Cash Money Records

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Cash Money Records
Cash Money Records logo.svg
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded1991;30 years ago (1991) [1]
Founder Ronald "Slim" Williams
Bryan "Birdman" Williams
Distributor(s) Republic
(In the US)
GenreVarious, with a focus on hip hop
Country of originUnited States
Location New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Los Angeles, California, U.S. [2]
Official website

Cash Money (or styled as Ca$h Money) is an American record label founded in 1991 by brothers Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams. The label is distributed by Republic, which used to be Universal Republic. The label has been home to a roster of hip hop artists, including Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj, and is regarded as one of the most successful in hip-hop history. [3]


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").

The label's name is an allusion to the 1991 cult movie New Jack City . [4]


1991–97: Beginnings

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 [5]

Bryan "Birdman" Williams (pictured) founded Cash Money Records in 1991 with his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams. Birdman at hot 97 summer jam 2007.jpg
Bryan "Birdman" Williams (pictured) founded Cash Money Records in 1991 with his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams.

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 Music Group's Universal Records (now Republic Records), which became an 70%-30% distribution deal. Later, UMG acquired a portion of Cash Money Records, making it a UMG subsidiary.

Starting in 1996, Cash Money signed a slew of new artists such as Lil Wayne, B.G, Juvenile, who already had a buzz in the streets in the mid-1990s, was also signed. 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 known as 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. [6]

1998-2000 Universal Records deal

In 1998, Cash Money signed a $30 million pressing and distribution deal with a $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 (the rights) of their work. They deserve it." [7]

Lil Wayne started as a member of the Hot Boys and became the label's best-selling artist. Lil Wayne in Concert.jpg
Lil Wayne started as a member of the Hot Boys and became the label's best-selling artist.

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. [7]

2000–12: Continued success and various signings

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. [8] 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 . [9] In 2008, Lil Wayne re-signed with Cash Money, ensuring that his next few albums will be produced by the label. [10]

Drake signed to the label in 2009 and has released Thank Me Later, Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, Views, More Life, and Scorpion. Drake at Bun-B Concert 2011.jpg
Drake signed to the label in 2009 and has released Thank Me Later , Take Care , Nothing Was the Same , Views , More Life , and Scorpion.

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. [11] [12] 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. [13] In early 2009 former Roc-A-Fella Records artist Freeway signed with the label. [14] On August 16, 2009, Bow Wow announced that he signed with Cash Money Records. [15]

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. [16] [17]

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. [18] On February 24, 2012, Cash Money Records signed the nu metal band Limp Bizkit. [19] Wayne said the same day they were close to signing Ashanti. [20]

In 2011, Cash Money Records signed a co-publishing venture with the Atria Publishing Group called Cash Money Content. [21]

2013–present: Rich Gang and dissension

Nicki Minaj and Tyga signed to the label in the late 2000s and have both released highly commercially successful singles. Nicki Minaj and Tyga.jpg
Nicki Minaj and Tyga signed to the label in the late 2000s and have both released highly commercially successful singles.

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. [22] 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. [23] "Fly Rich" featuring Stevie J, Future, Tyga, Meek Mill and Mystikal was also released as a promotional single. [24]

The album's release date was then pushed back to July 23, 2013, [25] 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 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. [26] [27] 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. [28] [29] Upon Sorry for the Wait 2's release, it was noted that Wayne disses Birdman and Cash Money Records several times throughout. [30] [31] [32] Birdman was reported to be upset with this. [33] In late January 2015, Lil Wayne filed a $51 million lawsuit against Birdman and Cash Money over the delay of Tha Carter V. [34]

In January 2015, Wayne stated that when he leaves Cash Money, he would take Drake and Nicki Minaj with him. [35] 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. [36] [37] [38] In June 2015, Wayne joined Jay-Z's Tidal as an artist owner and exclusively released a single on the service titled "Glory." [39] On July 4, 2015, Wayne released Free Weezy Album exclusively through Tidal under Young Money and Republic Records. [40] On July 15, prosecutors allege Birdman and Young Thug conspired to murder Lil Wayne and were involved in the April 26 shooting. [41] 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. [42]

