“[Birdman] doesn’t need any more money” (…)”I tease him about it. It’s not about the money for them. For them, it’s about success. It’s about proving, ‘Yes, we’ve done this, but guess what: not only can we maintain this, we can beat this” – Jay Sean in 2013 (Greenburg, 2013).
The Birdman aka Baby aka Bryan Willams, the entrepreneur of Cash Money Records which have made genuine deals with Universal Media Group (UMG). The Company he have run and with the deals done with Lil Wayne’s aka Dwayne Michael Carter’s Young Money which is a business branch of the Cash Money. So there been a long rate of artists under these recording companies and businesses that have had issues with Cash Money. As the men and woman who have had contracts in the company been far from straight. Even if the contracts have been straight, the practice of following up on the contracted payments have been shallow or little to be gentle. All of the recents issues between Cash Money Records and both former Artists and Producers says itself. Right?
There been surrounded of controversy with back-payments, royalties and contracts disputes that been frequent from the record label that Birdman have been running. It’s not like the world haven’t discussed that matter of fact and that are bases into the alleged laundering of money from the artist to the grand wealth of the label head. As there are from time to time new allegations and new artists either trying to get a settlement or be released from Cash Money rooster.
So the way the business been driven have been in a way it seems that the head is getting wealth while starving the artists and trying to hide the fact. The reason why it is touchy for Birdman is that the gig is up and he can’t hide the fact. As nearly all of the original “Hot Boyz” have left the fold. Juvenile went and came back. B.G. is independent and was for a hot-minute on Atlantic before the current jail-time. Turk have left the fold. The main producer Mannie Fresh left the fold to after reaching a settlement. The only original artist left at Cash Money is Lil Wayne who also “runs” the Young Money Recording Company under Cash Money. So an artist who signs to Young Money will split the money through the UMG/Cash Money and then Young Money. So there are lots of label heads who earns capital on the produced music from Young Money before the initial artist get their check. In midst of this, there is also the reluctant accountability from the central leadership of Cash Money. As the information from Birdman and others are nearly non-existence and that breach of public trust shows the reason for why the Breakfast Club and their radio hosts can question the companies approach and the dealings of Birdman. As I will some former issues between Birdman and his artists. As there been a few over the years; and it does not stop and can’t stop Birdman he is a Bad Boy for life. Pardon the pun, but couldn’t help myself!
Just like Juvenile of the original crew who have gone back and forth have done this:
In 2004: “I am thrilled that we were able to bring Juvenile and UTP into the Atlantic fold” (…)”Atlantic Records Group Co-Chairman/COO Craig Kallman told AllHipHop.com in a statement. “Juvenile is the real deal – an uncompromising artist of phenomenal talent who has only scratched the surface of his creative potential. A pioneer in the fertile southern Hip-Hop movement, Juvenile put New Orleans on the national rap map. Now, with these companion deals, we not only welcome Juvenile to Atlantic, but we have the great bonus of bringing his whole crew on board through his own UTP label. Juvenile has long been a signature artist in the Hip-Hop community, and he now becomes the latest high-profile artist to join Atlantic’s rapidly burgeoning urban roster.”(AllHiphop, 2004). In 2012:“I am truly excited to say that it’s a new day. There are a lot of old interviews out there that can reflect old negativity. Luckily, in recent months, circumstances brought me and Cash Money back together and I was able to re-unite with members of my original crew,” Juvenile says in a recent statement” (…)”That’s why we all have decided to leave negativity in the past. I am truly looking forward to the future and to my future work with Baby, Lil Wayne , YMCMB and Cash Money. “Picture Perfect” is the beginning and we have a lot more to come. Get ready!” (Platon, 2012).
