Landmark hip-hop label Death Row Records is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the launch of a virtual museum. Billed as “The Death Row Experience,” the interactive tour highlights the history of the West Coast label and its chart-topping acts including 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and more.
Founded in February 1992 by Dr. Dre, Marion “Suge” Knight, The D.O.C., and Dick Griffey, Death Row went on to become a driving force in the evolution of gangster rap.
With platinum-selling releases like Dr. Dre’s solo debut The Chronic and Doggystyle from the artist then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Death Row became a tastemaker in hip-hop as the genre collided with mainstream culture. The success of the label continued through the mid-90s, propelled by 2Pac’s last two albums Me Against the World and All Eyez On Me.
Following the murder of Tupac Shakur on September 13th, 1996, Death Row hit its pinnacle and would recede in its dominance of the gangster rap genre through the rest of the decade.
In February 1997, co-founder Suge Knight was sentenced to nine years in prison for a parole violation which in turn prompted Interscope Records to drop its distribution deal with Death Row, signaling the beginning of a slow demise for the label as Knight attempted to retain control from behind bars.
The label filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and was dissolved in 2008.
While the heydey of Death Row was relatively short in the grand view of music history, the label’s position as a driving force of gangster rap is chronicled throughout “The Death Row Experience”.
With a soundtrack featuring luminary artists such as Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr. Dre, and 2Pac, fans are taken through guided tours of “The History of Death Row”, “Legends of Death Row”, “Row Classics”, “Art Gallery”, and a gift shop. Also hidden throughout the virtual Death Row museum are several NFTs available for purchase.
Click here to take a tour of “The Death Row Experience.”