Lil Wayne vs. CashMoney: Can the RapperLeave the Label He’sBeen With Since HeWas 13?

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Album delays are nothing new for Lil Wayne. But
the MC sent shockwaves through the hip-hop
world on Dec. 4 when he publicly blamed his label
for the ever-shifting release date of his new
album, Tha Carter V . Calling himself a “prisoner,”
he tweeted, “I want off this label and nothing to
do with these people.” [Ed note: Wayne tweeted
yesterday (Dec. 11): “YM! That’s it.”] The barb
was aimed at Cash Money’s co-founders Bryan
“Baby” and Ronald “Slim” Williams — who
signed a prepubescent Wayne in the early 1990s
— but particularly Bryan, whom Wayne, 32, has
described as a surrogate father. Baby has a giant
image of Wayne tattooed on his left pectoral, and
the pair released an album together in 2006
called Like Father, Like Son .
While the full nature of Wayne’s dissatisfaction
with the label is unclear, some speculate that he
feels he’s underpaid, like several ’90s-era Cash
Money artists before him. Juvenile, B.G . and
Mannie Fresh departed amid financial disputes,
with Fresh telling Hip Hop Weekly that his time on
Cash Money was like “slavery.” (He did reunite
with Wayne for V , however, and Juvenile has since
rejoined the label.) Similarly, a host of producers
has accused the label of nonpayment, including
“Lollipop” co-producers Jim Jonsin and Deezle,
and Bangladesh, who made Wayne hits including
“A Milli” and “6 Foot 7 Foot.” (All three have since
settled with the label.)
“I’m shocked by this,” says DJ Peter Rosenberg
of WQHT (Hot 97) New York. “Wayne and Baby
have one of the most storied CEO-artist
relationships ever, and I never thought it would
end.”
Long Cash Money’s marquee artist and
steadfastly loyal until now, Wayne has been
gradually eclipsed by Drake — a friction playfully
discussed in the pair’s recent joint tour — who,
along with Nicki Minaj, is also signed to Wayne’s
sublabel Young Money. Drake’s Nothing Was the
Same was the seventh best seller of 2013, with
1.3 million units sold in that year alone, according
to Nielsen Music, followed by a string of hits this
year ( see story ).
Wayne, the Williamses and Wayne’s managers,
Cortez Bryant and Gee Roberson at Blueprint
Group, declined Billboard’s requests for comment,
though Bryant did give a brief interview to TMZ
on Dec. 5 in which he said, “We good, I’m ­
smiling. I wouldn’t be out at the club right
now.” (He later issued a statement to the site,
noting that his tone was intended as “sarcastic”
and that the situation with Cash Money was
“serious.”)
It’s unclear when V will arrive, and while Wayne’s
albums are usually delayed, the new work has yet
to produce a monster advance single like
“Lollipop,” the Hot 100-topping hit that preceded
2008’s Tha Carter III . Wayne’s best-performing
2014 single, “Believe Me,” peaked at No. 26 on
the Hot 100 (No. 7 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs )
and has sold 678,000 copies, but is anchored by
a verse and hook from Drake.
Although Wayne claims the situation will quickly
be resolved in his favor — “We’ll be out of this
soon,” he said cryptically at a show in Brooklyn
on Dec. 5 — that seems unlikely, considering he
has released just one album from a four-album
deal that he signed with the label for an
undisclosed amount in 2012.
The controversy comes at a difficult time in
Wayne’s career, which peaked with the triple-
platinum Tha Carter III , the best-selling album of
2008. (He has since been to jail, hospitalized due
to serious seizures and ordered to give up his
prescription cough syrup.) 2011’s critically
panned Tha Carter IV sold 2.4 million copies, but
recent releases have faltered.
Some feel a fresh start could be the best thing for
Wayne’s musical career. “When you have artists
unhappy with their label homes, their creativity
suffers,” says Deezle, adding that he and Wayne
have made unreleased music that was deemed
too experimental for Cash Money. “I’m sure once
he’s happy, he would have another creative
spike.”

Woksben

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2 thoughts on “Lil Wayne vs. CashMoney: Can the RapperLeave the Label He’sBeen With Since HeWas 13?

  1. Pingback: Mack Maine Nicki Minaj, ‘Praying’ Lil Wayne & Birdman Resolve Beef; New Mixtape Coming ‘Soon’ | WOKSBEN

  2. Pingback: Mack Maine, Nicki Minaj, ‘Praying’ Lil Wayne & Birdman Resolve Beef; New Mixtape Coming ‘Soon’ | WOKSBEN

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