Rakim’s departure from Dr. Dre and Aftermath was primarily a result of creative differences. Check out this XXL interview to find out exactly what these differences were. Part One, Part Two

So, do you feel like there was a sort of pressure for you to talk about more street stuff when you were on Aftermath?
Yeah, because basically that’s what Dre wanted to me to do. That was Dre’s direction. My direction is the direction that I’ve been going in for the last few years.

Was there ever a time Dre sat down and said, “You should rap about this sort of thing”?
In a nutshell, no doubt. Dre got his people around him that would speak to me, or they would ask my manager to ask me. Sitting down in the studio and speaking to Dre, he would most of the time say, “Well, that’s what I want you to talk about, Ra.” Things that go on in the ’hood, things that I’ve been around—that’s what he wanted me to speak on and that was clear. And [from] some of the people at his label, that was they message as well.