MCA Pays $200 Million For Interscope

New Tupac album entered charts at #1.

Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine (who as an

engineer and producer worked with John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty,

Patti Smith, etc., etc.) is a happy man today. Negotiations with MCA Inc. have

been concluded, and while no one is talking about the price, executives close

to the deal say that MCA is paying $200 million to purchase a 50% interest in

Interscope, home to the Death Row posse (Dr. Dre, Snoop, Tupac, Dogg Pound),

NIN, Primus, Toadies, Rocket From The Crypt, and on and on. Interscope was

forced to part ways with Time Warner last year, after Bob Dole and others waged

a media campaign to discredit Time Warner for selling gangsta rap and rock

albums with lyrics that they felt were overly violent and/or x-rated. In an

interview with the New York Times yesterday, Iovine said he felt

Interscope had been unfairly singled out. "Everyone put out the music and they

focused on us," said Iovine. "There is a lot of rap music in the industry."

What's interesting about the MCA deal is that MCA has the right to reject

Interscope albums, and when that happens, the label can seek out an alternative

distributor. That's just what they've done with the new Tupac album, "All Eyez

On Me, which just entered the charts at #1, selling over 566,000 copies

last week.