Death Row Records, the iconic music label that started a music revolution in the early 1990s, is being sued by the mega-producer most responsible for engineering its greatest hits.
Dr Dre. filed a suit in Los Angeles after the company that now owns Death Row Records rereleased his timeless classics, The Chronic, The Chronic: Relit and a greatest hits album without consulting the disc doctor or providing just compensation.
Dre is seeking $75,000 for breach of contract, false advertising and trademark infringement, media reports state.
The legendary Dr. Dre, born Andre Young, 45, is seeking royalties from WIDEawake Entertainment, the company that bought Death Row Records after the founder and personality who defined it, Suge Knight, went bankrupt. Dre also says the label owes him money from the 1992 juggernaut, The Chronic, that launched the spectacular career of another legend, Snoop Dogg.
Dre’s lawyer, Howard King, released a statement to the media derisively denouncing Death Row using a verse from one of Dre’s more popular cuts:
“When it came to paying artist royalties and honoring limits on Dr. Dre’s recordings that could be released, the ‘new’ Death Row Records, to quote our client, ‘forgot about Dre.’ This lawsuit will make sure they remember.”
Death Row’s place in history is permanently secure for changing the face of music, introducing gangsta rap to the world and pushing out a dizzying succession of multiplatinum albums within a few short years. At its peak, Death Row had three of the biggest artists in music: Tupac Shakur, Dre and Snoop Dogg. Death Row is also a cautionary Shakespearean tragedy for its meteoric rise was matched by its spectacularly tragic downfall amidst a tangle of corruption, legal entanglements, defections, murders and the eventual imprisonment of Knight. –terry shropshire