Snoop Dogg has a clear vision for Death Row Records, and despite how the current situation may look like, that vision includes 2Pac. Purchasing the iconic hip-hop imprint in February, the “Drop It Like It’s Hot” artist earned some raised eyebrows when it was revealed that his acquisition of the label’s catalog doesn’t include works released under the label by late rap titan Tupac Shakur — yet.
In an interview published Friday (March 4) by Tidal, Snoop spoke about his hopes to reclaim his old friend’s Death Row albums — All Eyez on Me and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. He explained that while Pac’s masters were removed from the label’s roster in January, he’s confident he’ll be able to bring them back exclusively to their original home now that he’s in charge of the label.
“As far as 2Pac’s masters, 2Pac’s masters came back to him last year,” he said. “But I got a great relationship with his estate, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to be able to work something out … to continue some Death Row 2Pac business now that Snoop Dogg is in control of Death Row.”
Snoop also said he’s working on lassoing work by fellow Super Bowl 2022 performer and Death Row co-founder Dr. Dre back into the label’s control. “Same with Dr. Dre and The Chronic,” he continued. “I got The Chronic album. I got Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Murder Was the Case, Dogg Food, Above the Rim. I got all those records.”
Though negotiating the rights to 2pac and Dre’s masters is certainly a big focus, Snoop’s dreams for his newly acquired label extend far beyond music of the past. In addition to making Death Row an “NFT label,” he said he wants to sign new artists, something he’s been doing with great success in his ongoing work with Def Jam Recordings.
“You want an artist to be dope in their own mind, to be able to create,” he told Tidal about what he’s looking for in future signees. “You’re just the pathway to them becoming who they are. I’m not in there trying to develop: ‘Hey man, you should rap like this. You should do this.’ I’m trying to find muthaf–kas that got that s–t that’s already locked.”
And what doesn’t Snoop want to see in his label’s artists? The answer may come as a surprise, given Death Row’s role in the legendary, oftentimes violent East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry of the 1990s. “I don’t want no rappers or no people that got issues, beefs, problems, misunderstandings,” he said. “Any of that street s–t — you’ve got ties to neighborhoods that don’t like this neighborhood, you can’t get along and you can’t go here, you can’t … all of them can’ts can’t be with me.”