As a former Aftermath Entertainment artist, Brian “Hittman” Bailey offered some insight into the inner workings of the label and Dr. Dre, during an exclusive interview with Not Mad. According to Hittman, Dre could only be enthusiastic about another artist’s project when he wasn’t focused on a project of his own.
The former Aftermath rapper also spoke on Game and revealed why he feels Game was fortunate during his time spent at the label.
“I’ll give it to you like this. Game was fortunate for two reasons: 50 liked what he was doing, so he was able to jump ship, and Dre wasn’t working on his own album at that time,” Hittman said during his interview with Not Mad. “Those who were fortunate to be around when Dre wasn’t 100% focused on his own album were the ones able to launch their careers. But those who were positioned to springboard off of a Dre album (like 2001) got lost in the shuffle. If he’s focused (on his album), all your energy is focused on helping him see his vision. Once he doesn’t have enthusiasm about what you’re doing, it wanes.”
Hittman also recalled the fame that came along with being an artist signed to Aftermath at the time. He says it was like living under Dr. Dre’s shield, and added that going out with Dre was almost the equivalent of carrying a Black Card.
“That’s what I think happened to each and every artist (on Aftermath), and you also kind of get used to being under his shield,” he said. “You can get in to all the clubs, you know, ‘I’m rolling with Dre’ is kind of like a Black Card, it’s Aftermath motherfucker! So when you get on your own, you don’t really know how to fend for yourself, it’s like ‘which way do I go?’ (Dre) pretty much has a blank check budget, but you don’t. You don’t have the amenities that you’ve grown accustomed to having during his recording process and all of a sudden your comfort zone is snatched from under you with no real explanation. You feel slighted and helpless and unable to fend for yourself, well at least that’s how I felt. Not having the resolve on how to deal with those kinds of feelings can quickly send you into a state of obscurity. And yes, the political side of the music game stifled all my creativity and in that instance I totally lost my love for music and replaced it with disdain and hatred for it.”
Earlier this year, Hittman touched on his relationship with Dr. Dre in his verse on Asoka’s, “The Humble Hustle.” On the record, he raps:
“Spitting for Andre til he said ‘Stop, that’s all I gotta hear’ / Then and right there, dreamed of ballin’ and gear / All-in-all an illustrious career / Well, I thought wrong. Thought I was on. Got hella gonged.”