Here’s Why Snoop Dogg Says He Pulled Death Row’s Catalog From Streaming
Snoop Dogg’s first course of action after purchasing the Death Row Records brand and catalog in February was seemingly pulling the whole catalog off streaming services — now he’s explained why.
In a new interview with REVOLT’s Drink Champs on Friday, Snoop said he removed Death Row’s music — including his 1993 debut Doggystyle and Dr. Dre’s seminal The Chronic — from traditional streaming services “because those platforms don’t pay.” Instead, the rapper claimed he’s planning to launch a standalone “Death Row app” that will host the label’s music.
“Those platforms get millions and millions and millions of streams and nobody gets paid other than the record labels,” said Snoop. “So what I wanted to do is snatch my music off, create a platform, which is something sort of similar to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, there’ll be a Death Row app.” In the meantime, the rapper continued, Death Row music “will live in the metaverse” — reiterating a previous claim he made in February that the company would operate as “an NFT label.”
Snoop’s comments echo a common critique of the low royalty rates paid out by DSPs like Spotify and Apple Music (notably, the Death Row catalog is still available on Tidal). Later in the chat, he contextualized the move as part of a broader effort to put power back in the hands of artists.
“Nobody in here can tell you what a stream adds up to. It’s a fraction of a penny. It’s a third of a penny,” he said. “So you get 100 million streams and you don’t make a million dollars. So what the f— is that? But you want me to keep giving you my music but somebody’s making the money and it ain’t me. And I can’t afford to keep doing that. And I want to create an avenue to where I can show people how to not always have to go through the slave trade but create our own trade where we engaging with our own fans, that’s my own music that’s making money off of the music and then making us money off of the music by being traded and sold.”
To illustrate the potentially lucrative nature of NFT music drops, Snoop went on to note that his most recent album, BODR (Bacc on Death Row), made $21 million in the metaverse on its first day of release in February. Billboard previously reported that BODR was available in the form of 25,000 “Stash Box” NFTs containing one of 17 songs off the album — with each going for $5,000 apiece — in a partnership with blockchain gaming platform Gala Games (the album is also available on traditional streaming services). In March, the rapper also released put the compilation Death Row Mix: Vol. 1 up for sale in the form of 1,000 limited-edition NFTs priced at 0.1 ETH (about $300) each on the Web3 music startup Sound XYZ, which claimed the NFTs sold out in under an hour.
“In the real world, [BODR] streamed like 9 million over here, 7 million over here, and it only got like 34,000 downloads, which only added up to about nothing,” Snoop continued. “So how you think I feel about traditional, based off of what I did over here?”
Snoop Dogg has made previous forays into NFTs and the metaverse. In March 2021, the rapper announced he would be releasing his first NFT collection, “A Journey with the Dogg,” on Crypto.com. In September, he also claimed to be the user behind the Twitter account @CozomoMedici, which had garnered significant interest due to its owner’s well-documented speculation in the NFT space and ownership of hundreds of NFTs (though there is now substantial doubt surrounding @CozomoMedici’s true identity). Most recently, he announced a new partnership with Champ Medici and Clay Nation to launch an NFT collection on the cardano blockchain.
Snoop additionally owns virtual real estate in the Sandbox gaming metaverse, which dropped the Snoop Dogg-inspired NFT/playable avatar collection “The Doggies” last month. On April 1, Sandbox also hosted the release of the virtual music video for Snoop’s “House I Built” and will host his debut metaverse concert later in the year.