20 Rappers Who Almost Signed To Other Labels

NWA

Label They Almost Signed To: Def Jam
Label They Ended Up Signing To: Rutheless, Priority Records
Circa: 1987

The beginning of N.W.A’s demise was rooted in a distrust of how their finances were being handled by Ruthless Records, the label started by Eazy-E and Jerry Heller. The group famously grew to distrust each other, leading to Dr. Dre and Eazy-E beefing until Eazy’s untimely death. According to Rick Rubin, he tried to sign the group while they were on Ruthless Records.

Rubin remembers going into the studio during the recording of Straight Outta Compton and crafting a relationship with the group. Rubin said nothing came of it because of the group’s “existing relationship with a company.” It makes us wonder: Had Rubin signed N.W.A, could the financial issues that caused the group’s downfall have been avoided?

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