Death Row Records is not only one of the most notorious collectives in hip-hop history, but is now back in the hands of one of its founding members.
Founded in 1992 by Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, the D.O.C. and Dick Griffey, the label quickly rose to the top by signing two of the most talented West Coast artists of all-time: Snoop Dogg and 2Pac. After successful albums from 2Pac (All Eyez on Me), Snoop Dogg (Doggystyle) and Dr. Dre (The Chronic), the label solidified themselves as a rap powerhouse, however, success doesn’t come without costs.
Suge Knight was already known to be an overly authoritative figure on his artists and the label. Soon enough, more problems quickly added up. Dre and Snoop eventually left and 2Pac was killed in 1997 after an altercation with a rival gang at a Las Vegas casino.
In 2006, the label finally would burst under pressure and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Knight would be in and out of jail until one of his cases landed him a 28-year sentence in 2018 for voluntary manslaughter. The label was out of the headlines for years, until Wednesday (Feb. 9) when it was announced that Snoop Dogg would be purchasing the label that helped fuel his rise to a hip-hop icon.
As things come full circle for Snoop, his way back to the road he started on was certainly a tumultuous one. After multiple attempts of trying to buy the label in the past, Snoop Dogg finally has control over the legendary record company — and rightfully so.
“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 via Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire
Additionally, Snoop was already on track to have a historic week. Along with releasing the first album of Death Row’s new era titled B.O.D.R. or “Bacc on Death Row” on Friday (Feb. 11), he’s also set to co-headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show in Los Angeles on Sunday (Feb. 13). Joining him will be old friend and Death Row co-founder Dr. Dre, as well as Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.
Watch the trailer below!