On April 12, 2017, Birdman accepted a plaque in honor of Cash Money Records having sold one billion units. [43] 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. [44]

Current artists

ActYear signed (as of 2018)# Albums under labelImprintSubsidiary
Birdman Co-founder6
  • Cash Money
Rich Gang
Ronald "Slim" Williams Co-founder0Rich Gang
Nicki Minaj 20095Pink Friday Records
Jacquees 201464275 Entertainment
Juvenile 2014 (re-sign)5Cash MoneyUTP Records
Turk 2015 (re-sign)1YNT Records
Neno CalvinRich Gang
Derez De'Shon 20163
Elettra Lamborghini [45] 20171Cash Money
9lokkNine [46] 2018AFNF LLC.
Saviii 3rd [47] Cash Money West
Blueface [48] 1


Rich Gang

Rich Gang
Genres Hip hop
Years active2013–present
Members Birdman
Young Thug
Rich Homie Quan
Derez De'Shon
Neno Calvin [49]
Robb Banks [50]
Past membersBTY Young'n (deceased)
Money Man
Young Greatness (deceased)

Rich Gang is a hip hop collective and side project introduced by Birdman in 2013, initially composed of members from the Cash Money Records roster. The group's debut single, "Tapout" (featuring Future) was released in March 2013. Rappers Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan to were later added to the Rich Gang roster, debuting with guest appearances on the groups 2014 single "Lifestyle". The duo were also the primary artists on Rich Gang Allstars (2013) and Rich Gang: Tha Tour Pt. 1 (2014). Later Rich Gang members were a part of the group despite not being signed to Cash Money as solo artists. [51]

Awards and nominations

BET Awards
YearNominee / workAwardResultR
2015 Rich Gang Best Group Nominated

Production wing

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. [52] 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 . [62]

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. [63]


Compilation albums

List of compilation albums, with selected chart positions and certifications
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions


Rich Gang
  • Released: July 23, 2013 [67]
  • Label: Cash Money,
  • Formats: CD, digital download

See also

Related Research Articles

Lil Wayne American rapper from Louisiana

Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., known professionally as Lil Wayne, is an American rapper, record executive, and entrepreneur. He is regarded by many contemporaries as one of the most influential hip hop artists of his generation, and often cited as one of the greatest rappers of all time. His career began in 1995, at the age of 12, when he was signed by rapper Birdman, joining Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label. From then on, Wayne was the flagship artist of Cash Money Records before ending his association with the company in June 2018.

Big Tymers was an American musical duo active from 1997 to 2005 and again in 2018 from New Orleans, Louisiana consisting of Cash Money Records co-founder Birdman and former Cash Money in-house producer Mannie Fresh. Baby later changed his stage name to Birdman after the duo dissolved in 2005. Big Tymers released their debut album in 1997 titled How You Luv That.

Birdman (rapper) American rapper, record executive, and entrepreneur from Louisiana

Bryan Christopher Williams, better known by his stage name Birdman, 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 1992. Birdman released his 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.

Lil Wayne albums discography

American rapper Lil Wayne has released thirteen studio albums, one collaborative album, three compilation albums, five extended plays, and twenty mixtapes. Wayne made his album debut in 1999, with Tha Block Is Hot, which was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. His later albums, Lights Out released in 2000, and 500 Degreez, released in 2002, attracted minor attention. In 2004, he released the first of his infamous Carter series, with Tha Carter. In 2005, Tha Carter II was released. In 2006, Wayne released a collaborative album with rapper Birdman, titled Like Father, Like Son. In 2008, Wayne released his best-selling album so far, titled Tha Carter III. Certified triple platinum by the RIAA, Tha Carter III won the Best Rap Album award at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Lil Wayne founded record label Young Money Entertainment and released a collaborative album featuring rappers signed to the label, We Are Young Money, in 2009, followed by his debut rock music album Rebirth in 2010. While serving an 8-month prison sentence in New York he released another album entitled I Am Not a Human Being, in September 2010. The next addition to Tha Carter series, Tha Carter IV, was released on August 29, 2011. In 2013, Wayne released a sequel to his 2010 album I Am Not a Human Being, titled I Am Not a Human Being II, followed by two compilation albums with his labels, Rich Gang (2013), and Young Money: Rise of an Empire (2014). After years of legal battles, his 12th studio album Tha Carter V was released on September 28, 2018. Lil Wayne released another album, Funeral, on January 31, 2020.

