Cassette reissues of albums by 2Pac, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre are on the way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Death Row Records.
Death Row dominated the ’90s and was home to some of the biggest names in hip-hop. In addition to 2Pac, Snoop and Dre, the likes of Nate Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, MC Hammer, The Lady Of Rage and KXNG Crooked were also signed to the powerhouse rap label.
Now, four of the label’s most influential albums – Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’, Snoop Doggy Dogg’s ‘Doggystyle’, 2Pac’s ‘All Eyez On Me’ (2x tape set) and Makaveli’s (2Pac) ‘The Don Killuminati (7 Day Theory)’ – will be reissued on cassette on April 20 to celebrate Death Row’s 30th anniversary.
It’s the first time since the ’90s that the albums will be reissued on cassette, with various limited edition colours available – including “Chronic Green”, “Up In Smoke Tint”, “Gold” and more. You can pre-order them on Tape Head City here.
“Death Row Records beams in hip-hop history as much more than music label. Death Row was a movement, hip-hop revolution, factory for greatness, and one of the first exemplifications of black power within the business of rap,” a statement about that label reads.
“During a time when hip-hop’s market share of multi-platinum plaques was a small minority, Death Row liberated and empowered some of our greatest creatives, leveling another lopsided American playing field. Without Death Row, we would never hear the aqua-flow of Snoop Dogg or the genius of Eminem. We would be deprived of Cali’s finest production – from Dr. Dre to DJ Pooh – and our music palettes would be lesser for having never heard The Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory or either of the Chronic albums.”
The statement concluded: “If Death Row had never been, hip-hop would have never experienced the unforgettable era of West Coast dominance.”
Meanwhile, although West Coast legend Dr. Dre and East Coast rap icon The Notorious B.I.G. never recorded together during the latter’s lifetime, according to one of Dre’s former proteges it came very close to happening.
This week, Dutch engineer Lou Ottens, who is credited with the invention of the audio cassette tape, died aged 94. Read NME‘s love letter to the format here.