Death Row Records: the highest selling hip hop label of the 90’s was a prominent record label in the 1990s, specializing in West Coast gangsta rap and playing a pivotal role in shaping the sound and culture of hip-hop during that era. The label was founded in 1991 by Marion “Suge” Knight and Andre “Dr. Dre” Young.
Suge Knight, a former bodyguard and entrepreneur, provided the financial backing for Death Row Records, while Dr. Dre, a renowned producer and rapper, brought his musical expertise and talent to the label. Together, they aimed to create a platform for West Coast artists to showcase their music.
SUCCESS OF DR. DRE AND SNOOP DOGGY DOGG
During the 1990s, Death Row Records experienced massive commercial success. The label released influential albums such as Dr. Dre’s The Chronic in 1992. “The Chronic” is estimated to have sold over 5 million copies in the 90’s in the United States alone
Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle released in 1993 is estimated to have sold over 7 million copies in the United States during the 90’s.
The Chronic and Doggystyle both of which became iconic and best-selling albums of the decade. The aggressive and gritty sound, combined with the charisma and storytelling of Death Row’s artists, resonated with audiences, leading to their widespread popularity.
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THA DOGG POUND
Tha Dogg Pound, consisting of rappers Daz Dillinger and Kurupt, became part of Death Row Records through their association with Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg. As protégés of Snoop, they made appearances on his debut album, Doggystyle (1993), which was released under Death Row.
Impressed by their talent, Death Row signed Tha Dogg Pound as a duo. Their debut album, “Dogg Food” (1995), was a critical and commercial success, selling over 2 million copies in the United States.
TUPAC JOINS DEATH ROW RECORDS
In 1995, Tupac Shakur found himself entangled in a legal battle while serving a prison sentence. Seeking support and financial assistance, he was approached by Marion “Suge” Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records. Knight saw an opportunity to bolster Death Row’s roster with one of the most influential and controversial rappers of the time. Through negotiations facilitated by Suge Knight, Tupac was released from prison on bail, and in return, he signed a contract with Death Row Records.
TUPAC 1990’S DEATH ROW ALBUM RELEASES
Tupac’s first album under Death Row, “All Eyez on Me” (1996), was a double-disc release that showcased his lyrical prowess and versatility. It became an instant commercial success and a landmark album in hip-hop, selling over 10 million copies in the United States alone.
Following the success of “All Eyez on Me,” Tupac’s unreleased recordings were posthumously compiled to create “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” (1996). This album, released under the pseudonym “Makaveli,” sold over 5 million copies in the United States.
Tupac’s third album with Death Row Records was “R U Still Down? (Remember Me)” (1997). This posthumous release, comprising previously recorded tracks, sold over 4 million copies in the United States.
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TUPAC’S GREATEST HITS ALBUM RELEASE
Tupac’s Greatest Hits is a posthumous double-disc greatest hits album released by Amaru Entertainment, Death Row Records, and Interscope Records on November 24, 1998.
Greatest Hits debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 268,000 copies in its first week. In January 1999, the album reached its peak at number three on the chart. It spent 433 weeks on the Billboard 200. On October 16, 2000, it was certified 9× platinum.
These records not only solidified Tupac’s status as an icon but also contributed to Death Row Records’ immense success during that period.Death Row Records: the highest selling hip hop label of the 90’s was so in great part because of the many records sold because of Tupac’s music.
DEATH ROW 1990’S RECORD SALES
While specific sales figures can vary, Death Row Records is estimated to have sold over 50 million records during the 1990s. This impressive sales record solidified Death Row’s position as one of the most successful and influential hip-hop labels of that era.
OFF DEATH ROW
However, the label’s success was overshadowed by controversy and legal issues. Internal conflicts, including tensions between Suge Knight and various artists, along with Knight’s own legal troubles, ultimately led to the decline of Death Row Records in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The label’s impact on hip-hop, particularly in the 1990s, remains significant, reflecting a pivotal era in the genre’s history.
And as always we like to close with a saying, quote or adage and today’s is from Suge Knight: THE BEST REVENGE IN THE WORLD IS SUCCESS.
Now, go forth and change the game!