Rapper Lil Wayne has reportedly filed a lawsuit against his former best friend and Cash Money boss Birdman for a staggering $51 million following multiple delays of his long-awaited 11th studio album, and he may be dragging Nicki Minaj and Drake into the nasty feud too.
The 32-year-old, who has been a Cash Money artist since 1991, was due to release Tha Carter V in October 2014 but it has been pushed back several times since, much to the fury of Wayne who is blaming the label and his boss Birdman. Now, according to TMZ, Wayne, who dropped a mixtape titled Sorry 4 the Wait 2 last week, has filed a motion to sue Cash Money in a bid to end his contract prematurely.
The break-up of the two decade partnership could well get messy. Wayne has been signed to the label since 1991, when Birdman aka Bryan Williams and his brother Slim, (Ronald) set it up, age just nine years-old.
In the court documents, Wayne, real name Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., accuses Birdman and the label of violating the terms of his contract and withholding millions of dollars the rapper is owed for repeatedly delaying the album. Wayne believes that because Cash Money are refusing to pay him the hefty debt, he is entitled to leave the label without consequence. He may be right but walking isn’t enough for Wayne as he is said to be demanding Birdman and Cash Money pay him the eye-watering amount of $51 million for his troubles.
The battle could get even nastier too though because Wayne is reportedly claiming that in addition to his own music catalogue, he is the owner of ALL recordings made by Drake, Nicki Minaj and a bunch of other artists as they are signed to his Cash Money offshoot label, Young Money. As most know, Drake and Nicki are Cash Money’s most lucrative artists with the pair having clocked up several number one albums and sold-out tours. Simply put, if Wayne is the rightful owner, it could be a huge problem for Cash Money.
According to TMZ whatever happens with the suit and the rights to the songs, when Wayne leaves Cash Money, he’s taking Nicki, Drake, Lil Twist and rumoured girlfriend Christina Milian with him. Minaj made it clear in an interview in December that she is loyal to Wayne:
I’ve gotten so much closer to Wayne lately. Wayne is his own person. He’s a businessman and whatever decision Wayne makes, I would never in my life speak against it publicly… even if I didn’t agree, Nicki Minaj told Power 106 LA.
There could be a resolution though – sources have told TMZ that Wayne will allow Birdman to release Tha Carter V, but only if the music executive, whom Forbes estimated to be worth between $150 million – $160 million in 2014, pays up the compensation Weezy is demanding. According to the Lollipop rapper, he was supposed to have been paid an $8 million advance when he began recording the elusive album in December 2013, and another $2 million when he completed the project a year later, but he says he’s received zilch so far.
What a messy situation! This shouldn’t come as a shock though because in November, Wayne embarked on a Twitter rant blasting Cash Money for not releasing his LP, telling his followers: “To all my fans, I want u to know that my album won’t and hasn’t been released bekuz Baby & Cash Money Rec. refuse to release it. This is not my fault. I am truly and deeply sorry to all my fans but most of all to myself and my family for putting us in this situation. I want off this label and nothing to do with these people but unfortunately it ain’t that easy.
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