DEATH ROW is an American record company founded in 1991 by
Dr. Dre ,
Suge Knight and
The D.O.C. . Many west coast artists were on the label
Dr. Dre ,
Snoop Dogg ,
* 1 History
* 2 International success and controversy
The Chronic and
* 3 2000-present
* 3.1 2nd generation exodus * 3.2 From WIDEawake acquisition to E1
* 4 Former Artists * 5 Releases * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links
In the late 1980s, producer Dr. Dre was a member of N.W.A , signed to friend Eazy E 's Ruthless . As head of production at the label, Dre produced a large number of Ruthless projects, many of them high-selling; feeling the pressures of having to produce so many acts and feeling he was underpaid, Dr. Dre became frustrated with Ruthless. After the departure of Ice Cube over financial disagreements with N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller , Suge Knight and friend and fellow Ruthless artist The D.O.C. went over the books with a lawyer. Convinced that Heller was dishonest, they approached Dr. Dre about forming a label with them, away from Heller and Eazy-E. Allegedly using strong-arm tactics, Knight was able to procure contracts from Eazy E for The D.O.C., Dr. Dre and Ruthless singer Michel\'le .
INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS AND CONTROVERSY
THE CHRONIC AND RUTHLESS RECORDS FEUD
Main article: The Chronic
With the help of Kenner, Knight began signing young inner-city
The album went on to sell 3 million records in the US , establishing
the West Coast in Hip Hop/Rap and popularizing the distinctive style
Main article: Doggystyle (album)
After finding solo success,
Dr. Dre began crafting Snoop Dogg's debut
Doggystyle ; the process took 2 years. Snoop's debut was
released in 1993 due to public demand and high pressure from
retailers. Though unfinished, it outdid
The Chronic at Quadruple
Platinum , and garnered similarly glowing reviews. Soon after the
release of the album, controversy began to hit the label; Snoop Dogg
was charged with murder, fueling the debate that politicians C.
Delores Tucker and then-vice presidential candidate
SIGNING TUPAC AND SUGE KNIGHT\'S RISE
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By 1995, the label began to flood with Suge Knight's
cronies—friends and gang members fresh out of jail, as well as
off-duty LAPD officers later implicated in the
Rampart scandal working
as security. Emboldened, Knight began taking more control of the label
and further sought the spotlight, while
Dr. Dre receded into the
background, shying away from the violent atmosphere and Suge Knight's
newfound volatility. Tucker's pressure to conform extended to a joint
proposal by herself and a Warner executive to set up a record label
with Knight to put out content-controlled Rap/Hip Hop music, which
Knight billed as a breach of contract, resulting in a switch in
Time Warner to
Interscope . At the 1995 The Source
Death Row roster's performance garnered a poor reception
from the mainly East Coast audience; Knight also made comments
pertaining to Bad Boy CEO
BAD BOY FEUD AND DR. DRE\'S DEPARTURE
Another report was that
Sam Sneed was beaten in 1 of the label's
meetings by a group of
Death Row affiliates, led by
Suge Knight and
2Pac. According to
Daz Dillinger , the reason this happened was
Sam Sneed had too many East Coast Rappers in his Lady Heroin
music video. Disillusioned with the direction of Death Row, artists
The D.O.C. chose to leave, after which
Suge Knight exercised
tighter control over the rest of the roster.
Dogg Food was not
Dr. Dre but was mixed by Dr. Dre, a further testament to
Dre's dwindling involvement with his own label.
Dr. Dre also grew
tired of Knight's violence within the label, although he contributed
toward 2 tracks on 2Pac's
All Eyez on Me
M.C. HAMMER\'S INVOLVEMENT AND DEPARTURE
Suge Knight's relationship with M.C. Hammer dates back to 1988. With
the success of Hammer's 1994 album,
The Funky Headhunter (featuring
Tha Dogg Pound
TUPAC SHAKUR\'S MURDER AND SUGE KNIGHT\'S INCARCERATION
Main article: Murder of
Formerly a united front of artists, Death Row's roster fractured into
separate camps. Daz, now head producer, worked on Snoop Dogg's second
Tha Doggfather , which featured Bad Azz and
Techniec of his LBC
Warren G and
During a trip to
Las Vegas, Nevada
Shakur's "The Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory " was released in
November 1996, just 1 week before Snoop Dogg's "
Tha Doggfather ".
Although both albums went to Platinum sales, the impact on Death Row
had started to mount;
Suge Knight was convicted of parole violation
and sentenced to 9 years' prison time, causing
Interscope to drop its
distribution deal with the label. Suge Knight's control over the
label diminished, as
2ND GENERATION EXODUS
Maintaining artistic control from behind bars,
Suge Knight launched
smear campaigns against his former artists, most notably Snoop Dogg.
