Cash Money Records (formerly styled as Ca$h Money Records) is an American record label founded by two brothers, Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams. The label is distributed by Republic Records, which used to be Universal Republic. The label itself has been home to a roster of hip hop artists that includes Drake and Nicki Minaj, which has led to Cash Money to becoming one of the most successful record labels in hip-hop history.
Artists signed to Cash Money Records have achieved a combined 12 number one albums on the Billboard 200 chart and 7 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (Juvenile's "Slow Motion", Lil Wayne's "Lollipop", Jay Sean's "Down" and Drake's "One Dance", "God's Plan", "Nice for What", and "In My Feelings").
|Cash Money Records|
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Founder||Ronald "Slim" Williams|
Bryan "Birdman" Williams
(In the US)
Universal Music Group
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Cash Money Records was founded in 1991. Bryan Williams told some of his close friends the motivation for starting the label:
I was hoping it would get us out of the projects and into a positive way of life. And we wanted to help other people get out of this poverty
Along the way he met a lot of influential people on the road with the Hot Boys. Wendy Day negotiated the deal between Cash Money and Universal Músic Group's Universal Records (now Republic Records), which became an 80%-20% distribution deal. Later, UMG acquired a portion of Cash Money Records, making it a UMG subsidiary.
For its first few years (1991–1997), Cash Money played host to a number of local releases by artists, selling only one album, without ever releasing a music video or having a Billboard hit. Some of the label's releases garnered some regional success in New Orleans, Louisiana, but the label was little known to the national rap scene. Artists on the label during this period included the group U.N.L.V. (Uptown Niggas Living Violently), Kilo G, Lil Slim, Pimp Daddy, and PxMxWx. Cash Money Records' opening salvo was the release of Kilo G's 'The Sleepwalker.' Rapper Kilo G was just 15 years old when his Cash Money debut arrived in 1992, and his album was sold out of the trunk of the Williams brothers' car. In 1993, the label signed young rappers B.G. and Lil Wayne they later formed The B.G.'z (Baby Gangstaz) and released True Story. The rest of the signees marked what would be the second wave of Cash Money artists. In the beginning of 1997, after Kilo G and Pimp Daddy was murdered, Cash Money signed a slur of new artists including Juvenile who already had a buzz in the streets in the early 1990s. At this time Turk and another local rapper by the name of Bulletproof aka lil Derrick joined the roster. In May 1997 Birdman organized a rap group that included Juvenile, B.G., Turk and Bulletproof. After the passing of his father lil Wayne joined the group and they became the Hot Boys. Shortly before the Hot Boys took off, Bulletproof left the group and was later killed in 2002. Cash Money's big break came in 1998 when the Hot Boys, B.G. and Juvenile in particular, caught the attention of Universal Records executives.
In 1998, Cash Money signed a $30 million pressing and distribution with $3 million advance contract with Universal, entitling the label to 85% of its royalties, 50% of its publishing revenues and ownership of all masters. Dino Delvaille, who orchestrated the deal, later told HitQuarters: "I made certain they retained 100% ownership of their work. They deserve it."
After the deal Cash Money records achieved a new level of success. The release of Juvenile's 1998 album 400 Degreez, which was certified 4X Platinum by the RIAA, solidified Cash Money as a powerful label in the national hip-hop scene. Later albums in 1999 such as the Hot Boys' Guerrilla Warfare, B.G.'z Chopper City in the Ghetto, and Lil Wayne's Tha Block Is Hot also saw great chart success and furthered the label's reputation. These albums contained major Billboard hits such as Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up" (#19 on the Billboard Hot 100), B.G.'s "Bling Bling" (#36), and the Hot Boys' "I Need a Hot Girl" (#65). All of Cash Money's albums and singles in this period were solely produced by the label's in-house producer, Mannie Fresh. Their A&R at Universal, Dino Delvaille, said:
When they first came into the business, they were very reluctant to make records with other people. They probably felt that people would steal their style or flavor, and I had to work hard to get them to open up to making records with Cam'ron, Puffy, and Clipse, among others.
