Knight, 49, and Williams, 43, were each charged with one count of robbery, the district attorney said.
They are accused of stealing the camera of a female celebrity photographer on Sept. 5 outside of a studio in Beverly Hills.
Prosecutors said they would seek $1 million bond for Knight, who has a prior felony conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, and $75,000 bond for Williams, whose legal name is Micah.
Williams was arrested at a court in Inglewood, California, after he had arrived for an arraignment in a separate assault case, the district attorney said.
Knight, best known as the powerful head of Death Row Records, a leading label in the 1990s featuring artists such as Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, was arrested in Las Vegas.