Fri 31 Jul 2009
So, Death Row is now the New Death Row or Wide Awake Death Row (as opposed to seedier past versions like The Untouchable Death Row or The Row). Wide Awake being the parent company, headed by Lara Lavi, which bought the once mighty Death Row at an auction earlier this year for $18 million…
And Wide Awake Death Row is releasing a remastered Dr. Dre Chronic album, to be called The Chronic Re-lit and From the Vault on Sept 1….adding 7 unreleased songs recorded “around the same time as the Chronic.” (Word? Please let there be some unearthed Danny Boy x Jewel duet ; )
Lara Lavi spoke to Spate Mag, and it definitely sounds like she’s very well versed in the history of the Death Row and the industry overall….But more interesting was the revelation that Lavi is trying to make amends with Death Row’s “marquee” artists….and even offering reparations royalties.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
Lavi says that Death Row has renewed ties with Afeni Shakur and the Tupac Shakur estate…. so they’re putting out 13 new Pac songs on his 2010 birthday. (is that where these new Pac songs are coming from?)
Lavi also says: “It should be instructive to the other artists that we actually are putting our money where our mouths are…but with the other artists we’re meeting with a lot of resistance…the challenge is, because of the sins of the prior management…how do you rebuild with them when there’s so much distrust?…I was joking around that I was gonna print out giant Ed-McMahon-sized checks and for the first royalty we were gonna go around with a camera and deliver them to everyone’s door…These guys have never received a royalty check and that makes them angry, and I understand that… As the head of this company, all I can do is behave appropriately. And not behave like the previous guy….”
(Lavi with Death Row’s new senior v.p. John Payne, spotted here)
listen to the Lara Lavi x Spate interview, and read more highlights…. after the jump…
Lavi talks about about the future of Death Row and the catalog that they’re sitting on…(WideAwake says that to date, only 10% of the Death Row catalog has ever been released!):
“…I also know we’re gonna have to branch out and create some new applications for this music. We have some graphic novel ideas, and film ideas and gaming ideas, and apple apps….its gonna be one day at a time.
We’re not aggressively signing right now, because we’re sitting on thousands of masters that are unreleased….(Spate: are you work with Suge Knight or Dr. Dre or Snoop?) Suge Knight would not be coming back. That would probably not work for any of the artists. But we’ve been in dialogue with [Dre and Snoop's] people, I’ve tried very hard to talk to them. But there’s an unrealistic element to where they think the map is, in terms of us correcting the wrongs of the people before us….”
Oddly enough, Levi also has a story about Drake, because as a fellow Canadian, she says her son is also a child actor who has the same agent at Drake…so once Drake came through to ask for advice. Lol. Small world.