This label's success continued into the 2000s. Between 2001 and 2003, the label sold 7 million albums. The song "Still Fly" by the Big Tymers was nominated for two Grammy Awards. However, B.G. and Juvenile left the label in 2002, claiming financial mismanagement. In April 2003, Juvenile returned to the label for a reported $4 million deal, and in return, he signed over the rights to Juve The Great, an album which sold over a million copies and contained the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit "Slow Motion". In 2007, former Hot Boys member Lil Wayne was named president of Cash Money Records and CEO of Young Money Entertainment. Later that year, Lil Wayne stepped down as president to focus on his career, especially Tha Carter III. In 2008, Lil Wayne re-signed with Cash Money, ensuring that his next few albums will be produced by the label.
In September 2008, Cash Money released rocker Kevin Rudolf's smash-hit debut single "Let It Rock" featuring label-mate Lil Wayne. On October 15, 2008 at the MOBO Awards, British R&B singer Jay Sean announced that he had signed with Cash Money Records. In February 2009, the Williams brothers were featured in CNBC's Newbos: The Rise of America's New Black Overclass, a documentary show profiling several black multi-millionaires. In early 2009 former Roc-A-Fella Records artist Freeway signed with the label. On August 16, 2009, Bow Wow announced that he signed with Cash Money Records.
In 2009, they took part in a major label bidding war for Queens native rapper Nicki Minaj. Eventually, they won the bidding war and Nicki Minaj was signed to them exclusively for Young Money. Cash Money Records popularity grew after signing Minaj and Canadian rapper Drake. On August 5, 2010, production group Cool & Dre signed with Cash Money Records. The production group announced the news via Twitter. They are the first in house producer Cash Money has had since Mannie Fresh.
On August 19, 2010, Birdman signed DJ Khaled to the label also signing his label We the Best Music Group as a subsidiary of Cash Money. On February 24, 2012, Cash Money Records signed the nu metal band Limp Bizkit. Wayne said the same day they were close to signing Ashanti.
In February 2013, Birdman released a compilation mixtape with Cash Money and Young Money, entitled Rich Gang: All Stars. Shortly afterwards, he announced a compilation album entitled Rich Gang: Flashy Lifestyle that was due to be released on May 21, 2013—it featured members of Cash Money, Young Money, and various collaborators. The first single from the project, "Tapout" was released on March 19, 2013, and features Lil Wayne, Future, Mack Maine, and Nicki Minaj, with production by 808 Mafia's Southside and TM88. "Fly Rich" featuring Stevie J, Future, Tyga, Meek Mill and Mystikal was also released as a promotional single.
The album's release date was then pushed back to July 23, 2013, while the title was also shortened to just Rich Gang. The album garnered a mixed critical reception and debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200. On October 12, 2013, Birdman announced that he had signed West Coast gangsta rapper The Game, to Cash Money, in addition to several unnamed New York rappers. On December 11, 2013, The Game subsequently clarified that he was not officially signed to Cash Money Records.
On December 4, 2014, just five days before Tha Carter V was due to be released, Wayne issued a statement saying the album would not be released on its expected release date due to his displeasure with Birdman refusing to release the album, although it had been completed. Wayne also expressed his feelings by stating he felt he and his creative partner were being held "prisoner". Lil Wayne filed a lawsuit. On January 20, 2015, Wayne self-released Sorry 4 the Wait 2, a sequel to his 2011 mixtape, to compensate for the continued delay of Tha Carter V. Upon Sorry for the Wait 2's release, it was noted that Wayne disses Birdman and Cash Money Records several times throughout. Birdman was reported to be upset with this. In late January 2015, Lil Wayne filed a $51 million lawsuit against Birdman and Cash Money over the delay of Tha Carter V.
