Culture

Snoop Dogg Now Owns Death Row Records

Formerly on Death Row Records from 1992 to 1998, Snoop Dogg has acquired the label ahead of his performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Snoop Dogg is a man of his word. Just months after an interview on Barstool Sports where he joked that he should own Death Row Records, it was announced Wednesday that Snoop has officially acquired the label. Snoop agreed to a Death Row Records deal with MNRK Music Group, which is owned by private equity fund Blackstone. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“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-entrepreneur 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.”

Founded by Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, The D.O.C. and Dick Griffey in 1992, Death Row Records was a monumental force behind ’90s gangsta rap, with a roster of artists that included Snoop, 2Pac, Tha Dogg Pound, The Lady of Rage and more. In 1992, Snoop released his debut album Doggystyle on Death Row Records, followed by his 1994 soundtrack album Murder Was the Case and his 1996 sophomore album The Doggfather. Snoop left Death Row Records in 1998 when he signed to Master P’s No Limit Records.

The business move comes after Snoop was named executive creative consultant at Def Jam in 2021. During a December interview with GQ, Snoop discussed previously trying to become the CEO of Death Row Records. Snoop approached former Death Row Records owners eOne Music in an attempt to buy Death Row, but at the time they weren’t selling the label. Not long after, the Blackstone Group purchased Death Row Records, which blindsided Snoop.

“I wanted it. 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,” he explained.

Now, Snoop has Death Row Records in the bag, a testament to his persistence. He’ll have a lot to celebrate this week, as he’s a Superbowl Halftime Performance headliner along with Dr. DreKendrick LamarMary J. Blige and Eminem on Sunday.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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