Original Label: Interscope/Allido
New Label: Maybach Music Group
Why They Left: Wale successfully built a loyal following on the mixtape circuit before landing a record deal with Interscope in 2008. By 2009, he planned on releasing his debut studio album Attention Deficit. With the leading single being "Chillin'" featuring Lady Gaga, Wale was sure to have a promising major label debut. But the album sold poorly its first week. Disappointed in the numbers, Wale spoke out: "I sold 28,000 records my first week, with no push from my label." The disgruntled D.C. rapper was looking for a new home, so he connected with the biggest Bawse, Rick Ross.
Career After They Left: Fans were taken aback by Wale's decision to join MMG because he wasn't known for making the type of music associated with that roster. But Wale assured fans he would remain unchanged. Despite criticisms for the label change, Wale dropped hits like "Lotus Flower Bomb" and "That Way" which weren't infected with Rozay's bombast. Songs like those and a refreshed sense of purpose helped Wale get his career back on track and earned him a gold plaque for his first MMG album, Ambition.