Aftermath Entertainment kicks off the Top 10 as the 10th most important hip-hop record label of all time.

#10 Aftermath Entertainment

In 1996, Dr. Dre was wounded from his departure from Death Row Records. He had virtually given up everything (ownership of his masters, future revenues and equity interest) to extricate himself from the madness that had swallowed up Death Row, not the least of which was the murder of Tupac Shakur. It was to no one’s surprise that Dre, the best hip-hop producer of all time, would start another record label but even with his stellar track record, Aftermath did not come out of the gates swinging. After false starts with well-known artists like Rakim, Dawn Robinson (from En Vogue), The Firm (featuring Foxy Brown, AZ, Nature and Nas), and even the good Doctor himself, it was not until 1999 that Aftermath got its first bona fide smash with Eminem. Once that happened, the label never looked back, with Eminem going on to become the best selling rap artist of all time. Since then, Aftermath has put out fewer artists than many other record labels over the same time period, but those the label did launch continue to be among the biggest names in hip-hop. Here’s a playlist showcasing just a taste of the music that has come out of the Aftermath camp. You know the names: 50 Cent, The Game, The Firm, Eminem and Dr. Dre.

Previously: #20 Rakwus Records, #19 Loud Records, #18 Select Records and #17 Fresh Records, #16 Rap-A-Lot Records, #15 Ruffhouse Records, #14 Uptown Records, #13 Cold Chillin’ Records, #12 No Limit Records, #11 Jive Records