Suge Knight will publish a memoir in 2003. The controversial gangsta rap mogul says he hopes his book will show kids that there are ways out of the ghetto besides prison -- or hip-hop

After five weeks of shopping around his book proposal to publishers, Death Row Records founder Marion ”Suge” Knight has found a home for his autobiography, Variety reports. Riverhead Books will release in 2003 the memoir that Knight has promised will be a tell-all about his controversial career, from signing Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur to spending five years in prison for an assault that violated his parole. Knight tells Variety that Snoop, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Vanilla Ice, Sean Combs, and John F. Kennedy Jr. will all figure in his yet-untitled book. ”There have been a lot of allegations about Death Row and me. I felt I owe it to the public and the fans to hear the truth,” he says.

The book deal marks a bright spot in an otherwise difficult last few months for Knight, who was released from prison a year ago. His attempt to relaunch Death Row as Tha Row stalled when TLC’s Lisa ”Left Eye” Lopes, whom he’d signed as a solo act, died in a car crash in April. Last week, the IRS hit Knight with a $6 million tax bill, which Death Row incurred while he was behind bars. But Knight believes that the book deal should help Knight leverage Death Row into movies.

More important, perhaps, is the book’s potential to serve as a cautionary tale, Knight says. ”I want young people to know how terrible prison is,” he says. ”I want them to understand the importance of education — that there are more ways to get out of the ghetto than by being an athlete or a rapper.”