Young Money Entertainment is an American record label founded by rapper Lil Wayne. Young Money's president is Lil Wayne's lifelong friend and fellow rapper Mack Maine. The label was an imprint of Cash Money Records and is distributed by Republic Records.

List of albums released or distributed by Cash Money Records.

<i>We Are Young Money</i> 2009 compilation album by Young Money

We Are Young Money is the first compilation album by American hip hop record label Young Money Entertainment, and released on December 21, 2009 by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Universal Motown Records. The album garnered a positive reception but critics were divided on the quality of the label's choice of artists. We Are Young Money debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 and spawned three singles: "Every Girl", "BedRock" and "Roger That". The album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over 500,000 copies in the United States.

4 My Town (Play Ball) 2009 single by Birdman featuring Drake and Lil Wayne

"4 My Town " is the fourth single from rapper Birdman's fourth studio album, Priceless. The song features Young Money/Cash Money artists Drake and Lil Wayne. Drake's verse and the unmastered instrumental to the song was originally leaked and titled as "Play Ball" by Richie Wess and featuring Drake and Yung Dred, and then later placed on Soulja Boy's mixtape Paranormal Activity again as "Play Ball" featuring Drake.

<i>Tha Carter IV</i> 2011 studio album by Lil Wayne

Tha Carter IV is the ninth studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne, released on August 29, 2011, through Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Universal Republic Records. Recording sessions for the album began in late 2008, shortly after Lil Wayne's sixth studio album, Tha Carter III (2008) was released to strong sales and critical acclaim: however, the sessions were put on hold, as Lil Wayne claimed he did not want to follow an album he held in high regard so quickly with another, potentially inferior release. In the interim, Lil Wayne released his two other albums in 2010: the largely rock-themed Rebirth, and I Am Not a Human Being. The latter was reportedly composed from unreleased material from the original Tha Carter IV sessions, as the album was released whilst Wayne served a prison sentence at Rikers Island prison for illegal possession of a weapon, and was thus unable to record any new material: this also meant Tha Carter IV's recording sessions were once more put on hold.

6 Foot 7 Foot 2010 single by Lil Wayne featuring Cory Gunz

"6 Foot 7 Foot" is a song by rapper Lil Wayne featuring label mate Cory Gunz. It is taken from Wayne's ninth album, Tha Carter IV (2011). It was officially released on iTunes on December 16, 2010. It was produced by "A Milli" producer Bangladesh. The song samples "Day-O " by Harry Belafonte

Y.U. Mad 2011 single by Birdman featuring Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne

"Y.U. Mad" is a hip hop song by American rapper Birdman. The song features Cash Money/Young Money recording artists Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. The song was sent to U.S. Urban radio on September 20, 2011. and U.S. Rhythmic radio on October 11, 2011.

Take It to the Head Single by Lil Wayne

"Take It to the Head" is a song by American hip hop producer DJ Khaled, released as the lead single from his sixth studio album, Kiss the Ring. The song features American singer Chris Brown, rappers Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj. The song was premiered via DJ Khaled's Twitter on March 26, 2012. It was later released for digital download in the United States on April 3, 2012. The single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over 500,000 digital copies. Musically, "Take It to the Head" is a hip hop song.

<i>Tha Carter V</i> 2018 studio album by Lil Wayne

Tha Carter V is the twelfth studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne. It was released on September 28, 2018, by Young Money Entertainment and Republic Records. The album's features include Swizz Beatz, Kendrick Lamar, Sosamann, Lil Wayne's daughter Reginae Carter, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Ashanti, Mack Maine, Travis Scott, Nivea and the late XXXTentacion.

