Hip Hop icon Snoop Dogg has acquired the Death Row Records brand from MNRK Music Group, a song publishing and recording company backed by private equity firm Blackstone Inc.
The deal is expected to include Death Row’s entire music catalog, said a person familiar with the transaction who asked to not be identified because the details weren’t public. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Started in the early 1990s, Death Row was home to several important West Coast hip hop artists, including Tupac Shakur, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, Shad “Lil Bow Wow” Moss, Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg himself, who at the time was known as Snoop Doggy Dogg. The label went bankrupt in 2006 and was later acquired by an entity called Entertainment One, which toymaker Hasbro Inc. bought in 2019. Blackstone snapped up the label last year via its $385 million purchase of Entertainment One’s music business.
Music catalog deals have heated in the past year as mega-stars have looked to cash in on their talent. Last month, HarbourView Equity Partners acquired the music catalog of “Despacito” singer Luis Fonsi. Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen have signed jumbo deals for their catalogs too. Snoop Dogg appears to be banking on the longevity of the early recordings by Death Row Records.
“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.”
A representative for Blackstone declined to comment further. A spokesperson for Snoop Dogg couldn’t be immediately reached for comment beyond the statement.