The Past, Present
and Future of Aftermath Entertainment
Rewritten By: Incognito
This an article updated about the ever changing Aftermath
Entertainment. Well, unless you have been living under
a fuckin rock for the past 5 years, Aftermath Entertainment
was established in 1996, after a disgruntled Dr. Dre
fled the corrupted scene from his one time dynasty,
Death Row Records. Dre once again started from nothing,
but he was free and his own man ready to make music
without the burden of Suge Knight. His label gave
him a new lease on life, and The Doctor was compelled
to put out new artists again.
Dre Presents...The Aftermath" was thrown together by
Dre and a staff of young producers, "The Soul Kitchen."
The album broke in new artists that we haven't really
heard of making one big ass demo tape. The only artist
that made the cut from that album to still be on the
label is Mel-Man. Yeah, the rest were tossed by Dre
and are probably having nervous breakdowns to this day.
Dre made a right decision, Mel-Man is a fuckin dope
producer. For the bitches that ain't knowin, "The Aftermath"
compilation went PLATINUM. Well, most people look
at that album as a flop compared to The Doctor's past
projects. In October 1997 came The Firm, a collective
of East coast rapper's summoned by Dre to be the second
release on his label. Dre and his staff of producers
had to meet a deadline for the album which forced him
to be involved in only a few tracks. Another disappointment,
Dre was beat up by critics again, but the album went
plat. We would never here from The Firm again
on, Dre struggled to develop artists for the label,
struggling to complete records for artists like singer
Dawn Robinson, and King Tee. King Tee's project was
a mess, it was so close to dropping that you can still
see pages on Tower Records.com to buy it, tracklisting
and all. "Thy Kingdom Come" was the
title, and The Source even reviewed the bitch givin
it 3.5 mics outta 5. Actually, their even was
a video if I'm not mistaken for "Got it Locked" in the
summer of '98. Oh well, Dre canceled that shit, and
King Tee is STILL shoppin the album around...God dam.
Dre also ran into a Philly native by the name of Eve,
but then was dropped from the label after Dre met Eminem...we'll
get to that later. Anyway, the two reunited on Eve's
second record, "Scorpion." ONYX rapper Sticky
Fingaz was pursued by Dre and signed to Aftermath making
appearances on Snoop's "Topp Dogg" album, and Em's "The
Marshall Mathers LP"...then in the summer of 1999 he
departed from Aftermath. What was the problem? Why weren't
people accepting Dre's music, no Snoop? Or because Dre
was all of a sudden workin with East coast artists and
the audience just wasn't use to it? Well, just to give
you an idea, I have a list of how many artists Dre has
cycled through since late 1996...
The Last Emperor
WOW...Dre tossed them as soon as he got em, LOL. I don't
know if that's all of the artists, but I'm pretty sure
they ain't on his label anymore. Shit, remember when
Dre was asked who was gonna be on his Chronic 2 album
in the summer of '98? Well, I do, and the first people
he mentioned were Diesel, Punch and Hittman. Their names
even ended up on a Chronic 2001 add in The Source back
in September '99, guess Dre scratched them out...except
'99. What gave life to the label was a white rapper
from Detroit, Eminem. From the release of his 1999 Aftermath
debut, "The Slim Shady LP", things could only go up
from there. The album would eventually turn 4x platinum,
and Slim Shady would inspire Dr. Dre to record his comeback
album...which would be even bigger. November 1999 would
bring about the resurrection of Dre, releasing "Dr.
Dre 2001", and taking Aftermath to the top in terms
of sales and the rap game. The record was a success,
topping Eminem's album sales, and ending up 6x platinum.
But Aftermath would reach it's peak in 2000, when Eminem's
highly anticipated sophomore attempt, "The Marshall
Mathers LP" would excel up to a whopping 7x platinum.
