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Death Row CEO Files Suit Against Label for ‘Self-Dealing’


At this point, ownership of famed gangster rap label Death Row has passed hands so many times that it’s hard to know who exactly is in charge. In the label’s post-Suge Knight era, ownership was taken over by Lara Lavi, the leader of a company called WIDEawake Entertainment Group. Lavi and her group paid nearly $18 million to get the company out of bankruptcy and gain access to its storied catalogue, which features classics by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.

Well, somewhere along the way, Lavi was ousted by Death Row and she has just filed a lawsuit to “compel inspection of books and records to investigate potential self-dealing and breaches of fiduciary duty by Ronald Ovenden, a member and manager of Death Row LLC.” In simpler terms, this means that Lavi is suing the guy who supplied money for the new Death Row for acting in his own interests and ultimately taking money from shareholders, artists and others involved in the company.

Her legal team claims that Ovenden took $5 million in advances that were raised to capitalize the new Death Row. “The lawsuit is the first step towards getting to the truth about what Mr. Ovenden and his company New Solutions Capital did with the $5 million in advances Ms. Lavi raised,” said Lavi’s legal counsel on her behalf. “Only the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware has jurisdiction over a complaint to compel inspection of a Delaware LLC’s books and records. Ms. Lavi has every right to these documents as she is an owner and a managing member.”

This is certainly a complex legal situation, but what does it mean for music fans? Well, you’re probably going to be waiting another long while for another new release from Death Row. In the meantime, the label is being distributed by E-1 Entertainment, so you can still grab a copy of ‘Doggystyle’ or ‘The Chronic’ at your favorite record store.

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