1995: 2Pac released on bail
Less than a month after signing with Death Row while inside the walls of New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility, Tupac Shakur became a free man again. He had been appealing his sexual assault conviction and was allowed to go free if he could post the $1.4 million bail. Over the wishes of parent company Time Warner, Interscope Records president Jimmy Iovine advanced the money to Death Row, which was distributed by Interscope.
He was flown back to Los Angeles, where he immediately started work on the album All Eyez on Me. “I made some mistakes,” he told the Los Angeles Times. But I’m ready to move on. … I’ve been in the studio every waking hour since I got out. Me and my producer Johnnie ‘J.’ keep coming up with new songs till people start passing out. Then we come back early in the morning and start over. You’re going to feel the entire 11 months of what I went through on this album. I’m venting my anger.”
2005: Warren G waits until the Mid-Nite Hour
More than a decade after helping to define the G-funk sound, Warren G put out his fifth album, In the Mid-Nite Hour. The album featured verses by longtime friends Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, B-Real and Ice Cube, but unlike those artists, he had difficulty maintaining his commercial success in the new millennium. The album only reached No. 80 on the Billboard 200 — a slight improvement from 2001’s The Return of the Regulator‘s No. 83 — and none of its singles reached the Hot 100.