The label supported itself with releases pulled from vaults—most
successfully various posthumous
After promoting his new talent from prison, directing a campaign against his former artists and exacerbating the conflict between Daz Dillinger and Kurupt, Suge had still yet to release any albums by his new artists. After Kurupt's 2nd departure, Against tha Grain was released; soon after, citing dissatisfaction with serving 5 years on the label and seeing no release, Rapper Crooked I left Death Row, eventually filing a gag order on Knight to prevent him from interfering with him finding a new deal. Petey Pablo , who had signed in 2005 and started the never-released album Same Eyez on Me, left along with rapper Tha Realest in 2006.
FROM WIDEAWAKE ACQUISITION TO E1
On January 15, 2009, Death Row was successfully auctioned to entertainment development company WIDEawake for $18 million USD. On January 25, 2009, an auction was held for everything found in the Death Row office after it filed for bankruptcy. Of note was the Death Row electric chair which went for $2500 USD.
Since the acquisition, the company has continued to release material from its vast archives of materials acquired in the sale. Noteworthy releases include previously unreleased material from such artists as Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Danny Boy, Crooked I, Sam Sneed, LBC Crew and O.F.T.B. Since the acquisition of the material, Money Mafia-Death Row, under the management of WIDEawake , has made many positive steps towards improving the image of Death Row by making good on its promise to make royalty payments to many of the various artists, producers, and songwriters with commercially released material under the label. On " Record Store Day " April 18, 2012, the label has issued a free Death Row "Record Store Day" CD sampler which included music from Petey Pablo and Danny Boy
" The Chronic Re-Lit" was released on September 1, 2009. The album contained the original The Chronic album re-mastered and 7 bonus songs from the vault by Snoop Doggy Dogg, CPO, Kurupt, Jewell, and more; plus a DVD containing music videos, a rare Dr. Dre interview, a Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg mini movie, and rare 1992 television commercials for the original The Chronic release.
"Snoop Doggy Dogg – Death Row The Lost Sessions Vol 1" was released October 13, 2009 and contains 15 previously unreleased tracks with 4 being produced by Dr. Dre.
" Death Row The Ultimate Collection" was released on November 24 and was a special box set containing 3 audio CDs (1 greatest hits disc and 2 discs of unreleased content), 1 DVD of music videos which includes the unreleased Dr. Dre music video "Puffin' On Blunts" and a limited edition Death Row T-shirt. The set boasts over 20 unreleased tracks from the likes of: Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, The Lady of Rage, and Petey Pablo. During this period, there was a specific distribution venture between E1 and Wideawake Death Row LLC.
In 2012, New Solutions Financial Corp., a Canadian company that owns WIDEawake Death Row, has gone bankrupt and is selling both the label and catalog to a publicly held company. The deal closed on December 10th. In 2013, E1 purchased the rights to the Death Row catalog, representing 1 of the most successful urban genre catalogs in the music industry. The Group invested £175 million in content rights and television programmes in the year (2012: £135.8 million) and £4.2 million (6 million $) to purchase the iconic music library assets of Death Row.
Dr. Dre (1991-1996)
The D.O.C (1991-1994)
* Michel\'le (1991-1999); (2002-2003)
Snoop Dogg (1991-1997)
Tha Dogg Pound
Main article: Death Row Records discography
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle
* Released: November 23, 1993 * Chart positions: No.1 Billboard * RIAA certification: 4x Platinum * Singles: "Who Am I (What\'s My Name) ", " Gin and Juice ", "Doggy Dogg World "
* Released: March 22, 1994 * Chart positions: No.2 Billboard * RIAA certification: 2x Platinum * Singles: "Regulate ", "Anything", " Afro Puffs ", "Part-Time Lover"
* Released: October 15, 1994 * Chart positions: No.1 Billboard * RIAA certification: 2x Platinum * Singles: "Woman To Woman", " Natural Born Killaz ", "U Better Recognize ", "Murder Was The Case", What Would You Do? "
* Released: October 31, 1995 * Chart positions: No.1 Billboard * RIAA certification: 2x Platinum * Singles: "Respect", "Let's Play House", "New York, New York"
* Released: February 13, 1996
* Chart positions: No.1 Billboard
* RIAA certification: Diamond
* Singles: "
Makaveli (2Pac) – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory
* Released: November 5, 1996 * Chart positions: No.1 Billboard * RIAA certification: 4x Platinum * Singles: " Toss It Up ", "To Live & Die in LA ", "Hail Mary "
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Tha Doggfather
* Released: November 12, 1996 * Chart positions: No.1 Billboard * RIAA certification: 2x Platinum * Singles: " Doggfather ", "Snoop\'s Upside Ya Head ", "Vapors "
Various – Death Row Greatest Hits
* Released: November 26, 1996 * Chart positions: No.36 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles:
* Released: December 5, 1996 * Chart positions: No.155 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles: "Santa Clause Goes Straight to the Ghetto"
* Released: January 28, 1997 * Chart positions: No.1 Billboard * RIAA certification: Platinum * Singles: "Wanted Dead or Alive ", "Lady Heroin", "It's Over Now"
Lady of Rage – Necessary Roughness
* Released: June 4, 1997 * Chart positions: No.32 * RIAA certification: * Singles: "Sho Shot", "Get Wit' Da Wickedness"
* Released: October 7, 1997 * Chart positions: No.2 Billboard * RIAA certification: 2x platinum * Singles: " Made Niggaz "
* Released: March 31, 1998 * Chart positions: No.8 Billboard * RIAA certification: Gold * Singles: "In California", "It Might Sound Crazy"
Michel\'le – Hung Jury
* Released: August 24, 1998 * Chart positions: No.56 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles: "Hang Tyme", "Can I Get A Witness?"