He has gone so much back and forth between the Cash Money and spoken so madly about the practices that its weird that he has returned again. As the Cash Money records can pawn him when needed. This because he doesn’t have the traction or the play that he used to. When was the last relevant track from Juvenile we’re “Slow Motion” featuring Soulja Slim in 2004? It’s a decade ago and by now his bad deals and settlements with Cash Money does not give the returns he wished by the former results and sales in the starting stages of the Cash Money Records. Juvenile and Lil Wayne are the ones from the original crew that is left there. So that says a lot. Will go through bunch of court decisions and shows the level of foul play from the management towards their own Recording Artist, Producers and Sampling Artists. That shows the tracks and the road that the Cash Money Records do. If they didn’t then they wouldn’t get into all these court cases to fix the money issue between fellow artists and other needed personnel for their success. Take a look!
Mannie Fresh Settlement:
“Producer Mannie Fresh and Cash Money Records have reached an out of court settlement. A representative for Universal Records, Cash Money’s distributor, said, “Cash Money Records has reached an amicable agreement with former in-house producer Mannie Fresh. Per the agreement, neither party can discuss the terms.” Fresh, who provided the musical backdrop for a large percentage of Cash Money Records’ hits, left the label last year over a financial dispute” (Artisan News Service, 2006).
As you see even in 2005 the in-house producer and the one who has produced most of the first hits of the Recording Company needed to come to settlement before release as the shady dealings are evident. Especially since the Recording Company and Former Artist have undisclosed the agreement and cannot discuss the terms of the settlement. The grey dealings like this are why people have lots of questions to Birdman and the Cash Money Records for their deals with their employees or their artists. In a sense that is reasonable!
Jay Sean leaves and settles with Cash Money on royalties’ dispute:
“OFM: I’ve always had a good relationship with Slim and Baby. Slim always liked that we always gave them high energy records. I called Slim and told him how we had this kid that we was working with, he just sold 150 thousand units worldwide, 20 million views on his lead single. At the time, I had taken Jay to all the major labels, Def Jam, Epic, Columbia, Capitol, they all turned him down. I figured, who else would understand an underdog like Slim and Baby. So took him to Slim and Baby and they loved him. Next thing you know, they flew him down to Miami and the rest is history” (Jeremiah, 2012). He leaves Cash Money and said this in an interview: “It wasn’t! It wasn’t a decision at all – it was something I had to do. All of those kind of decisions I’ve made in my life have never been daunting. Walking away from medicine, walking away from Virgin records, moving to America, walking away from Cash Money – I don’t really over think these things. I firmly believe that everything is written. That’s how I look at things in life, so when something is going to happen it will happen, and that’s why I don’t really fear anything anymore. When I feel something in my gut and something tells me to get out I don’t even think about it” (Combo-Kainth, 2014). Later this happen: “Hip-hop mogul Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams has been ordered to pay $1.1 million (£785,000) to the producers behind a string of songs recorded by his former artist Jay Sean” (…)”The case went to court this week (begs22Feb16) and a judge has since ruled in Orange Factory Music bosses’ favour, awarding them compensation for producing songs including Down, Do You Remember, Fire, and Lights Off” (WENN, 2016).
When Jay Sean the RnB singer and Recording Artist together with Orange Factory Music had to get the Cash Money Records to cough up royalties proves how the company is structured and how the demean the artist. To such a level that the artist themselves says straight away in the interview that there we’re no choice, but to leave. That must be hurting for Birdman, that is his company and the former employee saying it was no choice and decisions, but to leave the company. So the company also get ordered to back-pay both Jay Sean and the producers of hits that made profits for Cash Money in 2008 and 2009 proves the ability of stifling the ones that creates wealth. As the hits and profits on Jay Sean happen years ago and the court judgement happen in 2016. So the money have been stalled and the promised through agreements between the artist, the producers and the Cash Money have not been straight!
