During the mid-'90s, when West Coast rap reigned supreme, Mack 10 emerged as a close associate of Ice Cube and enjoyed several years of considerable commercial success before his popularity faded toward the end of the decade. The Los Angeles-area rapper's greatest success came early in his career, on the albums Mack 10 (1995), Bow Down (1996), Based on a True Story (1997), and The Recipe (1998), which between them included a string of notable hits ("Foe Life," "On Them Thangs," "Bow Down," "Gangstas Make the World Go Round," "Backyard Boogie," "Money's Just a Touch Away"). Mack 10's fortunes began to fade with The Paper Route (2000), his first album to fall short of either platinum or gold sales status, and his first to not spawn a significant hit. Bang or Ball (2001), released by Cash Money Records, signaled a new direction for Mack 10, though it too failed to rival the commercial success of his mid- to late-'90s output. In subsequent years, he jumped back and forth from independent to major-label status and struggled to re-establish himself in a substantially altered rap marketplace where West Coast gangsta rap had fallen out of favor.