Rapper Snoop Dogg has officially purchased Death Row Records, the label he debuted at and rose to fame with earlier in his career.
The announcement arrives just before Snoop will release his brand new album, B.O.D.R., which will be under the label.
The 50-year-old rapper has several other major events on the way too. He stars in a commercial with Martha Stewart, will co-host the Puppy Bowl with her, and is part of the lineup scheduled for the anticipated Super Bowl 2022 halftime performance this Sunday.
Snoop Dogg acquires Death Row Records
On Wednesday, an announcement arrived that Snoop Dogg, real name Calvin Broadus Jr., acquired Death Row Records from MNRK Music Group. MNRK is controlled by private equity funds managed by leading global investment firm Blackstone, per Business Wire. The terms of the deal were not disclosed with the announcement.
Snoop plans to revive the label where he and other hip-hop artists helped establish and popularize West Coast rap in the 1990s.
“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. 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,” Snoop said in a statement.
“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,” he said.
Death Row artists included Dr. Dre, Snoop, and more
Death Row Records was originally founded in 1992 by Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, Tracy Lynn Curry (aka The D.O.C.), and Dick Griffey.
Its early roster included Dr. Dre, whom Snoop will likely appear on-stage together at the Super Bowl 2022 halftime show this weekend. Dre and Snoop initially teamed up for Deep Cover, the title track for the 1992 movie soundtrack that Death Row produced. That same year, Dr. Dre released his classic album The Chronic.
That album heavily featured Snoop and included other Death Row artists such as Kurupt, Nate Dogg, and the Lady of Rage. Snoop’s debut album Doggystyle arrived in 1993, selling 800,000 copies in just the first week. A 2018 Yardbarker report indicates it’s sold over 11 million copies since its release.
In addition to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s first solo albums, the label released Tupac Shakur’s All Eyez on Me and Snoop’s sophomore album The Doggfather in 1996.
Death Row Records started to fall in the late 1990s due to Tupac’s death, Suge Knight going to prison in 1996, and Snoop and Dr. Dre choosing to leave the label. Now it appears The Doggfather has big plans for it starting in 2022. He’ll release his new album B.O.D.R. on Friday under the label.
Snoop part of Puppy Bowl, Super Bowl halftime performance
Following Snoop’s Death Row Records acquisition, people will see the rapper and label owner quite a bit this coming Sunday.
He’ll help coach and co-host the 2022 Puppy Bowl with Martha Stewart on Animal Planet. In addition, Snoop and Stewart teamed up for a BIC EZ Reach lighter ad, which will air during the Super Bowl.
Along with that, Snoop is one of several hip-hop stars who will be involved in the Super Bowl 2022 halftime performance. He joins his former Death Row Records labelmate and friend Dr. Dre, as well as Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige for a medley of hit songs.
Those five rappers have tallied 44 Grammy awards amongst them, with Eminem’s 15 the most. Mary J. Blige is returning as a Super Bowl performer, as she previously appeared as part of 2001’s show with Aerosmith, Britney Spears, NSYNC, and Nelly. It’s the first halftime show for Snoop, Dre, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar.
Viewers can watch Snoop coach and co-host the Puppy Bowl, which begins at 2/1c on Animal Planet. NBC will televise Super Bowl LVI, scheduled for a 6:30/5:30c kickoff time.