Aftermath Entertainment

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Aftermath Entertainment
Aftermath Logo Black.png
Parent company Universal Music Group
FoundedMarch 22, 1996;28 years ago (1996-03-22)
Founder Dr. Dre
StatusActive
Distributor(s)
Genre
Country of originUnited States
Location Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Official website aftermathentertainment.com

Aftermath Entertainment is an American record label founded by hip hop producer and rapper Dr. Dre in 1996. It operates as a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, and is distributed through Interscope Records.

Contents

The label's roster includes artists such as Eminem, Marsha Ambrosius, Anderson .Paak and Ez Mil, while former artists include 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar, among others.

History

Upon his departure from Death Row Records on March 22, 1996, Dr. Dre quickly launched Aftermath Entertainment through Death Row's former parent label, Interscope Records. It was founded as a "boutique label" that prides itself on "quality over quantity", focusing on small numbers of high-profile releases. [1]

Dr. Dre Presents: The Aftermath was the label's first release. The compilation, featuring artists who were amongst the label's first signees, was released on November 26, 1996. A year later, on October 21, 1997, Aftermath released the only collaborative project by hip hop supergroup The Firm, composed of Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ and Nature. Despite the highly anticipated album featuring production and cameo appearances by Dr. Dre himself, debuting atop the Billboard 200 and being certified platinum, [2] it sold below commercial expectation. The group was subsequently dropped from Aftermath and later disbanded.

Upon recommendation from Interscope co-founder and Dre's close friend, Jimmy Iovine, he signed Eminem to Aftermath on March 9, 1998. [3] On February 23, 1999, Eminem's major-label debut album, The Slim Shady LP was released. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, went on to be certified quadruple platinum, and arguably became the label's first successful album release. Also in 1999, on November 16, after a seven-year hiatus from releasing an album, Aftermath released 2001 , Dr. Dre's follow-up to his 1992 album, The Chronic . The album went on to be certified sextuple platinum.

Several more artists were signed to, and later dropped from Aftermath, including Hittman, Rakim, King T, Dawn Robinson and Eve, due to production, creative or business conflicts. Following the June 25, 2002 release of her debut album under Aftermath, Truthfully Speaking , singer Truth Hurts, Dr. Dre and producer DJ Quik faced a multi-million dollar lawsuit from Lata Mangeshkar over the unauthorized usage of one of her songs as a sample for her hit single, "Addictive". [4] This caused sales from her debut album to dwindle and Truth Hurts to subsequently cut ties with the label soon after. [5] [6]

In 2002, New York City rapper 50 Cent was signed to Aftermath by Dr. Dre through a joint venture with Eminem's Shady Records. [7] His major-label debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin' , was released on February 6, 2003 through the three labels. It mainly featured production from Dr. Dre and Eminem, who also executive produced the album. Highly anticipated and anchored by the success of the singles "21 Questions", "If I Can't" and the number one hit, "In da Club", the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Selling 872,000 copies in its first week, the album went on to be certified 9× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2020 with "In da Club" going diamond in 2023. [8]

Compton rapper The Game signed with the label in mid-2003 through a joint venture with 50 Cent's G-Unit Records, after a negotiation between Dre and Iovine. [9] [ better source needed ] On January 18, 2005, Aftermath and G-Unit released his debut album, The Documentary , to commercial and critical acclaim. It stood upon the Billboard 200's number one position for a total of two weeks and went on to sell two million copies in the United States. [10] Shortly after the release of The Documentary, tensions between the Game and 50 Cent ignited, with the latter dropping the former from his G-Unit imprint during an interview on a radio show, which provoked a shooting causing Game's friend to sustain a non-fatal bullet wound in his leg. [11] After a truce, [12] Game and 50 continued to clash through interviews and diss tracks, with the former catapulting the catchphrase, "G-Unot", a parody and boycott of G-Unit. [13] This action resulted in Dr. Dre forcing the Game off of Aftermath in 2006. [14] Game was transferred from Interscope to its subsidiary, Geffen Records, which is also a part of Universal Music's Interscope Geffen A&M Records, to help terminate his contractual obligations with Aftermath and G-Unit. [15] [16]

Busta Rhymes was signed and released one album on June 13, 2006, The Big Bang, which would later debut at number one, becoming his first and only album in his career to make the number one slot on the Billboard 200. [17] In 2008, after internal conflict with Jimmy Iovine over the delaying of his planned eighth studio album, Blessed, Busta Rhymes was released from Interscope, causing him to lose his deal with Aftermath. [18] The album would later be reworked into Back on My B.S. which would later be released in the spring of 2009, under Interscope's now-defunct sister label, Universal Motown, in conjunction with his own label, Flipmode Entertainment (now Conglomerate). [19]

Stat Quo, a rapper from Atlanta, was released from Aftermath and Eminem's Shady Records in 2008 after being a part of the joint deal for five years, citing differences in direction over whether or not to release his debut album, Statlanta . [20] [21] [22] The album was later reworked and released independently in the summer of 2010.

