The iconic hip-hop label was co-founded in the early 1990s by Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, Dick Griffey, and the D.O.C.
Snoop dogg has acquired legendary hip hop label Death Row Records, according to press materials released via Business Wire. Snoop procured Death Row—which released his 1993 debut album Doggystyle—from MNRK Music Group. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
Death Row was launched in the early 1990s by co-founders Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, Dick Griffey, and the D.O.C. In addition to boosting Snoop’s early career, the label went on to release countless albums by rap icons like 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Nate Dogg, and others. “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 said of his new role as label head in a press release. He continued
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. 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.
Chris Taylor, President and CEO of MNRK Music Group, added: “Snoop is clearly the executive to take Death Row into its next 30 years. MNRK has been honored 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
Snoop Dogg said he’s excited about acquiring the label’s brand.
“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,” the 50-year-old Snoop Dogg said in a statement. “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.”
Snoop Dogg found his springboard to success during the 1990s while on Death Row Records. The label was founded in 1992 by Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, the D.O.C. and Dick Griffey in the immediate aftermath of the breakup of N.W.A.
David Kestnbaum, a senior managing director at Blackstone, said he’s looking forward to seeing Snoop Dogg at the helm of Death Row.
“We are excited to put the Death Row Records brand back in the hands of a legend like Snoop Dogg,” Kestnbaum said. “We wish him success in the years ahead as the brand moves forward under his leadership and vision.”
The label’s records, including Dre’s first solo album “The Chronic” and Snoop Dogg’s debut “Doggystyle,” are considered classics of the hip-hop genre that defined an era.
Tupac Shakur became the label’s star artist later in the ’90s before he was shot and killed in Las Vegas in 1996 while riding in a car driven by Knight. Shakur’s death brought on decline for the label, which led to decades of decline for Knight himself.
Knight lost Death Row after it went into bankruptcy in 2006. He served time in prison and had a knack for being near violence that eventually caught up with him.
“Snoop is clearly the executive to take Death Row into its next 30 years,” said Chris Taylor, president and CEO of MNRK Music Group.