Year: 1991
Original Label: Ruthless Records
New Label: Death Row

Why They Left: When Ice Cube left N.W.A. over financial disputes, Dr. Dre stuck around. However, he lived to regret it as he later realized Cube was right, and he was getting the short end of the stick while Eazy-E and Jerry Heller were keeping the lion's share of the profits. Under the advice of The D.O.C. and then-bodyguard Suge Knight, Dr. Dre plotted his escape. How did he get out of his contract with Eazy and Jerry? According to Heller, Knight showed up with some goons armed with lead pipes and baseball bats and demanded Dre be released from his contract. They obliged.

Career After They Left: Knight and Dre teamed up to start Death Row Records. Dre discovered a talented young Long Beach MC named Snoop Doggy Dogg and together they became one of the most electric duos in rap history. Dre went on to release the seminal classic The Chronic but soon grew discontented with the same strong-arm tactics Knight had used to get him out of his contract in the first place.