Tha Doggfather said he joined Def Jam because he couldn’t buy Death Row.
Throughout the interview, Snoop dropped gems about his illustrious career and the music that made him the hip hop icon he is today. When the conversation steered towards his former record label, Death Row Records, Snoop made a bold statement.
Claiming that “all of Death Row should be in my hands,” the Doggystyle rapper said that he helped build Death Row from the ground up, and that nobody else is more qualified to operate such an iconic imprint.
Following the release of Algorithm, Snoop spoke with GQ about Death Row, and his many efforts to gain control of the Suge Knight-founded record label. Sitting down with Elliott Wilson, the West Coast legend said that he tried to purchase Death Row, and when that didn’t work, he found his way to Def Jam Recordings instead.
“I went looking for this job because I wanted to be the CEO of Death Row Records and basically take over the merchandise and rerelease their music, do documentaries, and possibly do my life story,” he told Wilson. “But then eOne Music [which owned Death Row Music until April 2021] didn’t want to give me action at it. So then I asked could I buy it? And they acted like they didn’t want to sell it. Then they sold it.”
After eOne Music sold Death Row Records to the Blackstone Group, Snoop said he was scorned, and knew he had to channel his energy elsewhere.
“The man in me was hurt, but the businessman in me said, Okay, I got to find something else to do to take this energy of mine that I’m holding on to. I knew that Def Jam didn’t have a CEO, and I didn’t want to be the CEO, but I wanted to be in the position of consulting and creativity,” he said. “I was thinking Death Row Records—movies, merch, television, catalog…The Chronic, Doggystyle, Murder Was the Case, All Eyez on Me. It was all that shit I was going to…then I flipped it, like, ‘Def Jam bigger and better than Death Row any muthafuckin’ way.’ So I called LL Cool J: ‘LL, what’s happening with your life story?'”
Noam Galai/Getty Images
Snoop, who was hired by Def Jam back in June, seems like a perfect fit to head up the current iteration of Death Row Records (especially with Knight in jail) but it’s clear the label wasn’t buying it. Since joining Def Jam, the now-50-year-old dropped his 19th studio album, and played a pivotal role in signing Benny the Butcher to the record label.
What do you think of eOne selling Death Row Records after telling Snoop Dogg it wouldn’t happen? Let us know down in the comments.