Artist News Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

Snoop Dogg acquires Death Row Records brand

By | Published on Thursday 10 February 2022

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg has acquired the brand of Death Row Records, the legendary hip hop label that released the rapper’s first two albums in the 1990s.

Founded by the often controversial Suge Knight, Death Row was legendary in the 1990s for its roster and releases, and then subsequently more legendary for its eventful downfall and Knight’s many legal woes, including a massive legal battle with the label’s co-founder Lydia Harris.

The company eventually went bankrupt and – after attempts to sell the thing also proved eventful – ultimately ended up in the ownership of Canadian company WIDEawake Entertainment Group. Which then went bankrupt.

A period of stability followed after entertainment firm eOne bought the label and its catalogue. eOne was then sold to Hasbro in 2019, which in turn sold eOne’s music division to investment types Blackstone last year. eOne Music then rebranded as MNRK Music Group.

It’s through a deal with Blackstone and MNRK that Snoop is now in control of the Death Row brand. It’s not entirely clear what that deal covers, although Bloomberg’s sources say he will also get the old label’s catalogue.

The rapper is, obviously, “THRILLED” about the deal. “I am THRILLED”, he said yesterday, “and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value”.

“It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career and as one of the founding members”, he added. “This is an extremely meaningful moment for me. I would like to personally thank the teams at Blackstone, MNRK and especially David Kestnbaum, who worked collaboratively with me over several months to make this exciting homecoming a reality. I’m looking forward to building the next chapter of Death Row Records”.

Who’s the there mentioned David Kestnbaum? Well, he’s a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. And he had this to say: “We at Blackstone are strong supporters of the artist and creator community in our entertainment investments. We are excited to put the Death Row Records brand back in the hands of a legend like Snoop Dogg. We wish him success in the years ahead as the brand moves forward under his leadership and vision”.

And finally MNRK Music Group’s President & CEO Chris Taylor added: “Snoop is clearly the executive to take Death Row into its next 30 years. MNRK has been honoured to oversee this legendary brand over the last decade and enjoyed introducing it to millions of new fans in 2021 through our award-winning 30th anniversary marketing campaign”.

To celebrate all this Death Row dealing Snoop has a new album called ‘BODR’ – or ‘Bacc On Death Row’ – that comes complete with some NFT nonsense via a partnership with blockchain gaming platform Gala Games. He’s also taking part in the hip hop tacstic Super Bowl half time show this weekend.