Major Players: Rappers Who Went from Indies to Majors

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  • Wiz Khalifa, Rostrum Records
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Little Brother
  • Murs
  • Talib Kweli
  • Too Short, Too $hort
  • Brother Ali
  • Kid Ink
  • E-40
  • Master P
  • Gucci Mane
  • Slim Thug
  • Mac Miller

Little Brother (ABB Records to Atlantic Records)

The North Carolina trio Little Brother went from relative unknowns to darlings of the underground with their 2003 debut album The Listening, released on ABB Records. Their movement caught the ear of not only fans, but also labels, and they inked with Atlantic to release their 2005 album The Minstrel Show. Though the album was a critical success, it didn't meet commercial expectations, moving just 18,000 units in the first week. In early 2007, they and the label split, and the group put out two more albums before disbanding in 2010. 

(Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images) 

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