Kirkland Helps Reunite Death Row Snoop Dogg in Blackstone Sale
Kirkland & Ellis helped bring Snoop Dogg and Death Row Records together as a Blackstone-controlled company said it was selling the brand to the rapper-turned-entrepreneur.
Seth Traxler, Kirkland’s co-head of the global technology and intellectual property transactions practice, led a team at the law firm advising the seller, MNRK Music Group, as well as IP transaction partner Shellie Freedman and associate Peter Martelli, the firm said in a statement.
MNRK, the song publishing and recording company controlled by Blackstone private equity funds, announcement the sale of death row on Wednesday. The sale is expected to include the label’s entire music catalog, Bloomberg News reported, including artists such as Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, Shad “Lil Bow Wow” Moss and the late Nathaniel “Nate Dogg” Hale and Tupac Shakur. .
Snoop’s 1993 debut album, “Doggystyle,” helped Death Row become a top hip hop label before him. went bankrupt over a decade ago. Blackstone acquired the label last year as part of its Purchase of $385 million of a music company owned by toymaker Hasbro Inc.
Representatives for Traxler and Kirkland did not respond to inquiries about their work on the transaction. A Blackstone spokesperson said it was unclear who was handling Snoop’s legal work under the deal.
David Kenner, an Encino, Calif.-based trial attorney who is a longtime legal adviser to Snoop, who played at Kenner’s 80th birthday last year – and Death Row did not respond to a request for comment.
Blackstone is a long-time client of Kirkland. Last year, Traxler was part of a group of Kirkland lawyers representing Blackstone in connection with its $1 billion investment in Hipgnosis Song Management Ltd.
The deal provided funds for Hipgnosis to acquire music rights and manage catalogs, including 80% of royalties on recorded music from Kenny Chesney, who Hipgnosis completed in January. Hipgnosis is owned by industry executive Merck Mercuriadis, former manager of Beyoncé Knowles and Guns N’ Roses.
Snoop, 50, real name Calvin Broadus Jr., has many business interests.
It has provided financial backing to Swedish payment and banking startup Klarna AB, as well as Dutchie LLC, a cannabis dispensary technology platform recently valued at nearly $4 billion.
Snoop is also a co-founder of cannabis investment firm Casa Verde Capital LLC, which has invested in Dutchie and AceCann LDA in Portugal.
In January, Snoop gave a death row gold and diamond chain to former NFL star Eli Manning for his birthday. Snoop will give a halftime performance this weekend at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.