Development company WIDEawake, which purchased Death Row Records earlier this year, has signed a deal with music publisher EverGreen to release new music including unreleased records by the late Tupac Shakur.
The deal will allow EverGreen to administer and handle licensing for all Death Row recordings.
In addition, Death Row is expected to generate a number of new releases in the near future, like a new album of unreleased Tupac material to commemorate the rapper’s June 2010 birthday. The as-yet-untitled album will be distributed by E-1 stateside and EMI overseas. Other forthcoming releases include a collector’s edition re-release of The Chronic Re-Lit, slated for a September 1, 2009 street date. The album will feature four bonus tracks – all unreleased master from Death Row – plus a DVD with never before seen video footage of Dr. Dre and other artists. WIDEawake/Death Row will also release several box sets this holiday season, including a four CD collection of previously unreleased Death Row master recordings, never before seen images and video footage. (Billboard)
EverGreen co-CEO David Schulhof has confirmed the partnership.
“After purchasing the Death Row catalog in January, WIDEawake began looking for a partner to help monetize their rights,” Schulhof explained. “We already had a relationship through the estate of Tupac Shakur; WIDEawake was looking for an exclusive boutique company to help focus on licensing in the film, television, video game and ad world; and because we own the catalogs of Tupac and 2 Live Crew and Teddy Riley and others, they knew we already had experience in the genre. So, it just felt like the obvious choice for them to partner up with us for Death Row.” (Statement)
WIDEawake purchased Death Row Records for $18 million last January.
The group, which was formed in 2006, will take on Death Row’s enviable catalog of gangster rap, including Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Snoop Dogg‘s Doggystyle and Tupac Shakur’s All Eyez on Me. The young company, which is treating 2009 as a major year for acquisitions, is also eyeing several other catalogs, Chief Executive Lara Lavi said. “We’ve been very carefully building our bridges, and this is a strategic move for us as part of a 10-year plan,” Lavi said. “We kind of expected Warner to be a little more pricey, but the economic climate right now for everyone is very challenging.” (Los Angeles Times)
A “Death Row Auction” also took place shortly after the purchase.
DJ Skee held true to his claim by paying over $600 on the art proofs for Tupac’s All Eyez On Me CD in the day’s first spirited bidding war. And when he stuffed a wall-sized platinum plaque presented to Dr. Dre into the back seat of his BMW convertible, he was officially one of the day’s bigger players. (LA Weekly)
No further information on Pac’s new album has been released.