Snoop Dogg acquired the Death Row Records in February, but the fate of several of the iconic label’s most coveted albums were up in the air, including Dr. Dre’s 1992 debut The Chronic. By the looks of it, the lauded West Coast gangsta rap album is back in the right hands.
On Wednesday night (March 30), Snoop Dogg shared an Instagram photo of himself with his “Deep Cover” collaborator in the studio and the caption, “The chronic is bac home.” The comment lit up with reactions from Hi-Tek, Benny The Butcher and Statik Selektah who were all thrilled by the announcement. After all, the album mysteriously vanished from streaming services earlier this month.
Earlier this month, Snoop Dogg told TIDAL’s Chief Content Director Elliott Wilson he’d obtained The Chronic, his own 1993 solo classic Doggystyle and the Above The Rim soundtrack, among others. As for 2Pac’s Death Row releases, he was confident he’ll be able to wrangle those, too.
“To be in control of the brand means that I got all of the pieces that I need to do what I got to do, from the masters to the publishing, to the IP, to the label, to the logo, to everything,” he said. “It’s all mine. I’m able to move it around and do what I need to do with it. 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.”
Dre’s attorney, Howard King, later refuted the claim in a statement obtained by Complex:“There are false reports out regarding ownership by Death Row of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. Dr. Dre owns 100 percent of The Chronic.”
Billboard initially reported The Chronic was expected to return to Dr. Dre in 2023, so Snoop had time “to negotiate with Dr. Dre to try and keep the album on the label, even if it’s only through a distribution deal.”