Snoop Dogg Is Turning Death Row Records Into ‘An NFT Label’ With Artists Debuting ‘Through the Metaverse’
In the early 1990s, rapper Snoop Dogg rose to fame as a part of the iconic record label Death Row Records. Now, three decades later, Snoop has gone from being a signed artist to a leader in the label, and he has plans to take it even further into the 21st century with new digital developments.
Snoop Dogg bought Death Row Records in 2022
Death Row Records was founded in 1991 by rising hip-hop stars Suge Knight and Dr. Dre, with the help of The D.O.C. and Dick Griffey. That same year, former N.W.A. member Dr. Dre released his debut solo album The Chronic on the label; the following year, Snoop Dogg released his debut album, Doggystyle, produced by Dre.
Over the next three decades, Snoop Dogg continued to make a name for himself as a hip-hop legend. He released his sophomore album Tha Doggfather in 1996 through Death Row. The label, meanwhile, became a widely respected name in hip-hop thanks to having artists such as Tupac Shakur, MC Hammer, and Bow Wow on its roster.
The label eventually fell into bankruptcy in the mid-2000s. But in February 2022, Snoop Dogg bought the Death Row brand for an undisclosed amount in a deal with investment firm Blackstone.
A source close to the matter told Variety that Snoop’s acquisition was just the first of many plans he had for the iconic record label. Among other things, the multi-part deal that is expected to see Snoop buy back the label’s music rights — including to his own music from back in the day.
Snoop Dogg is turning Death Row into an ‘NFT label’
Snoop Dogg performed at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show in Inglewood, California alongside Death Row co-founder Dr. Dre. In the aftermath of the show, Snoop hopped in a Clubhouse chat to talk about the show and much more, including his plans for Death Row.
According to Billboard, he revealed that he plans to make Death Row “an NFT label,” though details on how that would translate to album sales remained unclear. But he added that the new Death Row will also be doing something no other record label has ever done with their signed artists before: they’ll be introduced to the world digitally.
“We will be putting out artists through the metaverse,” the “Gin & Juice” rapper said of his big plans. “Just like [Death Row] broke the industry when we was the first independent [label] to be major, I want to be the first major [label] in the metaverse.”
The first release on the relaunched Death Row was Snoop’s album B.O.D.R. (Bacc on Death Row). The album was available on the blockchain. Previous Death Row signees Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, and their duo Tha Dogg Pound have rejoined the label; new artists on the roster include DoggyStyleeee, Jooba Loc, and NHale.
The metaverse in music
NFTs and the metaverse have gained a bigger foothold in the music industry in recent years. In 2020, for example, Travis Scott performed a concert entirely in the popular online game Fortnite.
DJ and producer Steve Aoki has also been involved in the NFT space. According to Decrypt, Aoki admitted that the money he makes from music royalties pales in comparison to the money he’s made from NFTs in the past year.