Snoop’s reversal shows power of streaming services


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Death Row Records was founded in 1991 by Dr. Dre and Suge Knight, among others.

Sean Galentine, Staff Writer

Following Snoop Dogg’s purchase of Death Row Records, the iconic rapper decided to remove everything the company had ever released from online streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Now, a little over a year later, it is all back. 

With the return of the classic Death Row albums come new digital releases of artists like Danny Boy and the late Jewell. Dr. Dre had regained the rights to his album and brought it back to streaming in February; a month earlier than the rest of the Death Row catalog. 

Snoop Dogg initially had pulled the albums because of a lack of revenue from streaming services. He then decided to make Death Row Records a metaverse label, which would include albums such as Snoop’s Doggystyle and The Doggfather becoming NFTs. 

“First thing I did was snatch all the music off those platforms traditionally known to people, because those platforms don’t pay,” Snoop said. “And those platforms get millions and millions of streams, and nobody gets paid other than the record labels. So what I wanted to do is snatch my music off, create a platform similar to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu. It’ll be a Death Row app, and the music, in the meantime, will live in the metaverse.”

When the Death Row app never surfaced, fans lost hope for a return ever happening. With the music not streaming at all, Snoop was losing revenue, so the albums made a full return to places like Spotify and Apple Music. 

With the music not streaming at all, Snoop was losing revenue, so the albums made a full return to places like Spotify and Apple Music.

The return of the legendary catalog on streaming does not mean that Snoop Dogg is done with NFTs, however, as the rapper released a new wave shortly after the albums were back online.

Several artists and songwriters have spoken out against Spotify and other music platforms due to the small amounts of revenue generated for artists. Low payment to artists is not the only criticism Apple Music and Spotify have received, as rock legend Neil Young has also protested their audio quality.

In addition, the controversial Kanye West cited the small amounts of streaming revenue as the reason Donda 2 would only be released through his STEM Player.

Both Snoop Dogg and Kanye West have aimed to make a significantly larger portion of revenue when releasing their albums sustainably outside of streaming services. However, since artists of this caliber cannot stop the music industry giants from underpaying artists, hope for fair payment to artists is at an all-time low.