Snoop Dogg is going back to his roots with his latest business venture. Today, the rapper-entrepreneur announced that he’s acquired the brand of his former label, Death Row Records, from MNRK Music Group, an entity controlled by the private equity firm Blackstone.
Variety reports that Snoop Dogg’s ownership of the Death Row brand will also likely extend to some of its music rights. The rapper addressed the deal in a statement, saying:
“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.”
Snoop Dogg was one of the first artists to work with Death Row, a signpost of 1990s West Coast rap. The brainchild of Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, The D.O.C., and Dick Griffey, the label broke through with Dre’s own The Chronic in 1992 before releasing Snoop’s debut, Doggystyle, in 1993. Death Row went on to release other classics like Tupac’s All Eyez on Me before crumbling from Tupac’s death and Suge Knight’s imprisonment. By 2006, Snoop and Dr. Dre had moved on, and the bankrupt Death Row was passed around to the highest bidder, landing with the Blackstone group in 2021.
David Kestnbaum, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, spoke of Snoop Dogg’s acquisition in a statement, saying: “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.”
While it’s yet to be seen if Snoop Dogg owning Death Row will result in more music, his recent Instagram posts don’t rule it out. Snoop’s also continued to collaborate with Dr. Dre in recent years: Back in December, the two released the song “ETA,” and next weekend, they’ll perform together at the Super Bowl.