Dr. Dre is reportedly preparing to sell several of his music assets to both Universal Music Group and Shamrock Capital.
According to Billboard, the music assets are set to sell for in excess of $200million (£164million). The deals will see Universal Music Group (UMG) acquire the master recordings for Dre’s 1992 debut album ‘The Chronic’, which will revert back to Dre’s ownership from Death Row Entertainment in August.
The UMG deal is also said to include Dre’s share of Kendrick Lamar releases, through Top Dawg Entertainment’s deal with UMG subsidiary Interscope. Dre will retain his stake in the Aftermath record label he founded in 1996.
Shamrock Capital, meanwhile, will reportedly acquire Dre’s artist royalty assets from his two first solo albums, as well as his producer royalties and writer’s share of his song catalogue where he doesn’t own publishing. This could also include Dre’s writer’s share of ‘The Chronic’. Billboard reports that Shamrock will also receive Dre’s share of his N.W.A. artist royalties.
The reports come after Dre recently spoke out against his music being used without his express permission. The rapper sent a cease and desist to Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, after the far-right politician used his song ‘Still D.R.E.’ in a promotional video.
“I don’t license my music to politicians”, Dre told TMZ earlier this month. It’s not yet clear to what extent the rapper will be able to restrict the licensing of his music following the UGM and Shamrock Capital deal.
Dre’s music assets deal follows that of Phil Collins and his Genesis bandmates, who sold a portion of their songs’ assets to Concord Music Group last September. Prior to that, Bruce Springsteen sold his masters and publishing rights to Sony Music in a deal worth around $500million in 2021, while Bob Dylan sold his entire songwriting catalogue to UMG in 2020.
Late last year, both Keith Urban and Iggy Azalea sold their master recordings, with Azalea fetching eight figures for the deal.