Under the separate deals, which were pitched for $250 million and are close to being finalized by the rapper’s attorney, Peter Paterno, Shamrock Capital will reportedly acquire Dre’s artist royalties from two of his solo albums, in addition to his share in N.W.A. royalties, his producer royalties, and the writer’s share of his song catalog where he doesn’t own publishing.
Additionally, UMG has reportedly acquired the master recordings for Dre’s 1992 debut, The Chronic, which is scheduled to return to Dre in August 2023 from Death Row Entertainment—recently acquired by Snoop Dogg in 2022—along with his share of Kendrick Lamar’s releases through the Top Dawg Entertainment deal with Interscope, a UMG subsidiary, and Dre’s Aftermath imprint.
Through the transaction, Dre will retain his stake in Aftermath, which he co-owns with Interscope.
In 2020, Shamrock acquired Taylor Swift‘s first six albums for $300 million from Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, who purchased the rights from her former label Big Machine. Swift has successfully re-recorded two of the albums—her second release Fearless, originally released in 2008, and her fourth album, Red, from 2012—under Republic Records in 2021.
Dre’s lawyers recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, who used the rapper’s song “Still D.R.E.” for a video posted on Twitter. It’s unclear how Dre will continue to restrict the licensing of his music following the deal with UMG and Shamrock.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame