Los Angeles, CA–Michael “Harry-O” Harris, is set to be released later this month after serving 31-years in prison. In 1988, Harris was convicted on kidnapping and attempted murder charges. He is most known as the person who gave Suge Knight the seed money to start Death Row records. An investment that totaled over $1 million.
This investment helped establish Death Row Records as a major powerhouse on the West Coast and later propelled artist such as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
Upon his release, Harry-O will live in a halfway house in San Antonio Texas. His daughter Mykel also lives in San Antonio. He spoke to DailyMailTV saying:
“Over 30 years ago I was part of the problem. However, over the years I have repeatedly proven myself to be part of the solution. It’s about returning to society with my new-found vision, talents and insights. Giving back to the communities where my help is so desperately needed.”
“He has decided that when he’s a free man, he will join Texas philanthropic organisation, 2nd Chance, which has the mission of giving individuals headed down the wrong path a chance to reform their lives.
He added: “I am a man who has experienced incredible highs and incredible lows. I am a man who came to prison a boy and who will emerge as a grown man.”
Harry-O was always looking for ways to reinvest his money that he was making in the streets into legitimate businesses. He helped produce a play entitled “Checkmates,” the same play that Denzel Washington got his start in.
Upon his arrest and conviction, Harry-O’s desires did not stop there.
With the help of his well connected lawyer David Kenner serving as a go-between, Harry-O would end up providing the seed money that would later become Death-row records. A little unknown fact, is that Death Row was supposed to be a subsidiary of Harry-O’s parent company Godfather Records.
A huge party was held at Chaser’s marking the beginning of Death Row Records, Harry-O even received a shout out by David Kenner to cameras that documented one of the most historic nights in Hip-Hop. (Skip to 5:10).
Personally, I am intrigued with the story of Harry-O. Freeway Rick Ross is like a household name in South Central, with him being hailed as some sort of “super crack hustler.” He brags often about selling millions of dollars of cocaine in a single day. Well, if Freeway Rick is important to the history of South Central, so is Harry-O.
Photo: Hollywood Street King