Death Row Records was founded by Knight in 1991, and rose to prominence with the release of definitive early records from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
The charge relates to an incident in January 2015 in Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles. Knight was blamed for intentionally running over Carter and Cle "Bone" Sloan following a heated discussion on the set of Straight Outta Compton.
He then ran over another man, businessman Terry Carter, who died from his injuries.
The plea deal struck in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom calls for Knight, 53, to serve 28 years in state prison.
By entering his plea, Knight also will resolve two other pending criminal cases.
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Knight's legal team attempted to argue that their client was acting in self-defense, alleging that Sloan was armed, but it didn't seem to hold up in court. Sloan has denied he was carrying a gun during the confrontation.
He pleaded no contest in 1995 and was sentenced to five years' probation for assaulting two rap entertainers at a Hollywood recording studio in 1992. Knight claimed that he unintentionally ran over Carter and hit another man while trying to escape because he thought the men were going to shoot him.
Knight, who at the time was out on bail in a robbery case, fled the scene but was later arrested.
While his label was initially very successful, his fortunes began to slide in 1996 when rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in the passenger seat of Knight's vehicle. In 1997, he was sentenced to jail for violating that probation after participating in an altercation in Las Vegas that culminated hours later in the fatal shooting of Tupac Shakur while he rode in Knight's auto.
In 1997, rival rapper Biggie Smalls was shot and Knight was sued for wrongful death.