The iconic label marks the 30th anniversary of its founding with “The Death Row Experience.”
While ownership of Death Row Records has changed hands several times since its heyday as the home of West Coast hip-hop legends like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Tha Dogg Pound, and more, the label is back and cashing in on its one-of-a-kind legacy with an assist from crypto technology.
Now owned by The Blackstone Group and overseen by eOne Music, Death Row is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a museum honoring the legends who called the label home and all their achievements.
Digitally, of course.
To create “The Death Row Experience,” eOne teamed up with TillaVision to design a virtual museum complete with built-in NFT artwork activations — two of the offerings have already sold out — and an element of gamification that includes a scavenger hunt.
And naturally, it’s backed by the label’s iconic catalog of music playing in the background.
As the market for digital collectibles like NFTs continues to explode, the music world has been searching for ways to capitalize on the trend. Artists like The Weeknd have released their own non-fungible tokens, often with added bonuses like unreleased music to sweeten the package.
These moves are a natural progression for the industry, as music has gone almost completely digital with the rise of streaming services in the last decade. Still, many will point to the steady rise in vinyl sales – up 29.2% in 2020, generating nearly $620 million in revenue, per the RIAA – and a burgeoning cassette tape trading community online as evidence that music fans and audiophiles are seeking out collectibles in some form or fashion.
With this museum and its first-ever online merch store, Death Row is upping its game regarding emerging technology and the evolving collectibles industry. They’re offering branded clothing and most of their music catalog on CD, vinyl, and cassette for fans that prefer items of the tangible variety, but it’s all of a piece: one of the iconic names in hip hop is serious about finding new ways to connect with fans.