The firm was originally going to Roc-a-Fella. . .
During 1996, a supergroup of Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, Nature and Cormega was formed called The Firm. At the time, it was highest budgeted project in the history of hip-hop, which almost every music label was involved with having their artist on affair. For those that purchased the original, it had all four major labels involved, including Violator Records.
So, during that time, Jay-Z and Dame Dash were looking for a group to add to Roc-a-Fella Records, as they were also readying Reasonable Doubt. Jigga and Damon’s entire plot for the game, was to use, flip their money and venture off as straight businessmen. That successfully happened years later. Unfortunately, the powers that be, didn’t allow the two bosses to put up their own money and sign The Firm as a group to Roc-a-Fella.
Dr. Dre, Nas, Foxy and AZ were all down to join Jay-Z and Dame as well. There, the Firm would’ve had complete control on the direction they wanted to have, which means we would’ve heard different singles and a more street project. What we got was a watered-down commercial rollout from labels and politics not minding their own fucking business. This made Dr. Dre look the worst out of anybody involved, because it was his presentation before Trackmasters.
Looking back on hindsight, we’re sure none of the parties involved would’ve wanted this stench on their legacy, regardless how big the check was at the time. There was no tour money involved either, which is was hindered by its opening week of only 147,000 units sold its first week. Back then, most artists were going at least or almost GOLD during their first week, since it was no streaming/downloading.
If The Firm would’ve signed to Roc-a-Fella, there would’ve been potential for them to make something on the same pedestal as Reasonable Doubt. Since everyone involved as tapped into Mafioso rhymes inspired by Kool G Rap, then Biggie Smalls; it would’ve been epic to see with the artists in control of the album. Cormega also not being on the final album, also was awkward with original tracks not appearing.