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Former cocaine kingpin Michael 'Harry O' Harris, who helped found Death Row Records, the label behind music legends Dr Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, is set to be released from prison after 31 years behind bars, DailyMailTV can reveal.
The former drug king helped run a multi-million dollar rap music empire from his cell after founding the parent company for Death Row Records with a $1.5 million investment.
Alongside his dealings with the cartels, Harris ran a string of successful legitimate businesses, including a theater company that gave actor Denzel Washington his first break.
Harris was convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping in 1988 but has since reinvented himself as an activist while inside, campaigning for prison reform.
The 57-year-old is currently being held at a Federal Correctional Facility in Lompoc, California but is expected to be released in mid August before being transferred to a half-way house in San Antonio, Texas - the city where his daughter Mykel lives.
Michael 'Harry O' Harris, 57, co-founded music label Death Row Records and has been behind bars for 31 years, but is expected to be released in mid August, pictured with his granddaughter
Harris also founded a theater company that gave actor Denzel Washington his first break. The two are pictured together in an undated photo
When he leaves prison, Harris plans to further repay his debt to society by joining a Texas philanthropic company, 2nd Chance, founded by San Antonio businessman Paul Nutall, with the mission of giving another shot at health and happiness to deserving down-and-out individuals.
Harris founded Death Row Records with Suge Knight (pictured) who wasn't paying Harris what he deserved. Harris filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit and was awarded a $107million judgment against the record label and Knight
Harris told DailyMailTV that he has 'grown and matured' while behind bars and has been 'inspired' to rediscover the 'thoughtful young boy' within him.
He said: '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.'
Harris said he hopes to take his 'implanted wisdom' back into the streets so he can share what he's learned to help heal broken communities.
'I know that from the moment I'm free I will work tiredly to help change 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.'
2nd Chance founder Nutall said he formed a relationship with Harris through his brother, who is languishing in the same federal prison in California.
The San Antonio philanthropist said he was wary at first, having read about Harris' criminal past, but after getting to know the former kingpin, he became convinced 'Harry O' was a reformed man.
'I told him, ''I know you was a drug lord, I know you was a kingpin. At 2nd Chance we don't do this.'' He told me, ''No, rest assured I want to be involved with saving lives.''' Nutall said.
The company runs a TV show by the same name on the San Antonio channel Fox 29, following Nutall on his philanthropic mission.
The 57-year-old is currently being held at a Federal Correctional Facility in Lompoc, California, where he is visited by family (pictured)
Harris is expected to be released from prison in mid August before being transferred to a half-way house in San Antonio, Texas - the city where his daughter Mykel lives (pictured with family during visitations)
'The show focuses on those in need of organ transplants, stem cell therapy treatments, child and foster care services, disease prevention, drug and rehab help, homelessness, those who are in need of employment or who are struggling with their finances,' Nutall said. 'It's all about using resources to help people.'
He added: '2nd Chance helps those who have lost hope entirely and believe wholeheartedly that they will never find the help they so desperately desire.'
He said his corporation aims to 'empower individuals who would otherwise rely on government assistance'.
The businessman has a colorful past himself, including going on the run for more than two years from the FBI after being accused of being involved in a Nigerian bank fraud scheme.
Nutall says he was wrongly convicted, and at his sentencing in 2009 the judge dismissed 39 of the 40 counts against him, sentencing Nutall only with the 14 months he had already served in prison.
In 2017 the philanthropist lost his estranged mother and father within three months, shortly followed by the tragic deaths of both his eldest twin daughters in Hurricane Harvey.
But Nutall says despite his misfortunes he feels blessed and wants to pass on the goodwill to others.
'I've been through storms, but I was able to not give up,' he said. 'Some people would have given up. But I've strived and struggled so hard to go on to do great things. I want to give people the second chance that God gave me.'
When Harris leaves prison he plans to repay his debt to society by joining a Texas philanthropic company, 2nd Chance, founded by San Antonio businessman Paul Nutall and his wife Tiffany (pictured)
Nutall tells DailyMailTV that his mission is giving another shot at health and happiness to deserving down-and-out individuals
Nutall said he found his inspiration to help others working for 17 years at a juvenile facility, helping children convicted of crimes to get back into education, learn life skills and reduce their prison sentences.
His organization, first founded in Hollywood, California, has helped cast-offs from the show business industry including Miguel Nunez Jr. from the movie Juwanna Mann, Jon Jon from the R&B group Troop, Jada Cacchilli from TV show The Bad Girls' Club and Ola Ray from Michael Jackson's Thriller music video.
Harris was convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping in 1988 but has since reinvented himself as an activist while inside, campaigning for prison reform
Nutall said with Harris' bankrolling and celebrity connections, he hopes to help many more people when the hip-hop investor is released.
Harris' desire to help the less fortunate may stem from his hard-knock childhood, growing up in South Central Los Angeles during the 60s in the 'low bottoms' neighborhood and spending his school years shining shoes for 'high-rollers and players'.
Harris had a musical upbringing - he was classically trained by his next-door neighbor, Mrs Payne, as a pianist and joined his school band playing the Trombone and Drums. He also went on to take classes in acting at college.
But living on the wrong side of the track meant the lure of the criminal underworld was ever present.
Harris started selling crack cocaine aged 20, making close connections with both the infamous Bloods and Rolling 60s Crips gangs.
He grew a vast distribution network reaching New York, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois, supplied by Colombian drug cartels, according to the DEA.
Alongside his drug empire, entrepreneurial Harris also launched a limousine company, a deli, an electrical contracting business and a Beverly Hills hair salon, all aided by his ex-wife, Lydia, who he met just two years before his incarceration, married and divorced while in prison.
Though now defunct, in its heyday Death Row Records was one of Harris' most successful ventures, selling 18 million albums and earning more than $325 million in its first four years alone, launching to stardom west coast rap legends including Dr. Dre, NWA, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur, and was widely credited with changing the face of 90s hip hop.
Harris came up with the record label's name Death Row Records while temporarily housed on Death Row in San Quentin State Prison
Harris came up with the record label's name while temporarily housed on Death Row in San Quentin State Prison.
After the death of Tupac in 1996 and the departure of some of the bigger acts, Death Row's success began to dwindle and co-founder Suge Knight wasn't paying Harris what he deserved.
As a result Harris and ex-wife Lydia filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit and were awarded a $107million judgment against the record label and Knight.
Knight is currently serving 28 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter after driving his truck into two men, killing one, Terry Carter, following a row in Compton, California.
The second victim, filmmaker Cle Sloan, suffered a mangled foot and head injuries.
Harris, however, is full of remorse for his crimes, and believes he is ready to rejoin society a changed man.
During the last three decades in prison he has participated in a number of self help and rehabilitation programs, some of which he co-founded and co-facilitated.
'As a force for good I will move in the name of peace, of reconciliation, of transformation and of redemption,' he said.
'And I can say that this next part of my life journey will be from a place of truth: the young boy that I was, is very, very proud of the man I am today.'