What does it take to own the assets of one of the most notorious gangsta-rap labels of all time? About $24 million, actually.
That may sound like a lot of coin for a label that hasn't had a hit record in more than a decade, but clearly Nashville, Tennessee-based Global Music Group President Susan Berg saw some potential dollar signs in the former rap powerhouse started by oft-imprisoned boss Suge Knight. The assets include hit records by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Tupac Shakur.
Berg won the rights to the label during an auction on Wednesday, with the proceeds going to help Knight pay off his considerable debts, which include a $107 million judgment awarded to a former partner in the label that forced Knight into bankruptcy. Oh, and even though you might think the bottom of the 'Pac barrel had been scraped, chiseled, gouged, ground up and rehydrated more times than anyone could imagine, did we mention that the sale comes with the rights to 20 unreleased Tupac tracks?
That "new" Tupac album could see the light of day as early as this year.
The numbers were more sobering for another former powerhouse indie label, New York's TVT, which was sold off in bankruptcy court last Thursday at the bargain-basement price of $6.05 million to the digital-music label the Orchard.
TVT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, and the sale is expected to close by July 3. Under the terms of the deal, the Orchard will take control of TVT's catalog and artist contracts, which include albums and deals with artists including Lil Jon, Ying Yang Twins, Guided by Voices, the Polyphonic Spree, Pitbull, Paris Bennett and Yo Gotti.
Though the Orchard doesn't expect to sign new artists, it might have some work to do to make peace with the existing roster. Pitbull has been trying to get off TVT's roster for years, and Lil Jon has also expressed displeasure with his label home.