Major Players: Rappers Who Went from Indies to Majors

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

E-40 (Sick Wid It Records to Jive)

For decades, E-40 has been a king of the independent grind. Granted, the great majority of that time has been spent on a major label, but he’s been doing it for years with an indie mindset. After releasing his debut solo album, Federal, through his own Sick Wid It Records in 1995, 40 Water got called up to the majors and dropped In A Major Way through Jive. He’s continued dropping albums through them, and later EMI, in the years since. 

(Photo: John Ricard / BET)

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