Entrepreneur and hip-hop icon Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus Jr. announced that he’s acquired the venerable Death Row Records brand from MNRK Music Group, a venture controlled by private equity giant Blackstone.
Founded in 1992 by Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, The D.O.C. and Dick Griffey, Death Row Records provided a home to some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including 2Pac Shakur, Dr. Dre, and a young Snoop Dogg, who released his 1993 debut album “Doggystyle” on the label.
While the label found initial success and played a key role in the transition of hip-hop from an underground sound to the mainstream, it became embroiled in legal battles until the label filed for bankruptcy protection in 2006 and was auctioned to WIDEawake Entertainment for $18 million in 2009.
WIDEawake also fell afoul of bankruptcy several years later and the label was once again sold to Entertainment One and eventually became a part of toymaker Hasbro’s portfolio until last year when the company sold the label and other music assets to Blackstone for an undisclosed price.
“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. 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,” said Snoop Dogg. “We at Blackstone are strong supporters of the artist and creator community in our entertainment investments. We are excited to put the Death Row Records brand back in the hands of a legend like Snoop Dogg.
We wish him success in the years ahead as the brand moves forward under his leadership and vision,” added Blackstone Managing Partner David Kestnbaum.