On Wednesday, Snoop Dogg (aka Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.) announced that he has acquired Death Row Records, the California-based label that effectively launched his career with the release of "Doggystyle" in 1993.
The step marks a full circle moment for Snoop Dogg, who has gone on to release 19 studio albums. His latest, "Bacc On Death Row" or "B.O.D.R.," was released on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, a few days ahead of his performance at the Super Bowl LVI half-time show on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022.
Snoop Dogg likely paid a handsome amount of money for Death Row Records. How much did he spend exactly?
Founded in 1991 by Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, and Michael "Harry O" Harris, Death Row Records earned a cult status among fans thanks to its carefully curated music catalog. Death Row Records is the label behind "The Chronic" by Dr. Dre, "All Eyez on Me" by Tupac Shakur, and many others.
Snoop Dogg released "Doggystyle" and "Tha Doggfather" through the label. His music also appeared in compilation albums like "Death Row Greatest Hits." Unfortunately, it's unknown exactly how much he paid to acquire the label.
Snoop Dogg acquired Death Row Records from MNRK Music Group, which also owns labels like Dualtone and Last Gang. Snoop Dogg reportedly tried to initiate a similar transaction in 2021, but a private equity firm named Blackstone won the bid, securing a $385 million deal to acquire MNRK Music Group (known as eOne Music at the time).
By obtaining control over Death Row Records, Snoop Dogg gained the ability to monetize his work and that of 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," the rapper shared in a statement with GQ. "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 went looking for this job because 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," Snoop Dogg wrote.
He founded a record label, Doggy Style Records (formerly known as Dogghouse Records), in 1995. He signed with Master P's No Limit Records in March 1998, releasing hit albums like "No Limit Top Dogg." He has also released music via other labels, like Geffen Records.
Snoop Dogg's new album, "Bacc On Death Row" or "B.O.D.R.," became available to stream on Feb. 11, 2022.
Featuring 18 tracks, "Bacc On Death Row" is bound to become a hit among long-time fans and relative newbies alike. Album contributors include Nate Dogg, Nas, The Game, T.I., Uncle Murda, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Duval, Sleepy Brown, DaBaby, October London, Jane Handcock, HeyDeon, Nefertitti and Emo Trap.
"B.O.D.R." was released on Feb. 11, 2022, a few days before Snoop Dogg is set to perform at the Super Bowl LVI half-time show with Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and Dr. Dre.