* Released: November 24, 1998 * Chart positions: No.3 Billboard * RIAA certification: Diamond (10x Platinum) * Singles: "Changes ", "Unconditional Love "
* Released: April 27, 1999 * Chart positions: No.11 Billboard * RIAA certifications: Gold * Singles: " Who Do U Believe In? ", "Like It or Not"
* Released: September 26, 2000 * Chart positions: No.171 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles: "Thug Nature"
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Dead Man Walkin\'
* Released: October 31, 2000 * Chart positions: No.24 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles: "Head Doctor"
* Released: July 31, 2001 * Chart positions: No.36 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles: "Just Doggin'"
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Death Row: Snoop Doggy Dogg at His Best
* Released: October 23, 2001 * Chart positions: No.28 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles: "Midnight Love"
* Released: March 27, 2001 * Chart positions: No.1 Billboard * RIAA certification: 3x Platinum * Singles: "Until the End of Time ", " Letter 2 My Unborn "
* Released: November 26, 2002 * Chart positions: No.5 Billboard * RIAA certification: 2x Platinum * Singles: "Still Ballin\' ", " Thugz Mansion ", "Who Do U Believe In ?"
* Released: March 11, 2003 * Chart positions: No.95 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles:
* Released: 2004 * Chart positions: * RIAA certification: * Singles:
* Released: December 26, 2006 * Chart positions: * RIAA certification: * Singles:
Various Artists – Death Row: The Singles Collection
* Released: June 26, 2007 * Chart Position: * RIAA Certification: * Singles:
* Released: September 1, 2009 * Chart positions: * RIAA certification: * Singles: ""
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Death Row: The Lost Sessions Vol. 1
* Released: October 13, 2009 * Chart positions:No.129 Billboard * RIAA certification: * Singles: "Fallin Asleep On Death Row"
Various Artists – The Ultimate Box Set
* Released: November 24, 2009 * Chart positions: * RIAA certification: * Singles: ""
* Released: April 9, 2010 * Chart Position: * RIAA Certification: * Singles:
Danny Boy – It\'s About Time
* Released: April 20, 2010 * Chart Position: * RIAA Certification: * Singles: "All About You"
* Released: June 16, 2010 * Chart Position: * RIAA Certification: * Singles:
* Released: January 25, 2011 * Chart Position: * RIAA Certification: * Singles: "Lady Heroin", "New World Order", "The Exodus"
LBC Crew – Haven\'t You Heard...
* Released: February 8, 2011 * Chart Position: * RIAA Certification: * Singles:
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Three Disc Collection: Tha Doggfather , Death Row: The Lost Sessions Vol. 1 -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">
* ^ "Tha Row Records - Company Profile, Information, Business
Description, History, Background Information on Tha Row Records".
* ^ HipHopDX (February 6, 2008). "Warner To Acquire Death Row
* ^ Ruthless (Heller/Reavill, 2007) ISBN 1-4169-1794-2
* ^ Ice Cube: Attitude (McIver, 2002) ISBN 1-86074-428-1
* ^ "Erotic D Interview- Part 1 (June 2008)". Retrieved 7 August
* ^ A B C Sullivan, Randall (2003). LAbyrinth: A Detective
Investigates the Murders of
* Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of
Death Row Records, Ronin Ro, Doubleday, 1998, 384 pages, ISBN
* Labyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur
and Notorious B.I.G., the Implications of
Death Row Records' Suge by
Randall Sullivan, Atlantic Monthly Press, April 2, 2002, 384 pages,
* The Killing of
* t * e
NOTABLE ACCUSED OFFICERS
COVERUP AND INVESTIGATION
* Brian S. Bentley * Bernard Parks *