Last year, Snoop Dogg acquired the Death Row brand from MNRK Music Group and subsequently completed a deal to buy the label’s recordings catalog.
He then removed the Death Row catalog from streaming services.
Last month, TikTok partnered with Snoop Dogg and Death Row Records to bring the record label’s catalog to the ByteDance-owned app through its independent distribution platform, SoundOn, making the catalog available to stream exclusively on TikTok for a week.
At the time, Snoop said that the catalog “will be back on streaming services real soon” and on Thursday (March 9), that day arrived.
Snoop Dogg revealed in a tweet that the “Death Row Records catalog is back streaming everywhere tonight 9pm pst”.
The return of the catalog to streaming services arrives in the same week it emerged that, amongst a slate of deals struck by gamma – the new $1 billion-backed company from former Apple Music Global Creative Director Larry Jackson – is a partnership with Snoop Dogg and the Death Row catalog.
According to an announcement from gamma and Snoop Dogg on Friday (March 10), the Death Row Records catalog, inclusive of music and videos, has officially returned to all streaming services worldwide.
Gamma says that the partnership is “designed as a long-term licensing agreement which provides gamma with the exclusive worldwide rights to market and distribute the Death Row Records catalog”.
Distribution and services company Vydia, founded by Roy LaManna, which was recently acquired by gamma, will distribute the music exclusively.
Additionally, gamma will also release two new albums from Snoop Dogg. The partnership also sees Death Row become an active label again, with gamma and Snoop Dogg planning to sign new artists to Death Row Records.
According to a media statement, Snoop Dogg acquired Death Row Records in February 2022 and removed it from all DSPs “in a strategic move to organize the rights and rectify the royalty disbursement”.
The statement adds: “While orchestrating the next steps for the Death Row Records catalog and legacy, he found a partner in the Co-founder and CEO of gamma, Larry Jackson.”
Gamma and Snoop say that “as a marketing driver,” they “provided a selection of classic songs from the catalogto TikTok exclusively, giving fans an opportunity to cut videos, which resulted in millions of uses and further increasing thirst for the influential music”.
Founded in 1991 in Los Angeles, California, Death Row Records quickly became one of hip-hop’s most prominent and influential labels.
The label produced and distributed legendary albums including Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, and 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me.
The reintroduced catalog includes Snoop’s Doggystyle, Tha Dogfather, 2Pac’s All Eyez on Me, Tha Dogg Pound’s Dogg Food, and soundtracks for Above the Rim and Murder Was the Case among others.
“IT IS WITH PROFOUND PLEASURE THAT WE ARE NOW PARTNERING WITH DEATH ROW RECORDS, THE GREATEST HIP-HOP CATALOG OF ALL TIME, AND WITH MY DEAR FRIEND SNOOP.”
Larry Jackson said: “I bought my first album at 11 years old, with my allowance money. That album was Doggystyle. I was so worried about how explicit the cover was, that I hid it in my bedroom so my parents wouldn’t see it.
“The album’s music and its provocative cover left an indelible stamp on how I view hip-hop.
“It is with profound pleasure that we are now partnering with Death Row Records, the greatest hip-hop catalog of all time, and with my dear friend Snoop.”
“I’M A VISIONARY AND SO IS LARRY, AND IT’S ONLY RIGHT THAT WE COME TOGETHER TO BRING THE DEATH ROW RECORDS CATALOG BACK TO THE FOREFRONT WITH GAMMA, ESPECIALLY GIVEN IT’S THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF DOGGYSTYLE.”
Snoop added: “I’m a visionary and so is Larry, and it’s only right that we come together to bring The Death Row Records catalog back to the forefront with gamma, especially given it’s the 30th anniversary of Doggystyle.
“It was important for me to get the business of the music right and take care of the creative forces behind it, before making it public again.
“The music we created is timeless and as relevant today as it was when we released it, and now the world is gonna enjoy it for generations to come. Death Row Bacc! ”
(Source: Music Business Worldwide)