Lil Wayne adds Universal to his ‘Cash Money’ litigation

August 2017

Recorded music


Lil Wayne has added Universal to his ‘Cash Money’ litigation in a New Orleans law suit that accuses the Cash Money record company and its major label partner of colluding to deny Lil Wyane royalties that are properly payable to him.  Cash Money co-owners Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams are also added to the pending suit that asserts a conspiracy and seeks more than $40 million in actual damages. 

Cash Money are Lil Wayne’s long-time label and the dispute includes both a complaint over the delayed release of his long awaited ‘Tha Carter V’ album, and the royalties Wayne claims are due from records released by his joint venture imprint Young Money, which includes albums from Drake.

Last year Wayne sued Universal Music directly. In that case, the rapper argued that Universal, which distributes Cash Money and Young Money releases, was withholding monies generated by the latter label’s records in order to recoup advances previously paid to the former. Wayne argued that his share of Young Money income should not be applied be used to recoup Cash Money’s debts. That law suit, which also lists US collecting society SoundExchange as a defendant, was subsequently put on hold, because the court overseeing the proceedings decided that Wayne’s existing litigation against Cash Money itself should be resolved first.

Now Wayne has added Universal Music as a defendant on the ‘Cash Money’ litigation, citing various alleged agreements between the major and Cash Money boss Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams which, he says, interfered with his rights in the Young Money venture, and income linked to Drake releases in particular. He also alleges that those agreements were back-dated and this ensured he lost out even more and “Despite Universal being aware of Cash Money’s obligations to pay royalties and profits to plaintiffs, and Cash Money’s failure to do so, Universal made a series of huge cash advances to Cash Money which Universal contended were nonetheless collateralised by, and recoupable by Universal against, the future revenues on Drake and other artist records and albums delivered by Cash Money”.


The amended lawsuit demands a third of the net profits from Drake’s recordings, the right to audit both Cash Money and Universal Music, and the right to take ‘Tha Carter V’ to another label for release, and that a “receiver be appointed to supervise the operations of the Young Money label joint venture” or “the joint venture be adjudged terminated and a liquidator appointed”.

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