Death Row Records founder and rap mogul Suge Knight hospitalised

Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight, the head of Death Row Records, in Los Angeles in this Nov 7, 2002 photo.-- PHOTO: REUTERS
Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight, the head of Death Row Records, in Los Angeles in this Nov 7, 2002 photo.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight was taken to hospital for the third time in less than a month on Monday, as he made his latest appearance in court.

The 49-year-old, who has complained of medical problems since he was arrested in late January over a fatal hit-and-run incident, said he has lost 35 pounds in weight and is blind in one eye.

"At this time, I don't know if I can proceed," he told LA Superior Court judge James Brandlin at Monday's hearing, which was cut short after Knight said he had fired his attorneys.

Knight was seeking to have two cases against him - for robbery and the hit-and-run, held separately in courts outside Los Angeles - assigned to one judge in downtown LA itself.

Telling the judge about his health woes, he said he was "100 per cent blind in one eye," losing vision in the other, and was sometimes disoriented.

"Sometimes I can't comprehend what's going on," he said, recalling that he had been shot six times in an LA nightclub shooting in August.

The judge repeatedly warned Knight not to interrupt him, seeking to speak directly to his lawyers, David Kenner and Brett Greenfield.

But Knight told the judge: "I fired these attorneys," before adding: "I can't speak. I can't get medical attention" and saying he might have to represent himself.

Brandlin announced the transfer of Knight's separate cases to another judge for "ease of staffing and security" - but before that could happen it was announced that Knight had been taken to hospital again.

On February 3, Knight was taken to hospital after complaining of chest pains, shortly after appearing in court over a hit-and-run that left one man dead and another in the hospital the previous week.

He was taken to hospital again on February 19, shortly before he was due to appear in court for allegedly robbing a camera from a photographer.

Knight co-founded Death Row Records along with hip-hop music king Dr. Dre in the early 1990s.

The label launched stars such as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur but collapsed in 1996 when Knight was jailed for violating a probation order by beating up a rival in Las Vegas.

He again served a 10-month jail stint in 2003 after getting into a fight outside a Hollywood nightclub. Last year, he was shot six times at a music awards party.