Lil Wayne wants more than just the millions, the right to release Tha Carter V and to be released from his contract with Cash Money Records, as was recently reported.
He wants everything that his name is attached to through his Young Money label. That everything includes two of the label’s biggest artist, Drake and Nicki Minaj, who Weezy says should remain with him if he’s able to negotiate a split from CMR. According to TMZ:
“Drake, Nicki, Christina Milian, and Lil Twist are all signed to Wayne’s label. Mack Maine is also a YME artist, and the label’s president.
“Even though Birdman was integral in molding Drake and Nicki’s careers … we’re told Weezy believes the superstars should go with him because their contracts are with YME.
“Clouding the issue is the fact … Cash Money has a distribution deal with all of the Young Money artists. Most likely the matter will have to be settled in court, but we’re told Wayne’s intent is clear — he’s not leaving without his crew.”
This was to be expected to a degree. Wayne so much as rapped it “CoCo” when he boasted “I ain’t trippin’, I got Barbie, I got Drake too.” It’s almost like when two parents in a child custody case both filing for joint custody as a formality. But, how it’s going to play out is hard to predict.
Without knowing the particulars of each contract, taking Drake and Nicki away from Cash Money may be much harder than it sounds. Also, there’s the question of whether either of those two want to go with Wayne. Each one is a star in their own right and could stand alone at this point. Drake’s slowly building out his OVO roster and Nicki’s a brand by herself, pulling off multiple hustles outside of music.
While Drake hasn’t addressed the issue publicly, Nicki played the middle when asked. “I am Young Money, and I ride with Wayne on whatever,” she told Whoo Kid during a recent interview. “But Baby has played such a huge role in my mental stability. Baby will call you and text you all day just making you feel good.”
Birdman and Slim know that Wayne, Drake and Nicki are the foundation of Cash Money’s current army, so expect a prolonged legal battle where they will fight like hell to retain all three or for the Williams brothers to ask for a king’s ransom before agreeing to release the trio of artists.
We all know the Roc-A-Fella split was ugly because we had to watch artists choose loyalties between Dame Dash and Jay Z. YMCMB’s break-up has the potential the be much worse due to the stature and value attached to the principle players.