During the 1990s, Dr Dre was known as the founder of Death Row Records. Following his split from NWA in 1991, Dr Dre went into business with Suge Knight to create what would become a hip-hop powerhouse.
However, in 1996, before the death of 2Pac, tensions at Death Row were high, and relationships were beginning to splinter. As such, that year, Dre (real name Andre Young) decided to establish a new label in partnership with Jimmy Iovine. Today we know it as Aftermath Entertainment. However, initially, this was not the label’s name.
In a recent appearance on the Murder Master Music Show, old-school Compton legend and veteran MC King T disclosed how he was signed to Aftermath Entertainment while it was operating under its original name. Although he was only on the roster briefly, King T (real name Roger McBride) recalled his experience.
Revealing how Aftermath began, McBride explained, “I was like one of the first artists he wanted to sign. We just ended up in the studio up at Record One, they just put on a beat, and I just knocked it out. It was so easy, and I was just happy to be there. The rhymes just came! [‘Str-8 Gone’] was one of the best songs I’ve done in my career. I was just happy to be working with Dr Dre.”
However, McBride then delved into the details concerning the label’s original name and who planned to release his record. Unveiling the little-known secret, the West Coast legend elaborated, “They didn’t even have the name of the label Aftermath when I did that song. They was calling it something else. I was there before the name Aftermath even came about. I think it was something like Black Market or something, I can’t remember!”
King T revealed that the renowned UK music label Black Market Records was in talks with Dre concerning the name. Still, they were demanding crazy amounts of money for it. Explaining the debacle, McBride continued, “You know what it was something like Black Market, but somebody else had it. They were trying to sell it to Dre for some buku money.”
King T’s single ‘Str-8 Gone’ ended up on Dr Dre’s 1996 compilation album, The Aftermath, from which Young derived the name Aftermath Entertainment. You can listen to McBride’s track ‘Str-8 Gone’ in the video below.