Drug Dealer Who Claimed Half Of Death Row And Rap-A-Lot Is Getting Out Of Prison
(AllHipHop News) A reformed drug dealer who claims he put up the money to launch Death Row Records is a free man after decades of incarceration.
Michael "Harry O" Harris is slated to be released from prison later this month, after serving 31 years for attempted murder and running a massive drug operation.
Now Harry O has tranformed into an activist and plans to get to work with a non-profit called 2nd Chances in San Antonio, Texas, where he will head when he is released from prison in California.
"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," Michael "Harry O" Williams said. "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.'
Harry O is famous for being a slick drug dealer in the early 1980's and using the money to fund dozens of legitimate businesses.
One of those companies was Dr. Dre and Suge Knight's Death Row Records, which was launched with $1.5 million worth of Harry O's money.
Harry O's wife Lydia Harris was supposed to be the 50 percent shareholder in a company called Godfather Entertainment, which was the holding company for Death Row Records.
But Suge Knight and David Kenner, Harry O's former attorney, supposedly doctored contracts and agreements to exclude the drug baron, as well as his wife Lydia Harris from their ownership in the label.
Death Row went on to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to classic releases by Dr. Dre, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg and others.
Harry O ended up exacting revenge on Death Row during a decades long legal battle between Suge and Lydia.
In 2005, Lydia Harris won a $107 million judgment against Suge, which forced him to file for bankruptcy protection.
In 2008 the label's assets were sold for $24 million to satisfy a variety of outstanding judgements against Death Row.
Harry O also claimed he gave money to fund Rap-A-Lot Records back in 1986, and that he was owed half of that label's proceeds too.
However, the outcomes were drastically different after Rap-A-Lot boss J. Prince shot down Harry O's claims in a harshly worded response.
"The only explanation that I have for him waking up in prison after 20 years saying that I made an oral agreement for 50 percent of Rap-A-Lot is he must think that his ex-wife [Lydia] still has a special place in her heart for me," J. Prince quipped to AllHipHop.com.