In January 2015, Wayne stated that when he leaves Cash Money, he would take Drake and Nicki Minaj with him. On June 22, TMZ reported new details on the lawsuit. According to documents filed by Lil Wayne, Birdman and Cash Money have mismanaged Young Money, including Drake and Minaj. The documents allege that Birdman and Cash Money haven't paid people. Mainly the Mother, creative talent and mastermind behind the Like Father Like Son Era, Shiloh The Mystery, patiently waited for inclusion. Nothing happened and lawsuits ensued. Free C5 became the mantra to get money to the unpaid artist. In June 2015, Wayne joined Jay-Z's Tidal as an artist owner and exclusively released a single on the service titled "Glory." On July 4, 2015, Wayne released Free Weezy Album exclusively through Tidal under Young Money and Republic Records. On July 15, prosecutors allege Birdman and Young Thug conspired to murder Lil Wayne and were involved in the April 26 shooting. On July 16, Birdman filed a $50 million lawsuit against Jay Z's Tidal streaming service over Lil Wayne's Free Weezy Album. The lawsuit claims that Cash Money Records exclusively owns the rights to Lil Wayne's music, although he is now independent and the label no longer owns these rights.
On April 12, 2017, Birdman accepted a plaque in honor of Cash Money Records having sold one billion units. On September 13, 2018, it was announced that Young Money was no longer a joint business venture with Cash Money. Ownership of the imprint was granted entirely to Lil Wayne as part of the legal settlements with Birdman that were finalized.
|Act||Year signed (as of 2018)||# Albums under label||Imprint||Subsidiary|
|Slim tha Don||Co-founder||3||Rich Gang|
|Mack Maine||2005||5||Soothe Your Soul Records|
|Lil Twist||2007||4||New Money Records|
|Nicki Minaj||5||Pink Friday Records|
|Paris Hilton||1||Cash Money||–|
||Flame Gang Music|
|Stafford Brothers||2012||–||Cash Money||–|
||Money Mack Entertainment|
|Rich Homie Quan||2||Rich Gang||–|
|Juvenile||2014 (re-sign)||5||Cash Money||–|
|Turk||2015 (re-sign)||1||YNT Records|
|AR-Ab||2015||–||Cash Money||OBH Records|
|Compton Menace||2||Money Hogg Records|
|Neno Calvin||–||Rich Gang||–|
|Derez De'shon Lenard||2||–|
|Sy Ari da Kid||–|
|Robb Banks||2017||–||Rich Gang||–|
|Elettra Lamborghini||–||Cash Money||–|
From its founding until 2005, Mannie Fresh was the well-known production head of all Cash Money releases, as the label's resident producer. The label would be without a proper in-house producer until August 2010, when production duo Cool & Dre signed to the label. Since then, the label has grown its production division by signing more producers.
In October 2009, Cash Money Records, Birdman, Lil Wayne and various music distribution outlets were sued for copyright infringement by Thomas Marasciullo, who claims his voice was used without permission. The rappers asked him to record some "Italian-styled spoken word recordings" in 2006. The lyrics were allegedly used on "Respect" and other tracks from the rappers' collaboration album Like Father, Like Son and Birdman's 5 * Stunna.
In 2011, Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne, Universal Music Group, and Young Money Entertainment were sued for US$15 million by Done Deal Enterprises, who claim Lil Wayne's song "BedRock" was stolen from Done Deal.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
(as Rich Gang)
500 Degreez is the third studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne. It was released on July 23, 2002, by Cash Money Records and Universal Records. The album's title was inspired by the album 400 Degreez (1998), by a fellow rapper Juvenile (who was his label mate).Ace Hood
Antoine McColister (born May 11, 1988), better known by his stage name Ace Hood, is an American rapper. He was born in Port St. Lucie, Florida and raised in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He was formerly signed to DJ Khaled's label We the Best Music Group, Def Jam Recordings and Cash Money Records. His song "Top of the World", from his debut studio album Gutta, was featured in the basketball simulation game, NBA 2K10. He has released four studio albums with his most successful being his last two albums, Blood, Sweat & Tears (2011) and Trials & Tribulations (2013). He is best known for the hit singles "Hustle Hard" and "Bugatti". In 2016, McColister announced his departure from We the Best Music.B.G. (rapper)
Christopher Noel Dorsey (born September 3, 1980), better known by his stage name B.G. (short for "Baby Gangsta"), is an American rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana. He began his music career signing to Cash Money Records in 1993, with Lil Wayne (then known as Baby D.) as half of the duo The B.G.'z. Both, along with rappers Juvenile and Turk, collectively formed the group, the Hot Boys in 1997. In 2001, B.G. resigned from Cash Money Records and created his own label, Chopper City Records.Big Money Heavyweight
Big Money Heavyweight is the fifth and final studio album by hip hop duo Big Tymers. It was released on December 9, 2003, through Cash Money Records and was mainly produced by Mannie Fresh, with other production handled by R. Kelly, Jazze Pha and Leslie Brathwaite. The album debuted at number 21 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 116,000 copies in the US and was certified Gold by the RIAA.Birdman (rapper)
Bryan Christopher Williams (born Bryan Christopher Brooks; February 15, 1969), known by his stage name Birdman (also known as Baby), is an American rapper, record executive and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and public face of Cash Money Records which he founded with his older brother Ronald "Slim" Williams in 1991. Birdman released his eponymous debut album in 2002, and has gone on to release four solo studio albums in total. Aside from his solo career, he is also a member of the hip-hop duo Big Tymers, along with producer Mannie Fresh.