High School (song) 2013 single by Nicki Minaj featuring Lil Wayne

"High School" is a song by Trinidadian-American rapper and singer Nicki Minaj featuring American rapper Lil Wayne for Minaj's reissued second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up (2012). It was released on April 16, 2013, by Young Money, Cash Money, and Republic as the third single from the record. The song was written and produced by Boi-1da and T-Minus, with additional songwriting provided by Minaj and Lil Wayne. "High School" is a hip hop and R&B song that lyrically discusses adultery. The song peaked at number 64 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and additionally reached numbers 15 and 20 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs component charts. Elsewhere, the track charted moderately throughout international singles charts, including number 31 on the UK Singles Chart.

Tapout (song) 2013 single by Rich Gang featuring Birdman, Lil Wayne, Mack Maine, Nicki Minaj and Future

"Tapout" is a song by American hip hop group Rich Gang featuring rappers Lil Wayne, Birdman, Mack Maine, Nicki Minaj and Future. The song was the first single off of the YMCMB compilation album, Rich Gang. The song is produced by Southside & TM88 and is co-produced by Detail. It also features uncredited vocals from its co-producer, Noel "Detail" Fisher. The song was premiered on March 12, 2013, and was available for digital download on March 19. The song has since peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100.

<i>Rich Gang</i> (album) 2013 compilation album by Birdman

Rich Gang is a compilation album by Young Money and Cash Money as the supergroup Rich Gang. The album was released July 23, 2013, by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Universal Motown Records. The album contains contributions from several YMCMB members, including Birdman, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, Mack Maine, Limp Bizkit, Bow Wow, Ace Hood, Jae Millz, Cory Gunz, Gudda Gudda, Caskey, Detail, Busta Rhymes and Mystikal. The compilation also features guest appearances from artists outside the labels, including Future, Meek Mill, French Montana, T.I., Yo Gotti, Flo Rida, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, and R. Kelly. The album was supported by the three singles "Tapout" which peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100, along with the R. Kelly featured "We Been On" and "50 Plates" by Rick Ross. The album received generally mixed reviews from music critics and sold 40,000 copies in the US after three weeks of sale.

Gudda Gudda American rapper from Louisiana

Carl Eugene Lilly Jr., better known by his stage name Gudda Gudda, is an American rapper from New Orleans. He was originally a member of Sqad Up with Kidd Kidd and Lil Wayne. After forging a long-time friendship with Wayne, he signed to Young Money Entertainment, and later Republic Records.

<i>Young Money: Rise of an Empire</i> 2014 compilation album by Young Money Entertainment

Young Money: Rise of an Empire is the second compilation album by American record label Young Money Entertainment. The album was released on March 11, 2014, by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records. Rise of an Empire's recording process took place from 2013 to 2014. It contains contributions from several Young Money recording artists including, Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, Christina Milian, Shanell, Mack Maine, Jae Millz, Cory Gunz, Gudda Gudda, Lil Twist, Chanel West Coast and PJ Morton, among others.

"Truffle Butter" is a song by Trinidadian-American rapper Nicki Minaj featuring Canadian rapper and singer Drake and American rapper Lil Wayne. It is included as an exclusive bonus track on the iTunes Store edition of Minaj's third studio album The Pinkprint (2014). Produced by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records, the song was released as the fifth single from the album on January 23, 2015. "Truffle Butter" is hip hop song and contains a sample of Maya Jane Coles' song "What They Say" (2010). In March 2015, it was sent to urban contemporary and contemporary hit radio.

<i>Free Weezy Album</i> 2015 studio album by Lil Wayne

Free Weezy Album is the eleventh studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne. It was released on July 4, 2015, by Young Money Entertainment and Republic Records, exclusively on TIDAL. It was released on Spotify and Apple Music on July 3, 2020, to commemorate its five-year anniversary, though some samples were changed due to clearance issues, and some tracks are absent completely.


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  65. Peak chart positions for compilation albums on the Rap Albums chart:
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