[With today’s unexpected news of WIDEawake/Death Row Records getting sold to another company due to bankruptcy woes, former business partner and Hoopla Worldwide co-founder Sabrina Hale gives SOHH readers her immediate reaction.]
It’s disappointing to say the least. We have worked so hard. I designed a big portion of the album artwork for Death Row, and we have many people on our roster with future plans through the label. I realize this is not the end of Death Row, it’s just sad that this poor business etiquette reflects on such an iconic label in hip hop history.
When we first heard the news we reached out to WIDEawake to give them the opportunity to respond and let us know what was going on. We heard nothing back. After all the work we’ve put into this, we are owed the respect of a phone call. They’ve known about this for six months, but we only found out a few days ago through an anonymous source, someone who is not connect to either side of the label.
We understand NDA’s [non-disclosure agreements] and all that, but there are ways to just let your people know how to prepare for something that is certainly going to affect their plans.
The way they’ve handled this entire situation is exactly why, we feel, WIDEawake has made such a mess of things. You can’t only look out for yourself in business. That may be a way to get you to the top…but it won’t keep you there.
If WIDEawake feels they owe us no explanation, that puts us in a very difficult position. We are obligated to protect our clients and those who have future work coming out through Death Row. We protect our people at all costs. For a company that has named themselves “WIDEawake” they’ve definitely developed an MO of leaving everyone in the dark.
If only Damon Dash would have accepted eOne’s suggestion to run Death Row, none of this would be happening. They had access to an amazing back catalog and so many opportunities to make an impact – so many bullets in their pocket. But they didn’t utilize any of that. But I’m excited to see how this new company will turn this all around.
Hoopla Worldwide LLC is an American media group which is based in Louisville, Kentucky which is notable for doing publicity and marketing campaigns for a variety of established hip hop musical acts. It has been described as a “media mammoth”. It was founded in 2008 by Jonathan Hay and Sabrina Hale. It has partnerships with Toronto-based WIDEawake Entertainment and owns the record label Death Row Records. It coordinates media projects including album cover artwork and manages artists including Buffalo Stille of Nappy Roots, Knoc-turn’al, Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey of Parliament-Funkadelic, Nyche, MC Breed, Tha Chill of Compton’s Most Wanted, Big Mike from The Geto Boys, Zac Fresh (CyHi The Prynce), EA-Ski and Audio Stepchild. Its record label is distributed through WIDEawake / Death Row Records Entertainment. Hoopla Worldwide’s Sabrina had a single “Flying High” that appeared on the “Death Row Records 20 Years” album with Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger and others.