Tupac Shakur lived on in the hearts of many after he was shot dead in 1996. Now, the roads might be paved for him to live on in new graphic novels as well. Eminem and Public Enemy are appearing in comics these days, and 50 Cent is looking to them for inspiration, so it might not be so surprising that Death Row Records, bought during bankruptcy in January for $18 million, could become a comics publisher as part of its new multimedia ambitions.
"Our goal is to continually breathe new life into Death Row," WIDEawake Entertainment Group founder Lara Lavi told Billboard.com.
WIDEawake, who now owns Death Row, plans to launch a new brand extension called Hustle City that will produce books, animated webisodes, games, and even a feature film using the legendary hip-hop label's properties. At the top of their list is a graphic novel that will include a CD insert of story-related music.
Death Row's catalog contains more than 10,000 tracks by recording mega-stars including Tupac, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound, and Warren G. Just what kind of story material Hustle City will mash up with those tunes remains to be seen, but anything from an "Adventures of the Dogg Pound" comic to a graphic novel history of Dre and Suge Knight's violence-plagued business venture that changed the face of rap and hip-hop seems like it could be a candidate for comics.
What do you think of Death Row Records' revival as a graphic novel publisher? Are there any classic albums you would like to see used as the basis for comics? Share your thoughts and reactions in the comment section below!