Philadelphia rapper Eve, who had returned to the label in 2004, following her previous label, Ruff Ryders Entertainment, ending their distribution deal with Interscope, also ended her relationship with Aftermath for the second time, leaving the label in December 2007. [23] The first time Eve joined Aftermath and was later dropped in 1998 in exchange for the label signing would-be labelmate, Eminem, she claimed to be "devastated". [24] The second time is over Interscope and Geffen's constant delaying of her fourth studio album, Here I Am, which was set to be released under Aftermath, Swizz Beatz's Full Surface Records and Interscope's Geffen. Following a falling out with Interscope co-founder Jimmy Iovine, Eve parted ways with Interscope Geffen A&M in December 2009 [25] and went on a four-year hiatus from music, before returning with her reworked fourth album, now titled Lip Lock , released independently in 2013. [26]

In January 2010, it was revealed that Bishop Lamont had left the label, due to the repeated delaying of his debut, The Reformation, [27] while singer Marsha Ambrosius had also left the label the same year to sign with the now-defunct J Records. [28]

In March 2012, it was announced that Kendrick Lamar had signed with the label jointly through Top Dawg Entertainment. [29] That October, his album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City , was released. It received commercial and critical acclaim, becoming one of the best hip hop albums of that year and the 2010s overall. [30]

In October 2013, Jon Connor announced his signing to Aftermath during the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. [31] [32] However, in May 2019, he parted ways with the label after the constant delaying of his planned debut album, Vehicle City, ending his four year relationship with Dre. [33] [34] On February 20, 2014, 50 Cent announced his departure from Interscope Records, which included his joint deal with Aftermath and Shady. [35] [36] [37] He later signed to his own imprint, G-Unit Records, in a new distribution deal with Interscope's sister label, Capitol Records' former independent faction, Caroline Records (now Virgin Music). [38]

On March 15, 2015, Kendrick Lamar's third studio album, To Pimp a Butterfly , was released a week earlier than expected, due to a marketing error on behalf of Interscope. [39] [40] Despite this, the album received widespread acclaim and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming Lamar's first in his career to do so. [41] On August 7, after fifteen years and nine months of not releasing an official album, Dr. Dre released his latest album, Compton , in promotion for the year's biopic, Straight Outta Compton, which chronicled the rise and fall of Dre's previous group, N.W.A . [42] The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. [43] Through the album, Anderson .Paak, one of its core features, was in talks to sign with Aftermath. The deal did not complete until January 2016. [44] However, Anderson was not signed to Interscope through the imprint, instead signing a management deal with Doug Morris' 12Tone Music. [45] Through these labels, he released two albums, Oxnard (2018) and Ventura (2019). [46]

In May 2022, Kendrick Lamar announced his final album under Top Dawg, a double album titled Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers . [47] It was released under TDE and Aftermath without further input from Dr. Dre nor Top Dawg affiliates. It is unclear whether if this album is also Lamar's final album under Aftermath as he recently shifted his focus on his own production label, PGLang. [48]

In 2023, it was announced and later confirmed that after 50 Cent and Stat Quo, Filipino rapper Ez Mil has officially signed to Aftermath and Shady. [49] [50] [51]

In December 2021, Dr. Dre has confirmed that he’s finished recording Casablanco an album with Marsha Ambrosius, with both artists describing the finished product as some of their “best work”. [52] The album was released on June 2024 to critical acclaim. [53]

Artists

Current acts

ActYearsReleases
Dr. Dre Founder2
Eminem 1998–present13
Marsha Ambrosius [54] 2006–2009
2023–present
1
Anderson .Paak [55] 2016–present2
Ez Mil 2023–present1

Former acts

Artists formerly signed to Aftermath Entertainment
ActYearsReleases
Group Therapy1996
The Firm 1996–19991
RBX 1996–1999
King T 1996–2001
Dawn Robinson 1997–2001
Eve 1998
2004–2007
Hittman1998–2000
Rakim [56] 2000–2002
The Last Emperor 2000–2003
Shaunta2000–2003
Truth Hurts 2001–20031
50 Cent [57] 2002–20145
The Game 2002–20061
Stat Quo 2003–2008
Busta Rhymes 2004–20081
Dion [58] 2005–2007
G.A.G.E. [59] 2005–2007
Raekwon 2005–2008
Bishop Lamont 2005–2010
Joell Ortiz 2006–2008
Hayes [60] 2009–2010
Slim the Mobster 2009–2012
Kendrick Lamar [61] [62] 2012–20225
Jon Connor 2013–2019
Justus2015–2016
Silk Sonic 20211