JAS Prince Sues Drake Management/Young Money:
“Drake into entering an exclusive recording agreement and an exclusive management agreement (hereinafter “the agreement”) with the two of them and Defendant Bryant was to use his influence to compel Lil Wayne to sign and promote Drake to and through Lil Wayne’s record company YME, once Drake had signed the agreements. They also agreed to develop and exploit Drake’s entertainment services together and split profits therefrom accordingly. Furthermore, in defense and acknowledgement to Plaintiff Jas Prince father, James Prince Sr’s long-standing relationship with CMR, the distributor of YME, it was agreed that plaintiff Jas Prince and James Prince Sr. would consult with them and take the lead on their business dealings with YME and CMR” (…)”Upon learning about these events, in or around July 2009, it became immediately apparent that Defendant Bryant had no intention of honoring his agreement with Plaintiffs, but instead intended to oust Plaintiffs from the Drake business” (…)”Despite numerous verbal promises and Defendants express promises in the Settlement Agreement to use their “best efforts” to do so, Defendants have refused to execute the letter of direction that would allow Plaintiffs to be paid and accounted directly from YME/CMR” (…)”To date, Defendants have failed to pay Plaintiffs their share of the Profits in accordance with the Settlement Agreement” (McMilian, 2012).
As we can see here is more shady dealings between Young Money and its management that also is close connected to Lil Wayne. So the Cash Money Records dealings are shown to disrespect the long-term relationship between J. Prince and the Houston, Texas music recording family that had an Management Contract with Drake before he was entering an agreement with Young Money/Cash Money Records. Therefore stifling Jas Prince and his management company seems to be the business-model of Cash Money as they are third partner who does not get what the agreed fees between the companies. Therefore the suit from Jas as he wanted his cut as the agreement from Drake was viable and agreed on before going into the Young Money Entertainment.
Soundkillers LLC sues Cash Money in 2014:
“On and around August 26, 2011, Plaintiff entered into and executed a written agreement (the “Producers Agreement”) with Defendant Young Money to furnish Mr. Owen’s Production Services to Defendant Young Money on a non-exclusive basis in connection with producing one master sound recording title “Mirror” (the “Master Recording”), embodying the performance in Young Money’s recording artist Dwayne Carter professionally known as “Lil Wayne” (…)”In fact, in August 2011, Defendants released the “Carter IV” album (the “Album”) embodying the Master Recording, which was produced by Plaintiff for Defendants under the terms of the Producer Agreement” (…)”In short, Defendants owe Plaintiff significant sums of money stemming from the Producer Agreement and Master Recording” (…)”Despite demand, Defendants have failed and/or refused to pay Plaintiff the Plaintiff’s share of the royalties stemming from the exploitation of the Master Recording and the underlying composition thereof” (Judge Freeman, 2014).
As you can see even a producer have not gotten the accounted royalties that stemmed from a successful recording sold through the Cash Money/Young Money/Universal Company as it was a single on the highly profitable Album Carter IV; and surely was after the agreement deemed for royalties that was entitled in the pre-made contract. Another proof of how Birdman is stifling the ones making him money. As even a not-well-known producer have to sue him and the companies that are run by him to get the royalties for his work and his production to the credited song from the successful album.
Turk sues Cash Money in 2015:
“Plaintiff has not been paid any artist royalties and music publishing royalties, leaving substantial amounts due and owing by Defendants in accordance with the terms and conditions of the foregoing agreements. No accountings of artist royalties or music publishing royalties have ever been rendered by Defendants to Plaintiff” (…)”his Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because Virgil and Defendants reside in different states and the amount in controversy in this action, exclusive of interest and costs, exceeds the sum or value of $75,000.00” (…)”Upon information and belief, under the terms of the Exclusive Artist Recording Agreements, Cash Money agreed to pay to Plaintiff (a) artist advances, (b) artist royalties, (c) publishing advances, and (d) music publishing royalties, all pursuant to the terms and conditions contained in the Exclusive Artist Recording Agreements” (…)”Upon information and belief, Defendants have received millions of dollars in advances and revenues from UMG, and other third party licensees, from the sound recordings and musical compositions created in whole or in part by Plaintiff” (…)”Plaintiff is entitled to an accounting from Defendants to ascertain the damages suffered by Plaintiff resulting from Defendants’ breach of their fiduciary obligations, and to determine the amounts owed to Plaintiff in advances, artist royalties and music publishing royalties from the sale and licensing of albums, the master recordings embodied upon the albums, and the musical compositions embodied upon the master recordings contained on the albums and singles, inclusive of all digital download and ringtone sales, released or otherwise exploited by Defendants” (…)”Defendants have thereby breached the Exclusive Artist Recording Agreements causing damage to Plaintiff in an amount to be determined at trial, not less than $1,300,000.00” (Patrick E. Costello, 2015).
