Judge Vincent P. Zurzolo has ordered Suge Knight to place Death Row Records on auction on June 24, 2008 at a starting bid of $24 million dollars.
Death Row Records, co-founded by "Suge" Marion Knight and Dr. Dre, has been forced to go on auction due to Knight filing bankruptcy back in 2006. Judge Vincent P. Zurzolo has ordered Suge to place Death Row Records on auction on June 24, 2008 at a starting bid of $24 million dollars. The label which was founded in 1991 has reportedly since made an estimated $750 million in revenue releasing products from artists such as Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound (Kurupt and Daz Dillinger). The label also once housed artists The Lady of Rage, Michel'le, DJ Quik, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (N.I.N.A.), MC Hammer, and others.
The label's first release was a solo debut from Dr. Dre entitled the "The Chronic" in 1992 which was after Dr. Dre broke from Ruthless Records, Eazy E's label, where he was a part of the Compton, California group NWA along with Ice Cube, MC Ren, DJ Yella. The album featured Dr. Dre's protege Snoop Dogg which around 1994 made the two of them one of hip-hop's most popular duo. Later the addition of Tupac was added to the label. Tupac ("2Pac") Shakur's debut solo album on Death Row Records was "All Eyes on Me". Around this time, tension between the West Coast and East Coast was flaring between the regions and this put Death Row (West Coast) up against the most popular label in the East Coast at the time, Bad Boy Records ran by Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs now referred to as Diddy. There were multiple reports of violence flaring as media placed more and more tension upon the two labels and two regions. In 1996, Dr. Dre had enough and reportedly left the Death Row label because he allegedly witnessed a studio engineer being assaulted, simply for rewinding a tape back too far.
On September 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas while riding in the passenger side along with Suge Knight. Tupac died six days later of cardiac arrest at the University Medical Center.
To make matters worse, Knight was sentenced to nine years in prison following multiple criminal charges that hunted the label CEO for a number of years.
As a result of Dr. Dre leaving, Tupac's death, and Suge Knight's incarceration; the once most respected and powerful label, Death Row Records, literally began to fall apart from the inside out. Knight was released in 2001 and immediately began attempting to put the label back on top, however multiple arrests followed and troubles were too overwhelming for the label CEO to pull through.
Now it seems the label will be placed into the hands of another possible lucky buyer who will have all the rights to all the recordings of Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre.
According to court documents, those looking to bid must submit a qualified bid package to counsel for the Trustees 4:00 pm California time on June 10, 2008.