At 9 a.m ET, Daedalus Entertainment Finance Company--aka Def Com--a St. Louis concert promoter, announced the "All Eyez on Us" 25-city U.S. tour to begin in October. The company's press release--prepared by the high-powered Beverly Hills PR firm, the Lee Solters Company--said the tour would be the first in a "series of wide-scale, high-profile concert tours." Calling it the "phattest" lineup of rappers around, the release quoted Def Com Chairman and C.E.O Stephen M. Coleman saying "this tour will run as smooth as ice."
At 6 p.m., that ice was shattered. Death Row Records issued a statement denying "any knowledge" of a tour at this time. "Our name has been taken in vain," said Death Row spokesman George Pryce. "An announcement of a Death Row tour will come from this office and no other when the time arrives, and Death Row will select its promoters at that time...We can't afford announcements of bogus tours."
A spokesman for Def Com said his company made an honest mistake. "[Def Com] thought they had a tour, but now it's on hold," said Steve Levesque, vice president of music for Lee Solters. Pryce said that Def Com promoters were "well-intentioned," but a deal was never struck between the companies.
Hip-hop fans need not despair, Snoop and company will still be performing live in the near future. Pryce said that Death Row is planning its own "'New and Untouchable' Death Row Family Tour" featuring all the artists in the label's stable later this year.
Hardcore rap shows have been a risky venture--violence has plagued past shows. Promoters are experimenting with new ways to package rap to circumvent security problems. This summer's Smokin' Grooves tour features mainstream hip-hop acts with cross-over appeal. And last October, there was the Free Expression in the '90s, a pay-per-view concert featuring Naughty by Nature, Cypress Hill, Ice Cube and KRS-One--bringing the music into the safety of your living room.