Ruthless Records: More than gangsta rap focuses on Ruthless Records as a prominent record label in the 1990s that is heavily credited for its influence in the subgenre of hip hop, gangsta rap. This was thanks in part to the group signed to Ruthless Records, N.W.A.
Founded in 1987 by Eazy-E and Jerry Heller, Ruthless Records played a pivotal role in shaping the sound and culture of the genre during that decade, especially for the West Coast.
The label’s success was largely driven by its flagship group, N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes), which included Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and DJ Yella.
N.W.A’s groundbreaking album “Straight Outta Compton” (1988), released under Ruthless Records, was a landmark in gangsta rap, addressing social and political issues with raw and explicit lyrics. It sold millions of copies and solidified N.W.A’s place as one of the most influential rap groups of all time.
NOTABLE RUTHLESS RECORDS ARTISTS & RELEASES
Eazy-E: As the founder of Ruthless Records, Eazy-E released his solo albums under the label. His debut solo album, “Eazy-Duz-It” (1988), and its follow-up, “Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton” (1995), were both successful.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: This Cleveland-based rap group signed to Ruthless Records and gained immense popularity with their unique harmonizing style. Their debut album, “E. 1999 Eternal” (1995), sold over six million copies in the United States.
The D.O.C.: The D.O.C., a rapper and songwriter, released his critically acclaimed debut album, “No One Can Do It Better” (1989), under Ruthless Records. Although the album was released in the late ’80s, it continued to have an impact in the ’90s.
Above the Law: This West Coast rap group released several albums under Ruthless Records, including “Livin’ Like Hustlers” (1990) and “Black Mafia Life” (1993). While they didn’t achieve the same level of mainstream success as N.W.A, they were influential in the gangsta rap scene.
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RUTHLESS RECORDS: MORE THAN GANGSTA RAP
Ruthless Records has undergone various changes and faced challenges over the years. After the death of founder Eazy-E in 1995, the label experienced significant transitions and ownership disputes. Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, took control of the label and continued to manage its operations.
While the label may not have maintained the same level of influence and commercial success as it did during its peak in the 1990s, it has remained active, releasing albums from artists associated with the Ruthless brand.
And as always we like to close with a saying, quote or adage and today’s is from Eazy E: WE’RE NOT MAKING RECORDS FOR THE FUN OF IT; WE’RE IN IT TO MAKE MONEY.
Now, go forth and change the game!