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Cash Money Records

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Cash Money Records is a record label founded by brothers Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams. Today it operates as a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, and is distributed by Universal Republic Records as of 2011. Current CEOs are Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Ronald "Slim" Williams.

  Biography  

For its first few years (1992–1997), Cash Money played host to a number of local releases by artists, selling hundreds of thousands of albums without ever releasing a music video or having a Billboard hit. Some of the label's releases garnered some regional success in New Orleans and Louisiana, but the label was little known to the national rap scene. Artists on the label during this period included the group U.N.L.V. , Kilo G, Lil Slim, and PxMxWx. In 1995, the label signed young rappers B.G. and Lil Wayne. The signees marked what would be the second wave of Cash Money artists. In 1997 B.G. and Lil Wayne formed the group the Hot Boys together with Juvenile , and Turk. Although initially they didn't make much impact outside of the region, they would become the label's most well known artists.

Cash Money's big break came in 1997 when the Hot Boys, B.G. and Juvenile in particular, caught the attention of Universal Records executives. In 1998, Cash Money signed a $30 million pressing and distribution contract with Universal, entitling the label to 85% of its royalties, 50% of its publishing revenues and ownership of all masters. Dino Delvaille, who signed the label, later told HitQuarters: "I made certain they retained 100% ownership of their work. They deserve it."

After the deal Cash Money would reach success it hadn't come close to previously. 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.'s 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 flavour, and I had to work hard to get them to open up to making records with Cam’ron, Puffy, and Clipse, among others."

The label's success continued into the 21st century. 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 later left the label in 2002, claiming financial mismanagement. 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 would go on to sell over a million copies and contained the Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit "Slow Motion". Cash Money also signed deals with several other artists, including Sean John and Jacob the Jeweler. In 2007, former Hot Boy member Lil Wayne was named president of Cash Money Records and CEO of Young Money Entertainment, giving the rapper full creative control over all releases under the two labels. Later that year, however, Lil Wayne stepped down as president to focus on his career, especially Tha Carter III. In 2008, Lil Wayne re-signed with Cash Money, ensuring that his next few albums will be produced by the label.

In September 2008, the label diversified by releasing 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. 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. In early 2009 former Roc-A-Fella Records Artist Freeway and 2 Pistols signed with the label. On August 16, 2009, Bow Wow announced that he signed with Cash Money Records. 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.

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. On August 19, 2010, Birdman signed DJ Khaled to the label, being the second producer in the label and the first Disc-Jockey ever. Shyne and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins of TLC also signed to the label to release albums.

In 2011, Cash Money Records, along with Lil Wayne, Universal Music Group, and Young Money Entertainment, was sued for by Done Deal Enterprises, who claim Lil Wayne's song "BedRock" was stolen from Done Deal.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Cash Money Records", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.