We've seen it a million times.

That aspiring hip-hop artist who gets a boatload of hype before they actually land a deal--it's usually either through buzzed-about mixtapes or a high-profile association. Then the album drops, and no matter how much buzz was swirling around them--they lay an egg.

Being affiliated with a Jay Z or a Lil Wayne can help build a base, but it can't sustain a career. And one big Web hit isn't going to be enough to make you a household name for years to come. But it keeps happening--labels keep scooping up artists, milking them for their short-term buzz, then dropping them where they left them.

Landing a major deal can reap major benefits for a young rhymer, but here are 10 artists whose signings yielded more questions than answers.