It appears Death Row Records doesn’t own The Chronic after all.
During a recent interview with Tidal’s Elliott Wilson, Snoop Dogg suggested the legendary hip-hop imprint had secured ownership of Dr. Dre’s debut album. However, Dre’s lawyer wants to make it very clear that isn’t the case.
“There are false reports out regarding ownership by Death Row of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic,” attorney Howard King said in a statement to Complex. “Dr. Dre owns 100 percent of The Chronic.”
Just days before Dre and Snoop performed at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show, Snoop announced he had struck a deal to acquire Death Row Records, which he called home during the early years of his career. It was reported that the deal gave Snoop full control over the label’s catalog, with exception to a few notable projects: 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, as well as Dre’s 1992 debut effort.
Snoop told Wilson that Pac’s albums were returned to his estate sometime in 2021, but was confident he could bring the projects back to Death Row. Though he didn’t provide details, Snoop went on to imply that he had already struck a similar deal in regards to The Chronic.
“As far as 2Pac’s masters, 2Pac’s masters came back to him last year. But I got a great relationship with his estate, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to be able to work something out … to continue some Death Row 2Pac business now that Snoop Dogg is in control of Death Row. Same with Dr. Dre and The Chronic. I got The Chronic album. I got Doggystyle, Tha Doggfather, Murder Was the Case, Dogg Food, Above the Rim. I got all those records.”
Citing multiple sources, Billboard previously reported that The Chronic was slated to return to Dre in 2023, meaning that “could give Snoop Dogg time to negotiate with Dr. Dre to try and keep the album on the label, even if it’s only through a distribution deal.”
When reached for clarification, Dre’s attorney told Complex, “Dre owns The Chronic and it’s not for sale.”