Yeah, Dr. Dre and Aftermath had the loot comin in non
stop. So things were lookin good for Aftermath, each
album's sales had increased since "The Slim Shady LP"
up to "The Marshall Mathers LP."
So in a span of 5 years, Dre has released only 6 albums
off of his Aftermath label. In about 2 years,
Snoop's Doggystyle Records has put out just as many.
We all know Dre is a perfectionist, and 2001 saw only
one album from Aftermath, it was a soundtrack to "The
Wash." 2001 was the year Dre worked away
from his label and focused on acts outside the West
coast. Dre blessed rappers such as Eve, Bilal
and Mary J Blige with hot singles this past year.
Being busy producing acts outside his camp, Dre released,
"The Wash" at the end of 2001 which exposed Aftermath
newcomers Truth Hurts, Shaunta and Joe Beast to the
hip-hop scene. Lot of people may feel the soundtrack
was premature, as the release was pushed up. Originally,
this was to be Dre and Snoop's, 'Break Up To Make Up'
album. Only 2 songs appeared with them together.
This was a big disappointment to many West coast fans
who expected 4-6 collabos. Half of the album was
filler quality, not consisting of work from the Aftermath
fam. The tracks that did involve Dre were scorchers,
like the title track which many see as a classic song.
Still, many fans would have loved to see Hittman or
Rakim alongside this soundtrack.
the spring of 2002, Dre will put out Shari Watson aka
Truth Hurts. This first lady of Aftermath, is
a soul/R&B vocalist hailing from St. Louis who is
one of the latest additions signed by Dr. Dre. She almost
came out of nowhere, making appearances on the Up In
Smoke Tour. Dre is also very excited about her record,
and it will be interesting to see how this will turn
out. Since this will be Aftermath's first R&B
solo project, and Dre'e first since Michell'e.
Dre has had past success with R&B, like with Michel'le,
when he produced her album back in 1990. "Ain't
That The Truth" is Dre's #1 priority right now.
He has ushered in DJ Quik, D'Angelo, R. Kelly and Organized
Noise to make this one special album. Right now,
Dre is grooming Truth perfectly for when her debut album
drops. Dre and her have recorded about 70 tracks
for this album, taking a similar approach to when Dre
was in the process of recording, "Dr. Dre 2001."
I can't wait for her album. Her opera-like vocals
have been used on some tracks like, "Nasty Mind," "Holla"
and most recently on her own joint, "Benefit Of The
Doubt." "Benefit Of The Doubt" is just a small
taste of the talent The Truth holds. She'll showcase
her capabilities to the fullest on her upcoming album.
there's Hittman, heads have been wanting an album from
him ever since they heard him on "2001." He came
aboard with Aftermath in April of 1998. His was supposed
to drop in 2000, but it didn't. Then we thought
2001...nope. With recent interviews, it looks
like Hittman's time will either be 2002 or never, as
far as a home for Aftermath is concerned. The
title for his long awaited debut, "Hitt's Big Score"
will try to be released in the summer of 2002.
That is when Hittman would like it, but Hittman doesn't
run Aftermath. Dre is still looking for that first
single to catapult Hitt into the mainstream. If
and when the album does drop, look for it at the end
of summer 2002, with featured production from Battlecat,
DJ Quik, Jay-Dee of Slum Village, Soul Aquarians, Mel-Man
and 5-7 tracks from The D-R-E. Hitt said the basically
the whole Aftermath click will appear on his album:
Dre, Truth and Eminem. Also look for Devin The
Dude and Knoc-Turn'al on the album. Giving that
"The Wash" hasn't been selling that well, there is a
greater chance of Hittman's album to come out sooner
as well as other Aftermath projects. Don't give
up hope on this album yet folks.
Aftermath is in
better shape then ever, and Dr. Dre is gonna strive
even more for perfection. In late November, Dre signed
veteran East coast rapper Rakim to his Aftermath outfit.