Here is one of the first Markie artist that established the Cash Money Records, one of them that was vital for the existence of the Cash Money records that Birdman holds so dear and is his “creation” and his business. Certainly without the Hot Boyz and their success the money train would not have come. But when Turk as a significant artist on the label comes with this sue and court order towards the Cash Money Records and Birdman it shows how the riches have been spoilt. Instead of paying Turk for his music, his composure and his parts of being a member in the Hot Boyz; instead the management and company spend the money away. That shows that ability of shady business agreements that the company has. As we could see with Mannie Fresh’s the in-house producer, and now Turk gone through the same thing and had to sue to get their royalties and their deserved compensation for their work.
Not paying for sampling for single of Drake under Cash Money/Young Money:
“On October 20, 2011, DMG Clearances, Inc., a music clearance and licensing company, on behalf of Defendants, entered into written sample clearance agreements with recording artist Cedric Hill (the Sample Agreements ) whereby Mr. Hill agreed to license his interests in recordings that he owned entitled “Swanging and Banging”and “Sailing Da South” (collectively, the Sampled Recordings ) for inclusion in the new sound recordings entitled “Over My Dead Body” and “H.Y.F.R. (Hell Yeah Fucking Right)” (collectively, the New Recordings ) that were originally recorded and performed by the recording artist Aubrey “Drake” Graham professionally known as Drake ( Artist )” (…)”The Sampled Recordings licensed by Mr. Hill were used directly or indirectly by the Defendants and their affiliates in the creation of the New Recordings, which were thereafter exploited and sold by Defendants when in November 2011, Defendants Young Money and Cash Money, Republic Records a/k/a Universal Republic, and Universal Records a division of UMG Recordings Inc, commercially released artist’s “Take Care” album (the “Album”); embodying the New Recordings containing samples of the Sampled Recording” (…)”Defendant Cash Money expressly agreed to remunerate Mr. Hill with a two and a half percent (2.5%) royalty “price per dealers”(pro-rated by the numbers of tracks on particular configuration) on exploitations of the New Recordings in physical products, digital downloads and ringtones in all media or configurations now known or hereinafter devised, which applies on both audio and audio visual use of the New Recordings (the “Second Royalty”)” (…)”Pursuant to the Assignment Agreement Mr. Hill granted to Plaintiff the sole and exclusive right, throughout the Territory, to collect all monies earned with respect to the First Royalty and Second Royalty, and all monies that Mr. Hill is eligible to receive and under the terms of the Sample Agreement” (…)”As result of failing to respond to the Cure Notice, Defendant Cash Money was in material breach of the Sample Agreements under the terms of the same. Counsel for Plaintiff sent counsel for Defendant Cash Money confirmation of the material breach on November 13, 2013 (the “Confirmation of Material Breach,” Exhibit D hereto)” (MFMnG, 2015).
Here is another recent story of a single used to gain sales for Cash Money and the usage of another man’s property under agreement with the management of another artist. This was to salvage most as possible from Cash Money who has already made profits by using the sampling of another artists songs onto a single for Album of Drake. This proof how shady the agreements are as they don’t even pay-up for services to sample tracks from other artist to make their own songs. That is belittling and proves the detailed practices of Cash Money.
