In the early 1980s, New Edition were the hot, new teen stars of R&B. But when they returned home to Boston after their first major tour, they were shocked to discover “paychecks” that only amounted to $1.87. They sued to get out of their contract and succeeded; and moved to a major label, MCA. Only they weren’t actually signed to MCA, they were signed to a production company that signed a deal with MCA. To free themselves from the production company, they had to borrow money from MCA and buy their way out of that contract; a move that left them in debt and tied to MCA for 17 years.