Year: 1989
Original Label: Ruthless Records
New Label: Priority then EMI

Why They Left: After turning the rap game on its head with the release of Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A. positioned themselves for a big payday. But when the group's manager Jerry Heller presented the contract terms to Cube—who had not only performed on the album, but written the majority of the verses—Cube felt he wasn't getting paid his worth. While the other group members opted to go along with Jerry's contract, Cube didn't and went solo.

Career After They Left: After leaving N.W.A., Cube hooked up with Public Enemy's production team The Bomb Squad and started working on his debut, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, which became an instant smash and made Cube a solo star. He also eventually ended up beefing with N.W.A. and releasing the scathing diss track "No Vaseline" on his second album, Death Certificate. Cube would continue to release material in the '90s but none of it would have quite the same impact as his first five years in the game. In more recent years, Cube has become more famous for doing movies like Barbershop, TV shows like Are We There Yet?, and Coors Light ads.