Lil Wayne sues Cash Money in 2015:
“Demand $ 51,000,000” (…)”On or about February 20, 2003, Carter and Cash Money entered into a self-styled “Memorandum of Agreement” (the “2003 Label Agreement) for the creation of Young Money Label joint venture for the common purpose of the manufacture, distribution, promotion and exploitation of recordings containing the performances of new recordings artists who would be signed by the Young Money Label following approval by Carter and Cash Money, the sole owner of the joint venture” (…)”Beginning at latest in 2013, Cash Money failed to provide proper monthly accounting to Carter and/or Young Money LLC and failed to make timely accounting and/or payments of net profits due to Carter and/or Young Money LLC pursuant the 2003 Label Agreement, as amended. In addition, Cash Money failed to make required overhead payments of Two Hundred Thousand ($200,000.00) per calendar quarter to the Young Money and also failed to maintain to escrow account funded with one million dollar ($1,000,000.00) for overhead payment for the Young Money Label” (…)”With regard to the 2009 Drake Letter Agreement, Cash Money, since at latest early 2012, has failed to account to Young Money LLC on a monthly basis and has failed to pay Young Money LLC its share of net receipts with regard to solo recording of Drake released by the Young Money Label. Cash Money have failed to provide a single accounting in respect of the exploitation of the Drake recordings, despite Drake being one of the bestselling recording artists in the recent years” (…)”Cash Money also failed to properly register the copyright in the Young Money Label recordings as jointly owned by Cash Money and Carter/Young Money LLC. Cash Money refused to accept artist’s submitted by Carter to join the Young Money Label. Cash Money failed to account and pay monies due to various third parties involved with recording artists signed to the Young Money Label. Such failures have resulted in legal actions against the Young Money Label and/or Plaintiff and additional financial losses for plaintiff” (…)”Despite being obligated to do so, as of the date of this complaint, Cash Money has not registered Carter as co-owner of the sound recordings contained in the album entitled “I Am Not A Human Being II”, which was delivered for the fourth option period. Upon information and belief, in breach of the 2008 amendment, Cash Money registered the copyright in such sound recordings solely in the name of Cash Money” (Michael B. Kramer & Associates, 2015).
Cash Money versus WIMP/TIDAL:
“Defendants have been, and are continuing to, feature and promote Carter’s recordings throughout the world via Defendants’ fledgling digital streaming music service known as “Tidal,” all in brazen defiance of CMR’s exclusive rights under the exclusive recording agreement” (…)”Defendants have induced Carter to breach CMR’s exclusive recording agreement, by, among other things, purporting to acquire CMR’s exclusive rights to exploit sound recordings performed and recorded by Carter. CMR has paid Carter tens of millions of dollars pursuant to the terms of its Recording Agreement with Carter and, accordingly, CMR has a substantial investment and interest in the manner in which Carter Recordings are exploited” (…)”Specifically, beginning on or about July 3, 2015, Tidal began streaming Carter’s FWA album which includes sixteen Carter Recordings (the “Unauthorized Recordings”)” (…)”Defendants have touted their “exclusive” release of the FWA album. The image below shows Tidal’s webpage on or about July 9, 2015” (…)”As a result of Defendants’ improper conduct, CMR has suffered significant damages, including but not limited to lost revenues and loss of control over the content of its artist, Carter, and the resulting diminution in value of Carter’s work” (Alan R. Friedman, 2015).
There been talking settlements on both Lil Wayne cases both with Tidal and between Cash Money Records and the Young Money Artist, and label head. But the time will tell if the companies combined does themselves well, as the open friction have occurred not only in the court-room and in suits against each other. That is the reason for the “Free Wayne Album” at Tidal and the mess it made for Birdman and Cash Money. As this proved the ability for Lil Wayne to counter the management and leadership of his CEO Bryant Williams as proven in the inaction of releasing a album from him.
