Yesterday, XXLMag.com broke the news that Curren$y signed with a major label. Spitta’s manager confirmed with us that the underground New Orleans rep inked with Warner Bros. Records. But this isn’t the first time the 2009 XXL Freshman has been rolling with the big boys. He had deals with Master P’s New No Limit Records and a stint at Cash Money via Young Money, opting to go independent for the last few years of his career, releasing projects on Dame Dash’s BluRoc label and Amalgam Digital.
But Spitta isn’t the first rapper to start off on a major, switch to an indie and go back to the big leagues. Take a look at five more artists who went the same route.
Wiz Khalifa – Curren$y’s homie, Wiz initially signed a deal with Warner back in 2007, but after spending two years on the label without any releases, the Pittsburgh rep asked to be released and continued to earn a name for himself on the independent level with Rostrum Records. Respecting his grind, Atlantic courted Khalifa and after a long period of consideration (and plenty of paper plane smoke), Wiz joined the team in July of 2010.
Mobb Deep – Before getting picked up by Jive and after leaving Loud Records in 2003, Prodigy and Havoc did a mixtape with the shortlived indie, Landspeed Records. Titled Free Agents: The Murda Mixtae, the infamous duo from Queens soon landed another deal with Jive for Americaz Nightmare, Only to leave that major for 50 Cent’s G-Unit imprint on Interscope two years later.
Killer Mike – Mike Bigga began his career on Columbia Records but after OutKast’s label deal fell though, the ATLien opted to go for delph, dropping several releases on his own Grime Time Offical label. Just last year he signed back up with the majors, joining T.I.’s Grand Hustle roster.
Talib Kweli – Kwe started off on an indie (Rawkus Records) but made the move to a major when the label collapsed in the early 2000s, joining Geffen. After dropping two critically acclaimed discs (Quality, The Beautiful Struggle), that failed to sell as many units as expected, Talib left the label. He layed low and dropped a mixtape on Koch (Right About Now) and a free LP on Stones Throw with producer Madlib (Liberation), only to join forces with the majors once again, signing his label Blacksmith to Warner Bros. He’s currently back on the indie circuit though, after problems with WB, due to lack of promotion.
BG – BG first made his mark on Cash Money/Universal, but after a rift with label head Baby, the Hot Boy put his career in his own hands on his own label Chopper City Records. The N.O. MC eventually made enough noise where Atlantic brought him into the fold. His current situation though is unknown as he’s back to hanging with Birdman.