Snoop Dogg's relationship with Death Row may have ended on a sour note, but it's clear the Doggfather still holds the legendary label close to his heart. The story of Tha Row is one rife with artistic splendor and sudden tragedy, infighting and fractured loyalty. For much of it, Snoop was fixed at the center, having been signed to the label between 1991 and 1998, releasing Doggystyle and Tha Doggfather during his tenure. Yesterday, Snoop continued his favored pastime of sharing old flicks, this time posting an image of the Death Row roster during a simpler time.
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The caption, which reads a simple yet effective "Death Row 1996," sets the scene. In the picture itself are a young Snoop, presumably in the recording stages of Doggfather, MC Hammer, cigar-toting attorney David Kenner, the late 2Pac Shakur, producer Johnny J (All Eyez On Me), and of course, Suge Knight.
Despite the dark turn the label ultimately went on to take, it's still fascinating to see remnants of a true hip-hop dynasty - one that came to define the culture in various ways, especially sonically. It's likely that every hip-hop listener over the age of twenty-one has a favorite Death Row project, and if you don't, it's never too late to familiarize yourself with history. Thanks for sharing, Snoop.