It looks like three of the most definitive albums released on Death Row Records won’t be part of Snoop Dogg’s pending acquisition of his former label. Per Billboard, 2Pac’s All Eyez on Me and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory “are no longer on the label,” while Dr. Dre’s The Chronic is slated to leave the catalog as early as 2023.
More than two weeks after announcing the deal, Snoop Dogg is still negotiating for the label’s catalog with MNRK Music and its parent company Blackstone. In April 2021, MNRK Music acquired the Death Row catalog from previous owner Hasbro, which in turn had purchased the infamous label as part of a deal for its parent company Entertainment One (eOne) two years prior.
According to Billboard, neither All Eyez on Me nor The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory — 2Pac’s posthumous release under the name Makaveli — have been “on the label” since January 1st, 2022. On Apple Music and Spotify, the former is credited to Amaru Entertainment (the label founded by 2Pac’s mother after his death) under exclusive license to Interscope Records, while the latter is listed under Koch Records, a previous iteration of eOne Music.
Meanwhile, The Chronic is “scheduled to be returned as soon as 2023.” Once this happens, Snoop Dogg will be left as the best-selling artist on Death Row with his classic 1993 debut Doggystyle, 1996’s Tha Doggfather, and the recently released BODR (Bacc on Death Row). The remaining catalog would include the soundtracks for Above the Rim and Gridlock’d, as well as records from Lady of Rage, Daz Dillinger, and Kurupt.
Death Row’s recordings have passed through several hands over the past two decades. After founder and original owner Suge Knight filed for bankruptcy in 2006, the catalog was sold to WideAwake Entertainment. eOne took over the label’s catalog in 2013 when WideAwake also filed for bankruptcy.
According to Billboard estimates, Death Row’s catalog with both 2Pac albums and The Chronic generated $15 million in revenue for MNRK last year. The remaining catalog is estimated to produce $6 million a year in revenue, with Snoop’s albums accounting for $2 million to $3 million of that total.
Regardless of how the situation shakes out, Snoop Dogg has big plans for Death Row. Last week, the rapper announced that he wants to make it “an NFT label” after kicking off the initiative by selling BODR as a $5,000 NFT.