Snoop Dogg has welcomed Death Row Records’ iconic catalog back to streaming.
The West Coast rap legend, who owns the gangsta rap label to which he was once signed, caught fans by surprise on Thursday (March 9) by announcing that the Death Row discography will return to streaming services that same night.
“We heard you. The time has come. Death Row Records catalog is back streaming everywhere tonight 9pm PST,” he wrote on Instagram next to a Death Row-themed video montage.
Hours later, Snoop celebrated the catalog’s return by sharing screenshots of Death Row’s collection of classic albums on Apple Music. “We back,” he wrote in one post, while adding in another: “What u bumpin first ???”
Also available on Spotify, TIDAL and other platforms, Death Row’s catalog includes essential ’90s rap releases such as Dr. Dre’sThe Chronic, Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle and Tha Doggfather, 2Pac’sAll Eyez On Me and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, and Tha Dogg Pound’sDogg Food.
Fans can also dive back in to the soundtracks for Above the Rim, Murder Was the Case and Gridlock’d, as well as compilations like Death Row Greatest Hits and Christmas on Death Row.
There’s one minor hitch, though: Doggystyle is missing “Gz Up, Hoes Down,” along with many of its colorful skits and interludes.
The return of Death Row’s catalog comes courtesy of a joint venture between Snoop Dogg and gamma, the new and buzzworthy music company launched by former Apple and Interscope executive Larry Jackson.
The “long-term partnership” will also include two new albums from Snoop himself — one of which could be Missionary, the joint LP with Dr. Dre he announced last year. The project is expected to arrive sometime in 2023 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Doggystyle.
The release comes almost a year after Snoop removed some of Death Row’s catalog from major streaming services over gripes about artist payouts. At the time, he flirted with the idea of launching a dedicated Death Row streaming platform.
“Those platforms don’t pay,” he explained on Drink Champs last April. “And those platforms get millions of millions of streams, and nobody gets paid other than the record labels.
“So what I wanted to do is snatch my music off, create a platform similar to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu. It’ll be a Death Row app, and the music, in the meantime, will live in the metaverse.”
Snoop acquired Death Row Records in February 2022, roughly 30 years after joining the West Coast powerhouse as one of its star acts. He purchased the label from MNRK Music Group (formerly eOne Music) for an undisclosed sum, with the aim of revitalizing the brand amid concerns over how it was being managed.
“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,” Snoop said in a statement at the time.
“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.”