Monday, July 4, 2022

Dr. Dre’s Attorney Clarifies Ownership of ‘The Chronic’ After Snoop Dogg Acquires Death Row

Dr. Dre & Snoop
(L-R) Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

*Dr. Dre’s lawyer has issued a statement regarding ownership of the rapper’s “The Chronic” album amid reports that Snoop Dogg had acquired Death Row Records. 

Snoop Dogg suggested in a recent interview with Tidal that the iconic west coast label had secured ownership of Dr. Dre’s debut album. However, Dre’s lawyer is setting the record straight. 

“There are false reports out regarding ownership by Death Row of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic,” attorney Howard King said in a statement to Complex. “Dr. Dre owns 100 percent of The Chronic.”

Snoop Dogg rose to fame during the ’90s on Death Row Records, now he has acquired the label from MNRK Music Group, which is controlled by a private equity fund managed by Blackstone, per Variety.

READ MORE: Snoop Dogg’s Death Row Records Acquisition Won’t Include 2Pac, Dr. Dre Albums

Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre performs during the halftime show of the Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Ca on Sunday, February 13, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

In a statement, Snoop Dogg said: “I am thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value. It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career and as one of the founding members. This is an extremely meaningful moment for me. I would like to personally thank the teams at Blackstone, MNRK and especially David Kestnbaum, who worked collaboratively with me over several months to make this exciting homecoming a reality. I’m looking forward to building the next chapter of Death Row Records.”

Snoop will reportedly have full control over the label’s catalog, with the exception of 2Pac’s “All Eyez On Me” and “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory,” as well as Dre’s “The Chronic.”

Snoop told Tidal that Pac’s albums were returned to his estate in 2021. 

“As far as 2Pac’s masters, 2Pac’s masters came back to him last year. 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. Same with Dr. Dre and The Chronic. I got The Chronic album. I got Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Murder Was the Case, Dogg Food, Above the Rim. I got all those records.”

Billboard previously reported that Dre would regain ownership of “The Chronic” in 2023, meaning that “could give Snoop Dogg time to negotiate with Dr. Dre to try and keep the album on the label, even if it’s only through a distribution deal.”

Meanwhile, Dre’s attorney told Complex, “Dre owns The Chronic and it’s not for sale.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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