In the 1990’s, Death Row Records was as influential as it was controversial. Led by the notorious hip-hop mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, the label was responsible for classic music from Dr. Dre, kickstarting the G-Funk renaissance, and the rise of artists such as Snoop Dogg, not to mention Tupac Shakur.
However, the dynasty came crumbling down in 2006, when Suge filed for bankruptcy, claiming he was broke.
To capture the label’s meteoric rise and eventual collapse, BET is releasing a three-party docuseries, titled Death Row Chronicles, which is set to premiere on BET on Feb. 20.
Despite the label’s success throughout the ’90s, releasing classics like Dre’s The Chronic, Snoop’s Doggystyle, and Tupac’s All Eyez On Me, Knight’s legal troubles, beginning with his arrest in 1996 arrest (for the infamous MGM Grand brawl that involved Tupac and led to his shooting death, as well as Suge going to prison for nine years) caused the downfall of Death Row. In 1996, the label was making over $100 million a year, but a decade later, it went bankrupt and was sold off to a Canada-based WIDEawake for $18 million USD in 2009.
Death Row Chronicles will feature first-hand accounts and interviews from former signees like Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, Michel’le and Danny Boy, as well as other associates. It will also feature “never-before-seen archival footage and a firsthand eye-witness account of Tupac’s murder”.