In the '80s, the notion of starting a hip hop record label was a relatively foreign one. But since many major labels weren't exactly embracing the music (unless it was commerically feasible like, say, Run-D.M.C.), it made sense for a group like N.W.A. to go the indie route. Eazy-E's Ruthless Records became an outlet for them to get their music out. Their blueprint for success, which started with a group before each member ventured off into solo albums, has even been copied by the likes of Wu-Tang Clan and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
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