Snoop Dogg has acquired the brand that launched him, Death Row Records. He did so just days before he and the label’s co-founder Dr. Dre will take the stage during the Super Bowl Halftime Show before an estimated audience of close to 100 million people.
Snoop purchased the Death Row brand for an undisclosed sum from MNRK Music Group, which is controlled by private equity group Blackstone. While he does not own the music rights, a deal for those might be in the offing, according to Variety.
“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 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. 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.”
Snoop (real name Calvin Broadus) has spoken openly about wanting to buy the label and the fact that he approached then-owner eOne Music but was rebuffed. He later expressed disappointment that he did not get a chance to bid before Blackstone made its deal to acquire the business from eOne.
“I wanted to be the CEO of Death Row Records and basically take over the merchandise and rerelease their music, do documentaries, and possibly do my life story,” the hip-hop legend told GQ in December.
Now he has the job, and an opportunity to showcase the brand with former labelmate Dre in front of the biggest TV audience of the year.
Dr. Dre’s 1992 album The Chronic was Death Row’s first release, followed by Doggy Style, the 1993 debut of the Long Beach rapper then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg. Both were smash hits and have racked up U.S. sales of more than 5.1 million and nearly 7 million units, respectively,