If rumors are true, Lil Wayne may now be a very, very rich man. But his newfound wealth may come at the expense of Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, and other artists who have released albums on Wayne’s Young Money record label.
Over the summer, it was reported that Lil Wayne had sold his masters to Universal Music for $100 million. However, a pending lawsuit from Weezy’s former manager Ronald Sweeny—who is suing the rapper for $20 million—allegedly reveals that the settlement included not just Wayne's master, but that the deal included Young Money’s entire catalog.
The deal was supposedly a result of Lil Wayne and his former collaborator Birdman agreeing on a settlement to end their feud. For years, Weezy had been the flagship artist Birdman's Cash Money Records and had initially formed Young Money as a joint business venture with Cash Money. When the settlement was finalized, ownership of Young Money's catalog was granted entirely to Lil Wayne.
According to Revolt, the suit reads: "Plaintiffs are informed and believe… that, subsequent to [Sweeney’s] termination [as Wayne’s manager], specifically in or about June of 2020, Lil Wayne was able to sell the Young Money Masters to Universal Music Group for an excess of $100 million.”
Though neither Weezy nor any of the potentially affected artists have yet to comment, one has to imagine the news isn't going to be well received in a time when many artists are attempting to obtain rights to their own masters.
All of Drake's albums before (and including) 2018’s Scorpion had been released on Young Money, as has Nicki Minaj's entire catalog.
If the reports are true, it certainly cheapens the million-dollar payout Lil Wayne may or may not have allegedly received from his photo-op with President Donald Trump back in October—as rapper 50 Cent claims he turned down the same amount of money.