Snoop Dogg took over a popular record label that launched his brilliant career.
The rapper-mogul has acquired the Death Row Records imprint from MNRK Music Group, which is controlled by a private equity fund managed by Blackstone, the investment firm announced Wednesday (US time). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Snoop Dogg said he was delighted to acquire the label’s brand.
“I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value,” Snoop Dogg, 50, said in a statement.
“It feels good to own the label I was part of at the start of my career and as one of the founding members. It’s a hugely meaningful moment for me.
Snoop Dogg found his springboard to success in the 1990s while on Death Row Records. The label was founded in 1992 by Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, the DOC and Dick Griffey in the aftermath of NWA’s disbandment.
Blackstone Senior Managing Director David Kestnbaum said he can’t wait to see Snoop Dogg lead Death Row.
“We’re thrilled 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 to come as the brand grows under his leadership and vision.”
The label’s records, including Dre’s solo debut “The Chronic” and Snoop Dogg’s debut album “Doggystyle,” are considered era-defining classics of the hip-hop genre.
Tupac Shakur became the label’s star artist later in the 90s before he was shot and killed in Las Vegas in 1996 while driving a car driven by Knight. Shakur’s death led to the decline of the label, which led to decades of decline for Knight himself.
Knight lost Death Row after it went bankrupt in 2006. He served time in prison and had a knack for being close to violence that eventually caught up with him.
“Snoop is clearly the executive who will take Death Row into its next 30 years,” said Chris Taylor, President and CEO of MNRK Music Group.