Tragic reggae star Smiley Culture plunged a kitchen knife into his own chest during a police raid on his home in 2011, an inquest has heard.

A hearing into the musician's death began on Wednesday (12Jun13) after Culture, real name David Emmanuel, died in the presence of four cops, who were searching his Surrey, England home on 15 March, 2011 in connection with a drugs investigation.

At the start of the inquest, coroner Richard Travers told the jury a police officer, only identified as Witness 2, would testify that the singer's mood "changed completely", adding he threatened the cops before ultimately taking his own life.

Travers said, "When they were coming to the end of the search... Mr. Emmanuel very suddenly and without warning stood up and Witness 2 realised for the first time that he, Mr. Emmanuel, had a large kitchen knife in his hand. The officer says that he shouted out 'knife' so as to warn his colleagues, at which point, Mr. Emmanuel, he says, held out his arm and screamed at Witness 2, 'Do you f**king want some of this?' Or 'What about this?'

"Witness 2 will tell you that Mr. Emmanuel's face and body language had completely changed, he became angry and was screaming. He will tell you that he, Mr. Emmanuel, then held the knife with both hands and plunged it into his own chest."

The 48 year old, who was facing allegations of conspiring to import class A drugs into the U.K., was declared dead at the scene.

The inquest is expected to continue for the next three weeks.