Dr. Dre's Former Protégé Hittman Gives His Opinion On Why Artists Didn't Succeed On Aftermath
(AllHipHop News) Dr. Dre's musical family tree includes some of the biggest names in Hip Hop history. The careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar were all helped in part by their association with the legendary producer. But Dre also has quite a few artists attached to his name that did not break out to become stars. One of those individuals is Hittman.
Brian “Hittman” Bailey was one of the first acts to sign with Dre's Aftermath label, and he made several appearances on the 1999 Dre album 2001. Even with that huge look, Hittman never saw an album released under Aftermath and eventually parted ways with the imprint.
Hittman spoke with NotMad about his departure from the house that Dre built. He gave his interpretation on why things did not work out well for him with the company and perhaps why other artists like Truth Hurts, Bishop Lamont, and Slim The Mobster failed to succeed with Dre as well.
I’ll give it to you like this. Game was fortunate for two reasons: 50 liked what he was doing, so he was able to jump ship, and Dre wasn’t working on his own album at that time. Those who were fortunate to be around when Dre wasn’t 100% focused on his own album were the ones able to launch their careers. But those who were positioned to springboard off of a Dre album (like 2001) got lost in the shuffle. If he’s focused (on his album), all your energy is focused on helping him see his vision. Once he doesn’t have enthusiasm about what you’re doing, it wanes.
That’s what I think happened to each and every artist (on Aftermath), and you also kind of get used to being under his shield. You can get in to all the clubs, you know, ‘I’m rolling with Dre’ is kind of like a Black Card, it’s Aftermath motherf**ker! Laughs. So when you get on your own, you don’t really know how to fend for yourself, it’s like “which way do I go?” (Dre) pretty much has a blank check budget, but you don’t. You don’t have the amenities that you’ve grown accustomed to having during his recording process and all of a sudden your comfort zone is snatched from under you with no real explanation. You feel slighted and helpless and unable to fend for yourself, well at least that’s how I felt. Not having the resolve on how to deal with those kinds of feelings can quickly send you into a state of obscurity. And yes, the political side of the music game stifled all my creativity and in that instance I totally lost my love for music and replaced it with disdain and hatred for it.