As part of BET’s campaign for the launch of miniseries Death Row Chronicles, a string of five promos creatively capture the tension and culture of the record label Death Row Records, while working around a unique set of challenges due to rights, restrictions from estates and music licensors, and the incarceration of the label’s founder Marion “Suge” Knight.
The six-episode series, which launches February 20 at 10 p.m., digs into the mythology surrounding the “world’s most dangerous record label” that’s outlived some of the artists who called the label home, including Tupac Shakur and Nate Dogg. Fact is separated from fiction, and told by its founder from behind bars, along with songwriters, artists and executives who lived to tell the story of the label’s rise and fall.
For the campaign, BET Brand Creative produced an image shoot of a Suge look alike, a Death Row producer in the studio, an electric chair, a classic ‘64 Impala that recalls Dr. Dre’s iconic music videos from The Chronic album, and the Tupac Shakur Las Vegas crime scene.
Voiceover was edited from testimonials in the episodes, including Knight from prison. Music consists of songs authorized by eOne: “U Better Recognize” by Sam Sneed and Leon Haywood’s “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To You,” which was sampled on Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But A G Thang,” for a potent mix of nostalgia and authenticity through sound.
The campaign is a nod to Suge’s intimidating persona, the hypnotic allure of Los Angeles gang culture, and the changes artists on the roster went through, from rhyming about violence—to experiencing it.
Check out the spots below:
SVP and Executive Creative Director, Brand Strategy, BETN: Kendrick Reid
Supervising Senior Creative Director: Adrian Hilton
Creative Director: Jerome Ford
Writer/Producer: Omar Akil
Senior Editor: Ed Trader
Editor: Peter Ringer
Project Manager: Pierre Roache
VO: Donovan Corneetz
Art Director: Dana Kinlaw
Design/Gfx: Jun Lee, Luis Moya
Audio Mix: Eric Pfeifer