Snoop Dogg buys Death Row Records, Label that launched career
Written by torresanz on February 10, 2022
Death Row Records is once again a “Doggy Dogg World.”
Snoop Dogg purchased the embattled record label that launched his rap career, according to a Wednesday press release from Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire.
The 50-year-old rapper, whose given name is Calvin Broadus Jr, acquired the company from private equity controlled MNRK Music Group, the release said.
“I am thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value,” Snoop Dogg said, according to the release.
“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. This is an extremely meaningful moment for me.”
It wasn’t clear how much Snoop paid for the label, which filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and was sold six years later as founder Suge Knight battled legal and financial troubles. The former CEO is now serving a 28-year prison sentence for running over and killing a man in 2015.
In its mid-90s heyday, Death Row grossed an estimated $100 million per year, and was arguably the most powerful label in hip-hop, propelling the careers of Snoop, Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, Nate Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound.
Snoop was featured heavily on Dre’s 1992 breakout album “The Chronic,” which sold some 6 million albums on Death Row, and cemented West Coast gangsta rap in the musical mainstream.
With smash hits like “Gin and Juice,” and “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” Snoop’s 1993 solo record “Doggystyle” moved more than 11 million copies worldwide, and was the fastest selling debut album in history at the time, according to the LA Times. A 1996 follow-up, “Tha Doggfather,” also went platinum for the label.
Last year, Death Row made Snoop Dogg its executive creative and strategic consultant, prompting the Long Beach, California native to tell Barstool Sports he had his mind and his money set on owning it.
“I think all of Death Row should be in my hands,” Snoop said in November. “I should be running that s–t. Just like I’m [in] a position at Def Jam, Death Row means more to me because I helped create that.”
Snoop’s announcement came ahead of a banner week for the “Drop It Like It’s Hot” rapper. His new album “BODR” (which stands for Bacc on Death Row) was set to be released Sunday, the same day he was scheduled to perform at a hometown Super Bowl alongside Dre and other hip-hop luminaries.