Label Splits Far More Intense Than Current Lil Wayne Drama: Dr. Dre and Death Row, The Game and G-Unit and More

By Ryan Book, The Music Times | Dec 05, 2014 04:31 PM EST

Depending on how much faith you put in social media, it seems Lil Wayne is hellbent to get away from Cash Money Records due to the label allegedly refusing to release his Tha Carter V. Depending on how much faith you put in statements from management, it seems that Weezy won't be jumping ship. We're more inclined to believe the latter...after all, Cash Money kind of owns Wayne's personal label Young Money.

Regardless, there have been uglier splits than this is the history of hip-hop. Here are a few of the most dramatic:

Dr. Dre (and Snoop Dogg) and Death Row

Even after the collapse of N.W.A., Death Row Records still managed to turn a decent profit. Suge Knight likes to bill himself as the mastermind behind the operation but Dr. Dre was probably at the core with his production and performance skills. Dre left the label, alleging that Knight was financially corrupt. Couple that exit with the recent shooting death of Tupac Shakur and Death Row collapsed as racketeering charges were brought against its owner. Dre would do just well for himself under his new Aftermath imprint, having picked up an up-and-comer named Eminem. Snoop Dogg left Death Row soon after, recording "F--k Death Row" as his final track for the label.

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The LOX and Bad Boy

The Lox was probably drawn to Bad Boy Entertainment thanks to its history with the Notorious B.I.G., the premiere East Coast gangsta rapper. They even bit on a few Bad Boy's (and owner Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs) plots to get the rap trio's name out there. After appearing with Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez, the group decided that maybe the label wasn't quite right for what they were selling. Bad Boy was less excited to let them go, so the emcees launched a successful "Free The LOX" public campaign. Combs called into a radio station where the trio were speaking on the subject, leading to Styles P threatening to push a refrigerator off a building onto the label head, Looney Tunes style.

Timbaland and Blackground Records

Sometimes labels and performers have disagreements. It's natural. Normally you don't expect the record label to behave like a high-school-ex-stalker. Blackground Records responded to Timbaland's leaving the label by calling other record companies to let them know why they shouldn't work with the producer. This probably came across as suspicious to the aforementioned labels, as their competitors rarely call to warn them about making bad decisions. Timbaland ended up founding Mosley Music during 2006 and Interscope took up distribution. Apparently working with Timbaland wasn't as bad as Blackground claimed.

The Game and G-Unit

There have been more notorious beefs in hip-hop but none seem have maintained a flame as long as that of Game and his former running crew G-Unit. When the in-label war of words came to be too much, 50 Cent announced on the air with Hot 97 that Game had been dropped from the label (similar to breaking up with your girlfriend via text. A mass text). The Game and his posse must've been waiting nearby, and they attempted to enter the building where the interview had just occurred and didn't appreciate security barring them from coming in, resulting in one guard getting shot. The rest of the beef wasn't nearly as exciting...just diss tracks.

Death Grips and Epic Records

Trent Reznor noted earlier this year that he should have known better than to book the unpredictable Death Grips to open for his band Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden during their dual-tour. He should have paid attention to what happened to Epic Records, the major label that opted to take a risk on the experimental hip-hop duo. The band had released its album No Love Deep Web early due to its dissatisfaction with the label's choice of release dates. Epic's attempts to point out this breach of contract (in e-mail form) were posted on the band's Facebook wall along with curse words. The label may not have appreciated the album art either, which consisted of a very real photo of Zach Hill's penis.

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