Along with his solo work and numerous releases with the Big Tymers, Birdman has released a collaboration album and numerous tracks with fellow rapper and protégé Lil Wayne, whom he discovered and took under his wing at an early age. Birdman has also made his name by contributing to the making of YMCMB (Young Money Cash Money Billionaires), a combination of the former's "Cash Money" and Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment imprint under the label. Birdman has also founded the project and hip hop supergroup Rich Gang, bringing attention to artists such as Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan.Busta Rhymes
Trevor George Smith Jr. (born May 20, 1972), known by his stage name Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, singer, musician, record producer, record executive, and actor. Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him the moniker Busta Rhymes, after NFL and CFL wide receiver George "Buster" Rhymes. He is best known for his outlandish style and fashion sense depicted in several innovative music videos as well as his intricate rhyming technique, rapping at high speed with heavy use of internal rhyme and half rhyme. He has received 11 Grammy Award nominations for his work.
About.com included him on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), while Steve Huey of AllMusic called him one of the best and most prolific rappers of the 1990s. In 2012, The Source placed him on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. MTV has called him "one of hip-hop's greatest visual artists".Busta Rhymes was an original member of Leaders of the New School. He later went on and founded the record label Conglomerate (initially Flipmode Entertainment) and production crew The Conglomerate (formerly Flipmode Squad). In November 2011, Busta Rhymes signed a deal with Cash Money Records. On July 23, 2014, Busta Rhymes announced that he left Cash Money Records due to creative differences and was no longer on Republic.
He has released nine studio albums, with the first being the 1996 platinum-selling album The Coming. His list of hit singles include "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check", "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See", "Dangerous", "Turn It Up (Remix)/Fire It Up", "Gimme Some More", "What's It Gonna Be?", "Pass the Courvoisier, Part II", "I Know What You Want" and "Touch It".Cash Money Millionaires
Cash Money Millionaires (also known as The Millionaires) was a supergroup of Cash Money recording artists from New Orleans, Louisiana, formed in 1996 and disbanded in 2001. The group was composed of the Big Tymer$ (Birdman and Mannie Fresh) and the Hot Boy$ (B.G., Juvenile, Lil Wayne and Turk). After meeting at Cash Money Records, established in 1991, the young money millionaires were introduced to the world in 2001, largely due to Lil Wayne's album, 500 Degreez. The Cash Money Millionaires went on numerous tours, including tours with the Ruff Ryders and Nelly. In September 2000, the Millionaires released Baller Blockin, the soundtrack to the Baller Blockin' in which they starred. In 2001, the group disbanded due to monetary issues.Cash Money Records discography
List of albums released or distributed by Cash Money Records.Changed It
"Changed It" is a song by Trinidadian-American rapper and singer Nicki Minaj and American rapper Lil Wayne. Produced by Motiv, Detail, and Sidney Swift, the song was released as a single on March 10, 2017 by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records, along with "No Frauds" and "Regret in Your Tears".Ha (song)
"Ha" is a 1998 single by rapper Juvenile, from his third album 400 Degreez. It was produced by Mannie Fresh. This song, along with Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up" and B.G.'s "Bling Bling" was responsible for taking Cash Money Records from a small local label in New Orleans to the pop mainstream. The song is notable for its unique style of rapping, with every line except the chorus ending with "ha". The chorus to the song interpolates a line taken from the earlier Juvenile single "Solja Rags".Jacquees
Rodriquez Jacquees Broadnax (born April 15, 1994), commonly known as Jacquees, is an American R&B Producer Director Ghostwriter and Songwriter Singer has from Augusta And Decatur, Georgia. In 2014, he signed a recording and management contract with Cash Money Records. His 2016 single, "B.E.D.", was on the Billboard charts for 7 weeks, peaking at number 69. His debut album, 4275, was released on June 15, 2018.
