Lil Wayne is claiming that he’s not the only artist at Cash Money Records to have been screwed by label head Birdman (Bryan Williams).
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Lil Wayne says that he has received letters from Drake and Nicki Minaj that state Cash Money owes them money — lots of money.
TMZ reports that there is also a second letter from Nick Minaj’s camp that indicates her producers were also stiffed by Young Money and, as the head of the company, the blame all falls on Birdman. Lil Wayne may run Young Money, but it’s a subsidiary of Cash Money. Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Tyga are all signed to Young Money.
Lil Wayne and Young Money are claiming that the were supposed to be given a large percentage of a $100 million advance from Universal. They haven’t seen the money yet, though. The advance went straight to Birdman via Cash Money Records.
On the other hand, the Cash Money camp are saying that the Lil Wayne lawsuit is unfounded. They claim that Lil Wayne and his Young Money artists received the money they were owed. According to Birdman’s legal docs, TMZ reports, Cash Money gave Lil Wayne a $20 million advance for Young Money in 2012 and another $70 million for royalties, advances, marketing, and the costs associated with recording albums for artists on Young Money
Cash Money goes on to claim that Lil Wayne owes them. They say he was supposed to create 21 albums over seven years, but he only gave them 13.
Lil Wayne and Birdman have been feuding over money and music for some time now. As this article in Rolling Stone reminds us, in December 2014, Wayne publicly tweeted that he wanted to leave Cash Money Records. At the time, he accused Cash Money and Birdman of refusing to release his next album Tha Carter V
“I want off this label and nothing to do with these people but unfortunately it ain’t that easy,” Lil Wayne wrote. “I am a prisoner and so is my creativity. Again, I am truly sorry and I don’t blame ya if ya fed up with waiting for me and this album.”
Around the same time, Wayne filed the $51 million lawsuit against Cash Money, claiming that the withheld money from him for his last two albums.
He isn’t the only Cash Money/ Young Money artist to complain. Drake also wrote about financial disputes on some of the songs on his surprise mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.
In the song “Star67,” Drake raps, “Walk up in my label like, where the check though?/ Yeah I said it, wouldn’t dap you with the left ho.”
Even the title of the mixtape has been called a coded message to Birdman.
Lil Wayne and Birdman are no longer speaking to each other, a fact that Wayne revealed to Rolling Stone in February 2015.
“I have no words,” he said. “I’m super-numb to it, to tell you the truth.”
At the time, the Lil Wayne Free Weezy album hadn’t come out yet. The Free Weezy album was released on Tidal, Jay Z’s streaming service, in July. Brdman and Cash Money swiftly filed a lawsuit, according to Forbes Magazine, claiming that Lil Wayne breached his contract by releasing Free Weezy on Tidal.
But the Tidal camp claims that Wayne’s contract with Cash Money is non-exclusive. In fact, they released the Free Weezy album in exchange for a stake in the company for Lil Wayne.
Birdman’s net worth has been pretty healthy for several years, mostly off of the popularity of Lil Wayne. Birdman is reportedly worth $150 million, according to Forbes. He is number 4 on the Forbes Top 5, a list of the wealthiest acts in hip hop. Diddy stands at the top of the pile with a reported net worth of $735 million. Dr. Dre and Jay Z are also listed as second and third, respectively.
Lil Wayne is still releasing new music despite the feud, dropping new song “Pour Up” a couple of days ago. According to Hot New Hip Hop, “Pour Up,” a Lil Wayne lean anthem, popped up on a DJ compilation and has been getting great reviews ever since.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images}