The Firm, "Phone Tap" (1997)
It should have been a triumph of East Coast-West Coast unity: A supergroup featuring Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown, and Cormega, with Dre overseeing production. But trouble brewed shortly after the Firm debuted "Affirmative Action" on Nas' 1996 hit It Was Written. First, the relatively unknown rapper Nature replaced Cormega, sparking a dispute between Nas and the Queensbridge OG that lasted for years. The following year, the Firm's The Album flopped among fans and critics, and became one of the biggest casualties of rap music's gilded "jiggy" age. The only song everyone seemed to like was "Phone Tap," which found Dre and co-producer Chris "The Glove" Taylor stripping down his signature G-funk melody to an eerily whirring buzz. Despite that small victory, Dre would often refer to the biggest flop in his career as a "firm fiasco."