To begin with Deathrow Records, we would first have to look at Ruthless Records
, which was Eazy-E's record label. Ruthless Records was funded through Eazy-E's drug
money. Eazy-E (Eric Wright
) founded a group known as N.W.A.
(Niggas With Attitudes). N.W.A. was made up of five members including:
- D.J. Yella
- Dr. Dre
- Ice Cube
- M.C. Ren
Things start to fall apart when Dr. Dre feels he isn't getting paid for producing great hit albums for Eazy-E and N.W.A.
This is where Marion "Suge" Knight comes into the picture and persuades Dr. Dre to start his own record company. Dre and D.O.C. follow the plans to leave Ruthless. With no funding, Dr. Dre listens to Suge and starts producing for Solar (Sound of Los Angeles Records), which gave Dre the same position on different location.
From there Dr. Dre and Suge start to recruit new rappers. Since Dre and Suge were from the streets, they knew how to recruit.
The First recruit was for a group of three famous rappers
- Snoop Doggy Dogg
- Nate Dogg
- Warren G
Since Dr. Dre was Warren G's step-brother, Snoop easily dished out homemade tapes to Dre. Dre was impressed with Snoop's lyrical genius.
Suge Knight later found a source for funding from one of the biggest cocaine dealers in the states, named Michael Harris. Harris provided funds for a recording studio, which helped Dre and Suge push their recordings outside of Solar. The total funding provided was $1.5 million, which provided the grounds for Establishing Deathrow Records.
The first greatest hit which featured Snoop Doggy Dogg was Dr. Dre's album, The Chronic. This introduced Snoop Doggy Dogg to the rapworld and helped in his success with his debut album, Doggystyle, which went quadruple platinum.
Suge would later recruit 2pac (Tupac Amaru Shakur), the greatest success of Deathrow records, with the release of All Eyez on Me, a double disc album.
The Death of 2pac, and the incarceration of Suge Knight (due to battering charges), brought the downfall of the record company. Dr. Dre now truly owns his own record company entitled Aftermath Records. Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Nate Dogg all went their seperate way. Although still operational, it has picked up a new name, now known as Tha Row Records and has to start from scratch.