The determination and the digression and the attitude to the coming cases upon case coming with the demeanor of suits from producers, artists, sampling and fellow builders of the company as Mannie Fresh and Turk. Says a lot of the model of unpaid for services rendered the Cash Money Records and their Label Young Money Entertainment. As the Copyright issues, misuse of sampling or even not paying of royalties set the figures and gives us questions to the savvy business practice of the Recording Company and their use of employees or giving the fixed fees as set in the contracts. Since they don’t do that; that in away set precedence for how Birdman aka Baby aka Bryan Williams shady dealing and stifling the artist, the producers and the ones they sample music from even. That is not business, but nearly a racket. A conspiracy to contractual deceive and steal other people’s work for own gain. While selling the stolen property for own monetary gain for Williams and Cash Money and not the ones initially producing or having the copyrights to the music that Cash Money/Young Money/ Universal is selling. That is exploitation and not honoring the fellow signed members of either parts of the business, but taking their work and thieving. Therefore having to go to court to get what is yours instead of being paid for service rendered. That would be proper way, like ordinary men and woman get paid for working hours, the sales and distribution of the music from Cash Money should give royalties and payments that was offered in their initial contracts and not the ones that saves the Cash Money Record Company in their settlements.
Birdman can muffle an interview at the Breakfast Club in New York, but the systematic practice towards own musicians and producers cannot be forgiven. The reason for fellow men and woman who have worked and made massive profits for Birdman should get their returns and ends. As Birdman tries the Ruthless Records, the Death Row and the other back-ways to paying their “ends” to the artist while flying high on the profits and hoping that the artist doesn’t understand the thieving from CEO and Bosses of Cash Money Records; that is what it is as the systematic taking away from royalties and contractual payment. It think that is enough for today. Peace.
AllHipHop – ‘Juve Leaves Cash Money… Again’ (13.07.2004) link: http://www.rapbasement.com/juvenile/juve-leaves-cash-money-again.html
Artisan News Service – ‘MANNIE FRESH SETTLES WITH CASH MONEY RECORDS’ (16.06.2006) link: http://www.artisannews.com/mannie-fresh-settles-with-cash-money-records/
Platon, Adelle – ‘Juvenile Releases Statement About His Future With Cash Money/YMCMB’ (06.11.2012) link: http://www.vibe.com/2012/11/juvenile-releases-statement-about-his-future-cash-moneyymcmb/
Cash Money Records V. Aspiro AB, WIMP Music AS and WIMP INC (16.07.2015) – Alan R. Friedman
Combo-Kainith, Reena – ‘EXCLUSIVE!! JAY SEAN INTERVIEW’ (22.11.2014) link: http://www.ikonzmag.co.uk/exclusive-jay-seans-interview/
Greenburg, Zack O’Malley – ‘The Cash Money Way: Drake, Jay Sean And Birdman Explain’ (27.03.2013) link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2013/03/27/the-cash-money-way-drake-jay-sean-and-birdman-explain/#65d47f7a3a57
James (JAS) Prince and Young Empire Music Group LLC V. Aspire Music Group LLC, Cortez Bryant, Laurent Management LLC, Three Kings LLC, Gerald Roberson and Derrick Lawerence – James E. McMilan (Attorney) – (23.07.2012)
Jeremiah – ‘Behind the music: Orange Factory Music speaks on Jay Sean, Cash Money, licensing and more.’ (29.06.2012) link: http://istandardproducers.com/behind-the-music-orange-factory-music-speaks-on-jay-sean-cash-money-licensing-and-more/
Lil Wayne V. Cash Money – 28.01.2015, New York – Michael B. Kramer & Associates
MFMnG Production LLC V. Young Money Entertainment (15.03.2015) – New York
Soundkiller V. Cash Money – 30.09.2014, Manhatten, New York – Magistrate Judge Freeman
Tab Vigril Jr. aka “Turk” V. Cash Money Records (05.02.2015) – Patrick E. Costello
WENN – ‘Judge Orders Cash Money Bosses To Pay Up In Jay Sean Royalties Dispute’ (24.02.2016), Link: http://www.contactmusic.com/jay-sean/news/judge-orders-cash-money-bosses-to-pay-up-in-jay-sean-royalties-dispute_5147855#zzfv55ftAm1dh0Gl.99