The Rapper: 50 Cent
The Price That Was Allegedly Paid: $1 million by Interscope Records
Was He Worth It? Um, ya think? If you compare Fif's accomplishments to the accomplishments of everyone else on this list, you'll probably start to wonder why he didn't sign a ten-million dollar signing bonus to join Team Shady back in 2002. He had the mixtapes, the street buzz, and the back story before he even set foot into the meeting with Dr. Dre and Eminem, who wanted to coax him to come to Interscope. That he went along with it and did so for just a milli means they got him for cheap.
The Rapper: Lil' Twist
The Price That Was Allegedly Paid: $1.3 million by Young Money Records
Was He Worth It? TBD. At this point, hell no. But we've seen Twist get the attention of the young ladies out there on Twitter and it seems like he might be one Justin Bieber-assisted single away from hitting the jackpot and bursting onto the mainstream. Then again, he's got about 574 labelmates at Cash Money, so we have no idea when that big break might come. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
The Rapper: Drake
The Price That Was Allegedly Paid: $2 million by Universal Motown
Was He Worth It? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And...oh yeah, YES! Drizzy's So Far Gone jumped off, "Best I Ever Had" hit the top of the charts, and Drake's debut was super highly anticipated—before he signed his deal. So he was definitely worth the cost and we're sure that whoever finally signed him was eating well last year courtesy of their Christmas bonus. Drake was a can't-miss prospect that definitely hasn't missed.
The Rapper: Shyne
The Price That Was Allegedly Paid: $3 million by Island Def Jam
Was He Worth It? Okay, so Shyne technically wasn't a rookie when IDJ inked him to a deal. But after releasing his self-titled debut and then facing a legal battle that put him behind bars for ten years, he was a "born again rookie" in a sense in 2004 when Def Jam signed him. But three million dollars for an album full of cuts that were years old by the time they surfaced? No, thank you. This was just a bad idea.
The Rapper: Jim Jones
The Price That Was Allegedly Paid: $1 million by Columbia Records
Was He Worth It? Ehhhh....Not really. We love us some Jimmy Jones, but the Capo put out a couple of independent projects on Koch Records that did okay before Columbia called. And when he basically delivered the same type of project he would have delivered on Koch with Columbia, it didn't do remarkably well. That's just Jimmy being Jimmy, though, so we won't call this a total failure.
The Rapper: Lil Wayne
The Price That Was Allegedly Paid: A presidential position at Cash Money Records, his own Young Money Records imprint, and (presumably!) Louis V. briefcases filled with cash
Was He Worth It? Ask Baby. Back before Wayne became the Best Rapper Alive, he thought about leaving Cash Money for Def Jam. But Baby quickly decided that the best thing for him would be a permanent seat at Cash Money's Board of Directors. So he gave Weezy the presidential treatment (literally!) and got him to stay. And we all see how that turned out, eh?