NEXT DROP: DEATH ROW RECORDS Merch available December 20 - 6pm!

 

Death Row Records changed music ​and​ the music industry. The Los Angeles-based company, formed in 1991 and now celebrating its 30​th​ anniversary, catapulted gangster rap into mainstream consciousness, housed a number of superstars, and showed how successful black-owned rap labels could be.

Owned and operated by Dr. Dre and Marion “Suge” Knight, Death Row Records made an instantand dramatic impact in 1992 when Dr. Dre and his new protégé Snoop Doggy Dogg appeared on the title track of the ​Deep Cover​ soundtrack. Death Row built on that promise with its first full-length project, Dr. Dre’s ​The Chronic​. The album changed the sound and the direction of rapas a whole and gangster rap in particular, as Dr. Dre flipped the aggressive, loud, and angry feel of the music into something that was crisp and sometimes smooth, almost inviting. Similarly, Dr.Dre largely eschewed the gruff, menacing type of delivery he flexed on much of N.W.A’s material for a tone that was still muscular and powerful, but much less aggressive. Snoop Doggy Dogg, who appeared on more than half of ​The Chronic​’s 15 selections, rapped on several songswith a laid-back, conversational presentation that was as distinctive as it was chill.

One such track was the lead single “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang.” The song arrived with a breez ysonic vibe, ditching the menace of the ghetto streets for the feel-good vibes of a summer barbeque, an aura that carried over to the song’s landmark music video. ​The Chronic​’s other singles “Let Me Ride” and “__ Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” showcased bright and heavy funk sonics, respectively. On the former, Dre and Snoop detail a day cruising in the streets of Los Angeles, while on the latter they admonish their rivals.

Straight from LA to Berlin! Limited DEATH ROW RECORDS Merchandise Drop soon. Available here!