Death Row Records

Death Row Records was a prominent American record label founded in 1991 by Marion “Suge” Knight and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young. The label played a significant role in shaping the sound and success of West Coast hip-hop during the 1990s. Death Row Records was known for its roster of talented artists and its association with the gangsta rap genre.

In its early years, Death Row Records gained immediate attention with the release of Dr. Dre’s solo debut album, “The Chronic,” in 1992. The album achieved critical acclaim and commercial success, solidifying Death Row’s position in the music industry. It featured artists like Snoop Dogg, Daz Dillinger, and RBX, among others.

Snoop Dogg Working with Dr. Dre on Doggystyle Sequel

Snoop Dogg’s debut album, “Doggystyle,” released in 1993, was another major success for Death Row. It became the label’s first album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and is considered one of the most influential and best-selling hip-hop albums of all time.

Death Row Records also signed and released music from other notable artists, including Tupac Shakur, Tha Dogg Pound, Lady of Rage, and Nate Dogg. Tupac, in particular, became one of the label’s most significant artists. His albums “All Eyez on Me” and “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” were critically acclaimed and commercially successful.

However, Death Row Records faced numerous controversies and legal issues throughout its existence. In 1996, Suge Knight was involved in a high-profile altercation with Tupac Shakur, which ultimately led to Tupac’s death. The following year, Knight was sentenced to prison on a parole violation, contributing to the label’s decline.

Tupac Shakur drives away with Death Row company executive Suge Knight. Tupac dies from a drive-by shooting minutes after. 13 Sep 1996, in Las Vegas, Nevada

Financial difficulties, legal battles, and the departures of key artists eventually led to the label’s decline. Death Row Records filed for bankruptcy in 2006, and its assets were eventually sold off. Today, the label’s legacy continues to resonate in the history of West Coast hip hop, and its artists and albums are still celebrated as iconic contributions to the genre.

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