the special preview issue of Drink Champs on REVOLT, hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN asked there guest Diddy about the historic incident and a few gems were unearthed.
“I really couldn’t believe it because homeboy [Suge] me and him were friends,” Diddy said, admitting he was taken aback by Knight’s recruitment speech. “He would pick me up from the airport, the whole entire thing.”
Diddy said that in fact he had spoken to the Death Row family at the award show. So he was especially surprised. “I was talking to them while they were there.”
As it was explained to N.O.R.E. and EFN on the show, Puff had met Knight through networking and they had fostered a more than cordial relationship.
“He would pick me up from the airport, show me a lot of love,” Diddy recalled. “I really had thought we were cool. Cool acquaintances, being respectful of other people coming from other cities. When he said [his speech at the awards] it was like ‘Whoa!… What are they crazy? I was like ‘Wow. I could blow this whole thing up right now.’ I decided it felt really dangerous. The crowd was with me and with Bad Boy. They were looking for the word.”
A cooler head prevailed. Diddy said he didn’t want to spark a violent confrontation because it would not only hurt him as a businessman, but would be detrimental to the culture. So he chilled. In fact when he got onstage after Knight he tried to calm the crowd. Later on that night, Puff would confront Suge to get to the bottom of the trolling.
“We were in the Tunnel [nightclub],” the Bad Boy and REVOLT TV founder continued on Drink Champs. “We had a conversation. The tunnel was mine at the time. Let’s not get it twisted. I was ordering garbage buckets full of champagne. The bar is where I would stand and walk around. My feet would not touch the floor. To make the long story short. This is where the after party was, the world famous Tunnel. So when I had ran up and asked [Suge], he said ‘Nah, I was talking about Jermaine Dupri.’
“At that point I was scared because I knew the wolves that was with me were real live wolves.” Diddy describe the night as “the scariest situation of my life because of the level of power we had.”
Rather than destroy, the mogul explained his focus was on building up.
“My heart was damn near ‘can we all get along? What are we doing right now? We all so hot, right now, we supposed to be doing things together,” he revealed.
Obviously the trajectory of relations between Bad Boy and Death Row went on a downward spiral in the aftermath and it wasn’t too long after that a “East Coast, West Coast Feud” was hyped in the media.
DRINK CHAMPS ON REVOLT will exclusively premiere weekly with all-new episodes starting Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT. A marathon of six archived DRINK CHAMPS episodes featuring Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, Dame Dash, DMX, and more, will air on REVOLT TV on Christmas Day (December 25th) and New Year’s Day (January 1st) beginning at 10:00pm ET/7:00PM PT. These archived episodes will also be available on VOD beginning November 25, 2016.
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