Koch Looking to Purchase Death Row, Sale Held Up by Lawsuits from Dr. Dre and Afeni Shakur
The sale of Suge Knight’s once mighty, but now bankrupt, Death Row Records is being held up by pending lawsuits from Dr. Dre and Afeni Shakur. According to the New York Post, two unidentified sources familiar with the case say that uncertainty over exactly what assets Death Row still controls is turning off prospective buyers. “What’s really there for sale, what assets do they have, no one knows for sure,” one of the sources tells the Post. There is still an outstanding claim for royalty payments on Dr. Dre’s album The Chronic, and Afeni Shakur wants to determine exactly who owns the rights to unreleased material recorded by her son, slain rapper Tupac Shakur. Ron LeBow, an attorney representing Death Row bankruptcy trustee R. Todd Nielon, claims Death Row still owns the rights to some 10,000 master recordings. According to LeBow, Neilson and Shakur are close to reaching an agreement. In May, Evergreen Copyrights purchased the rights to a large portion of Tupac’s existing work and inked a deal with Afeni to market and promote new material. According to one of the unnamed sources, Evergreen and indie powerhouse Koch Records are the two prospective buyers most likely to end up with the Death Row catalog.