Jacquees has worked with numerous other artists in the genre, including Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Donnell Jones, T.I., Jermaine Dupri,Young Thug and Wale.Juvenile (rapper)
Terius Gray (born March 25, 1977), better known by his stage name Juvenile, is an American rapper and actor who was a member of the former hip hop group the Hot Boys.
His career began in 1995, when, at 17, he released his debut album Being Myself. He became popular when his 1999 single "Back That Thang Up" was released. In 2003, he returned to Cash Money Records to record Juve the Great, spawning the number-one hit "Slow Motion". Following this album he again left Cash Money, and in 2006 signed to Atlantic Records where he released Reality Check. His latest album, The Fundamentals, was released in February 2014.Like Father, Like Son (Birdman and Lil Wayne album)
Like Father, Like Son is a collaborative studio album by American rappers Birdman and Lil Wayne. The album was released on October 31, 2006, through Cash Money Records and Universal Records. Guest appearances include Fat Joe, T-Pain, Rick Ross, Tha Dogg Pound and All Star Cashville Prince. Producers included Swizz Beatz and Scott Storch. The album's first single was "Stuntin' Like My Daddy". The second single released from the album was "Leather So Soft". The third single was "You Ain't Know". All of those singles have music videos.Mannie Fresh
Byron Otto Thomas (born March 20, 1969), better known by his stage name Mannie Fresh, is an American rapper, record producer and DJ who is best known for his work with Cash Money Records from 1993 to 2005 and one half of the hip hop duo Big Tymers. Mannie Fresh is currently signed to both Def Jam South and his own division company, Chubby Boy Records.Pop Bottles
"Pop Bottles" is the first single from Birdman's third studio album, 5 * Stunna. The track features rapper Lil Wayne. The track also samples Jadakiss's song "Put Ya Hands Up." He also makes a cameo appearance in the music video. The song has since sold over 3,690,000 copies.
In the music video for the song, Birdman and Lil Wayne are depicted playing basketball, in a video game entitled "Popping Bottles".
Jadakiss and Young Money Entertainment's T-Streets and Mack Maine make cameos in the video along with Cash Money Records' All Star Cashville Prince and Brisco.Rich Sex (Nicki Minaj song)
"Rich Sex" is a song by American rapper Nicki Minaj featuring American rapper Lil Wayne. It was released as the first promotional single from Minaj's fourth studio album Queen (2018) on June 11, 2018, by Young Money Entertainment and Cash Money Records.Scary Hours
Scary Hours is the second extended play recorded by Canadian rapper Drake. It was first released on January 19, 2018 by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records. It contains the dual singles "God's Plan" and "Diplomatic Immunity", with the former later appearing on Drake’s fifth studio album Scorpion (2018). The EP was revealed to the public via social media shortly before its release.Start a Fire (Lil Wayne song)
"Start a Fire" is a song by American rapper Lil Wayne featuring American singer Christina Milian. It was released on November 24, 2014 by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records.The Leak
The Leak is the first extended play (EP) by American rapper Lil Wayne. It was released on December 25, 2007, under Cash Money Records. The five songs on the EP were recorded by Lil Wayne during Tha Carter III sessions. The songs were ultimately leaked online by an unknown source, Wayne later compiled the songs and called the project The Leak. Lil Wayne decided to put out The Leak for his fans, so that they could have the CDQ versions of the songs. The EP was later used as a bonus disc for the deluxe edition of Tha Carter III (2008). The EP is estimated to have sold over 250,000 copies and downloads.