You've seen the Doctor get excited over projects like
Truth Hurts. He sounded so hyped for this Rakim
album that he had to put aside the N.W.A record to focus
on Rakim. Dre said that the Rakim record is titled,
"Oh My God," and will be "The BEST album I have ever
been involved in." Man, I sure hope so.
He stated that Rakim's album would drop sometime in
the spring 2001, that hasn't happened yet. This could
really be a great record, best meets best type of thing
if Dre can release this one. With Dre overseeing the
project and producing along with Mel-Man and Primo,
this could be all that it's cracked up to be. "Oh My
God" was chosen as the number ONE most anticipated album
for 2001 by hiphopsite.com, also on their was Hittman,
and Truth Hurts. None of which have dropped in
2001. The status on the "Oh My God" project is
a lil different than previously thought to have been.
Originally scheduled to hit in the spring/summer 2001,
progress has apparently slowed down. Realistically,
I don't think anyone could have expected a classic album
to be recorded in just 5 months. Dr. Dre doesn't
operate that way. Whether or not this album will
drop in 2002 is iffy, but with the production wits of
Dre himself, Mel-Man, Fredwreck, Primo and Alchemist
joining forces with the lyrical talent of Rakim, prepare
to litterally scream out, 'OH MY GOD.'
Alright, now that
we've got that covered let's compare Aftermath's roster
to the past's. I got some artists that I know are on
the label, I don't know if it's all of them though...this
isn't official, but I've done the research. I
think I'm very close:
Okay, I'm pretty sure for everyone. Talented bassist/track
writer, Mike Elizondo signed a deal with Dre in 2000
to work alongside him on Aftermath. The roster
has some great talents, Dre, Eminem, Rakim, Truth, Hittman
and Mel-Man. The lineup isn't packed like Doggystyle's,
but is more solid than ever. Dre has boiled it down
to two producers, and getting rid of many R&B acts
as well. We all know about Mel-Man, Eminem, Hittman
etc, but the only times we've heard from Ms. Roq was
on Dre's Chronic 2001 album. Ms. Roq from what
I know of is a female MC from Philly that was hooked
up by her cousin, Mel-Man. She's possesses rugged rhyme
talents droppin heat on "Let's Get High," "Murder Ink",
and a couple of skits on Dre's record. Besides that
info I really don't now much more about her, expect
her on "Knocs Landin." Another newcomer, Philly
rapper Joe Beast hails from the same project as Mel-Man,
'The Hill.' "The Wash" is where Beast did his
thang over a booming Mel-Man instrumental. The
track, "NO," is a song where the P.A. native spits some
rhymes to let is know he has landed. Shaunta is
calm female MC who rapped the erotic song, "Good Lovin"
on "The Wash." She is a member of Aftermath now,
expect her to do her thang alongside Truth Hurts, and
her album. Hopefully, we'll get to see more of
them in the near future. As for the artists Dre dumped,
like King Tee, RBX and Bud'da, I think he should have
kept them. King Tee was hot, but the mainstream probably
wouldn't except him, RBX is always tight, but that goes
the same for him too. Dre could have used Bud'da as
another producer for the label, he's dope. One guy makin
some noise recently is keyboardist turned producer Scott
Storch, who is down with Dre and Aftermath.
is confusing, hopefully Dre will learn to have faith
with his artists and stick with them, helping to build
their careers. For now, 2002 is looking solid for Dre's
click, he's hoping to put out successful records from
Truth Hurts, Hittman, Eminem and the great Rakim.
Looking ahead, the big bang will come on "Detox," Dre's
conclusion to his solo career. This will be mind
blowing. Dre has executive produced each Aftermath
project so far, if he wants to put out 3 or more records
a year, I suggest he involves Mel-Man, Scott Storch
and Mike Elizondo in doing separate projects instead
of always teaming up with him on albums. They
know what Dre wants now. Aftermath Records is
an important part in West coast hip hop, helping fuel
the resurgence of it back in 1999...peace. - Incognito