In 1986, at the age of 22, Wright had allegedly earned as much as US$250,000 from dealing drugs. However, after his cousin was shot and killed, he decided that he could make a better living in the Los Angeles hip hop scene, which was growing rapidly in popularity. He started recording songs during the mid-1980s in his parents' garage.
The original idea for Ruthless Records came when Wright asked Heller to go into business with him. Wright suggested a half-ownership company, but it was later decided that Wright would get eighty percent of the company's income and Heller would only get twenty percent. According to Heller, he told Wright, "Every dollar comes into Ruthless, I take twenty cents. That's industry standard for a manager of my caliber. I take twenty, you take eighty percent. I am responsible for my and you're responsible for yours. You own the company. I work for you." Along with Heller, Wright invested much of his money into Ruthless Records. Heller claims that he invested the first $250,000 and would eventually put up to $1,000,000 into the company.
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