Toypac Shakur: Death Row Records is now officially owned by toy giant Hasbro

It brings a whole new meaning to the term 'toy gangsta'

Death Row Records is now officially owned by Hasbro, the toy and game giant behind My Little Pony, Furby, Monopoly, G. I. Joe and hundreds of other toys and titles.

It comes after Hasbro forked out a whopping $3.8 billion to buy Canadian studio Entertainment One Ltd. (eOne) because it owns the lucrative Peppa Pig and PJ Masks franchises. The deal was initially announced at the end of last summer but was officially completed on December 30, 2019.

Entertainment One also has a valuable music division that includes ownership of Death Row Records’ catalogue, which it purchased in 2013 after the rap label’s previous parent company went bankrupt.

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Death Row Records was founded in 1991 by Suge Knight, Dr. Dre and Michael “Harry O” Harris. It was home to artists Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Tha Dogg Pound, MC Hammer, as well as Dr. Dre himself.

Death Row Records
2Pac, MC Hammer and Snoop Dogg were all signed to Death Row Records at one point. (Credit: Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection)

Hasbro’s chairman and CEO Brian Goldner said in a statement: “We are excited about what we can do together and see tremendous opportunity for shareholder value creation through this acquisition. Our businesses are highly complementary with substantial synergies and a great cultural fit. The addition of eOne accelerates our blueprint strategy by expanding our brand portfolio with eOne’s beloved global preschool brands, adding proven TV and film expertise, and creating additional opportunities for long-term profitable growth.”

eOne’s profitable independent music division, Entertainment One Music, generated more than $30 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2019 (via Rolling Stone). eOne Music – formerly known as Koch Records – has released albums from artists ranging from Jim Jones and Public Enemy to Opeth and Hatebreed. The label just released The Game‘s latest album, ‘Born 2 Rap’.

Entertainment One also owns Artemis Records and Americana-slash-indie label Dualtone Records.

Death Row Records
Former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight. CREDIT: Getty

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Last year, Death Row records co-founder Suge Knight was sentenced to 28 years in prison following a hit-and-run incident in 2015.

The former hip-hop titan, 53, was formally sentenced on October 4, 2018 after pleading “no contest” to a manslaughter charge last month just days before his trial was due to begin.

Meanwhile, Death Row Records co-founder Michael “Harry O” Harris is reportedly set to be released from prison after 31 years.

The 57-year-old is currently being held at a Federal Correctional Facility in Lompoc, California but is expected to be released in mid August before being transferred to a half-way house in San Antonio, Texas, according to reports.

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