‘I Am Thrilled and Appreciative of the Opportunity’: Snoop Dogg Goes from Artist to Owner After Acquiring Death Row Records

Legendary West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg is having what some might describe as a full-circle moment after it was revealed this week that the 50-year-old acquired the iconic Death Row Records, the music label that gave him his start in the music industry in 1993. 

According to a Business Wire press release issued on Wednesday, Feb. 9, the California native purchased the label from a leading global investment firm: Blackstone-controlled company MNRK Music Group. 

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – NOVEMBER 20: Snoop Dogg of hip-hop supergroup Mt. Westmore performs at Rupp Arena on November 20, 2021 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images)

“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 said of the acquisition in a press 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.”

Snoop later personally thanked “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.”

Under the label, Snoop released his critically acclaimed debut studio album “Doggystyle,” which featured hit songs like “Gin and Juice,” “Ain’t No Fun,” and the headline-making single “Murder Was the Case.” The project is regarded as one of the most influential albums of the 1990s and in the hip-hop industry. 

After releasing his first two albums on the label, Snoop left and signed with Master P’s No Limit in 1998, claiming he was owed money.

Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, The D.O.C., and Dick Griffey created the music firm in 1991, later kick-starting the careers of several iconic artists, including its co-founder Dr. Dre, MC Hammer, Outlawz, The Lady of Rage, Tha Dogg Pound and both the late Tupac Shakur and the late Nate Dogg.

Not much is known about the terms of the transaction. However, an unidentified source close to Variety told the publication, the iconic deal may potentially lead the Grammy-nominated star on the path to owning the music rights from the label as well.

In 2021, Snoop told GQ magazine in an interview that he had long wanted to buy Death Row. “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 said at the time. 

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