Date: March 22, 1996
In 1992, Dr. Dre and Marion "Suge" Knight came up with $250,000 together and started the record label Death Row. They signed a distribution deal with Interscope Records that allowed them to retain all of their publishing and all of their master recordings. And then, over the course of the next four years, they turned Death Row into a juggernaut, releasing projects from Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, and, of course, Dr. Dre himself. The label sold more than 18 million albums during Dre's time there.
But by 1996, Dre had reportedly grown tired of working with Suge and was interested in starting his own label. So he announced that he was leaving Death Row, revealed that he thought gangsta rap was "dead," and founded a new label called Aftermath Entertainment. He also used his previous connections to obtain another distribution deal with Interscope for his new venture.
Aftermath wasn't an immediate success. The label's first project, Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath, was underwhelming. But two years later, Dre signed Eminem to his label, and by that time, it was pretty clear that Death Row wasn't going to be able to achieve the kind of success that it had achieved under the watchful eye of Dre because of the 1996 death of 2Pac, and the racketeering charge that Suge caught in 1997. Dre then went on to turn Aftermath into a success, and he still heads up the label today.