Vintage footage of Suge Knight joking about rapper Eazy-E's death has provoked online outrage and led scores of fans to believe that he murdered him. Eazy-E, real name Eric Wright, died aged 31 in 1995 due to complications from HIV and AIDS.
He is immortalised in the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton which also touches on his famous feud with Knight over Dr Dre leaving NWA to help Knight form Death Row Records. Knight helped launch the careers of stars including Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg.
In a one-minute clip from Knight's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2003, the former hip hop mogul, just released from prison at the time, tells a shocked audience that injecting somebody with HIV is the best murder technique.
"Technology is so high. If you shoot somebody, you go to jail forever. You don't want to go to jail forever... They have a new thing out. They have this stuff they called... they get blood from somebody with AIDS and they shoot you with it. That's [a] slow death. The Eazy-E thing, you know what I mean?"
But his joke about the Boyz-N-The Hood hitmaker drew gasps from the audience with a stunned Kimmel even putting his head in his hands. Unsurprisingly, the archive footage had the same effect when it emerged over the weekend with the release of Straight Outta Compton.
Knight, 50, is currently on trial for the murder of Terry Carter, 55, and attempted murder of Cle "Bone" Sloan, 51. The death resulted from a hit and run which followed an alleged argument on the set of a commercial for the film Straight Outta Compton.
Meanwhile, the rap mogul's lawyer has slammed the portrayal of him as "exaggerated and silly" and insisted that they falsely depicted him as a troublemaker who uses his fists to resolve business disputes. "I'm sure he wouldn't like it because a lot of it is exaggerated and silly and ridiculous," Mesereau told TheWrap.