Discography

Studio albums

ArtistAlbumDetails
The Firm The Album
  • Released: October 21, 1997
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [63]
  • RIAA certification: Platinum [2]
Eminem The Slim Shady LP
  • Released: February 23, 1999
  • Chart positions: #2 U.S. [64]
  • RIAA certification: 5× Platinum [65]
Dr. Dre 2001
  • Released: November 16, 1999
  • Chart positions: #2 U.S. [66]
  • RIAA certification: 7× Platinum [67]
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
  • Released: May 23, 2000
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [68]
  • RIAA certification: Diamond [69]
The Eminem Show
(released with Shady)
  • Released: May 26, 2002
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [70]
  • RIAA certification: Diamond [71]
Truth Hurts Truthfully Speaking
  • Released: June 25, 2002
  • Chart positions: #5 U.S. [72]
  • RIAA certification: —
50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin'
(released with Shady and G-Unit)
  • Released: February 6, 2003
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [73]
  • RIAA certification: 9× Platinum [74]
Eminem Encore
(released with Shady)
  • Released: November 12, 2004
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [75]
  • RIAA certification: 5× Platinum [76]
The Game The Documentary
(released with G-Unit)
  • Released: January 18, 2005
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [77]
  • RIAA certification: 2× Platinum [78]
50 Cent The Massacre
(released with Shady and G-Unit)
  • Released: March 3, 2005
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [79]
  • RIAA certification: 6× Platinum [80]
Busta Rhymes The Big Bang
(released with Flipmode)
  • Released: June 13, 2006
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [81]
  • RIAA certification: Gold [82]
50 Cent Curtis
(released with Shady and G-Unit)
  • Released: September 11, 2007
  • Chart positions: #2 U.S. [83]
  • RIAA certification: Platinum [84]
Eminem Relapse
(released with Shady)
  • Released: May 15, 2009
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 3× Platinum [85]
50 Cent Before I Self Destruct
(released with Shady and G-Unit)
  • Released: November 9, 2009
  • Chart positions: #4 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold [86]
Eminem Recovery
(released with Shady)
  • Released: June 18, 2010
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 8× Platinum [87]
Kendrick Lamar Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
(released with Top Dawg)
  • Released: October 22, 2012
  • Chart positions: #2 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 3× Platinum
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2
(released with Shady)
  • Released: November 5, 2013
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 4× Platinum [88]
Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly
(released with Top Dawg)
  • Released: March 15, 2015
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Platinum
Dr. Dre Compton
  • Released: August 7, 2015
  • Chart positions: #2 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold
Kendrick Lamar Damn
(released with Top Dawg)
  • Released: April 14, 2017
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: 3× Platinum [89]
Eminem Revival
(released with Shady)
  • Released: December 15, 2017
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Platinum [90]
Kamikaze
(released with Shady)
  • Released: August 31, 2018
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Platinum [91]
Anderson .Paak Oxnard
(released with 12Tone Music)
  • Released: November 16, 2018
  • Chart positions: #11 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: —
Ventura
(released with 12Tone Music)
  • Released: April 12, 2019
  • Chart positions: #4 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: —
Eminem Music to Be Murdered By
(released with Shady)
  • Released: January 17, 2020
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Platinum
Silk Sonic An Evening with Silk Sonic
(released with Atlantic)
  • Released: November 12, 2021
  • Chart positions: #2 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Platinum
Kendrick Lamar Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers
(released with Top Dawg and PGLang)
  • Released: May 13, 2022
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Gold
Ez Mil Du4li7y: Redux
(released with Shady)
  • Released: August 11, 2023
  • Chart positions: —
  • RIAA certification: —
Marsha Ambrosius Casablanco
  • Released: June 28, 2024
  • Chart positions: —
  • RIAA certification: —
Eminem The Death of Slim Shady (Coup de Grâce)
(released with Shady)
  • Released: July 12, 2024
  • Chart positions: —
  • RIAA certification: –

Compilation albums

ArtistAlbumDetails
Various Artists Dr. Dre Presents: The Aftermath
The Wash
  • Released: November 6, 2001
  • Chart positions: #19 U.S. [94]
  • RIAA certification: Gold [95]
Eminem Curtain Call: The Hits
(released with Shady)
  • Released: December 6, 2005
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S. [96]
  • RIAA certification: Diamond [97]
Kendrick Lamar Untitled Unmastered
(released with Top Dawg)
  • Released: March 4, 2016
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: —
50 Cent Best of 50 Cent
(released with Shady)
  • Released: March 31, 2017
  • Chart position: #119 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: —
Various Artists Black Panther
(released with Top Dawg) [98]
  • Released: February 9, 2018
  • Chart positions: #1 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: Platinum
Eminem Curtain Call 2
(released with Shady)
  • Released: August 5, 2022
  • Chart positions: #6 U.S.
  • RIAA certification: —

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