Rappers Snoop Dogg and Diddy have been looming figures in hip-hop for three decades. Now, the veteran emcees have built their own empires with their own record labels. Now, the two might be teaming up in a symbolic new venture.
Death Row Records and Bad Boy Records were iconic in the 1990s
In 1991, Suge Knight teamed up with rappers Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. and producer Dick Griffey to launch Death Row Records. The label recruited iconic artists to its roster, including Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, and quickly came to symbolize just how powerful West Coast hip-hop had become in comparison to its home in New York.
Bad Boy Records, meanwhile, was birthed just a few years later after Diddy was ousted from his role at Uptown Records. He launched Bad Boy with his friend and flagship artist, The Notorious B.I.G.
By the mid-1990s, the infamous East Coast vs. West Coast hip-hop feud was reaching a fever pitch. It started to heat up after Tupac was shot at a studio where he was due to meet Diddy and Biggie, his onetime friend. Death Row and Bad Boy acted as stand-ins for the greater East Coast vs. West Coast debate.
Tupac smeared Bad Boy Records in his 1996 song “Hit ‘Em Up,” and died just a few months later. Biggie died six months after that in March 1997.
Snoop bought Death Row Records in 2022
In February 2022, just days before his performance at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show, Snoop Dogg purchased his old record label for an undisclosed amount.
Snoop’s acquisition of his former label coincided with the release of a new album, B.O.D.R., which fittingly stood for Bacc on Death Row.
Snoop teased a collab with Diddy between Death Row and Bad Boy
Snoop shared a video on Twitter of him talking with Diddy about their boss moves.
“Congratulations king; great move, great move,” Diddy told Snoop. Snoop responded by giving Diddy his due praise: “You taught me how to play chess, not checkers.”
Diddy told Snoop he was one of his “greatest students” and that he can’t wait to hear all the plans that Snoop has for Death Row Records. Snoop then went on to tease a possible collaboration between Death Row and Bad Boy.
“Now we can do what we want to do: Death Row and Bad Boy. We been doing it,” he said. “Come on, Puff, I’m going to put it in the air; quit playing with me. I’m going to put it in the air n****, we left n****s hanging.”
Snoop has big plans for Death Row Records
Snoop has big plans for Death Row, which include new artists as well as a new business approach. According to Billboard, Snoop revealed in a Clubhouse chat that he plans to make Death Row “an NFT label” and will introduce artists to the world digitally.
“We will be putting out artists through the metaverse,” the “Gin & Juice” rapper said. “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.”