How Lil Wayne Won Ownership of His Label and Built a $150M Empire

Mandatory Credit: Photo by RMV/REX/Shutterstock (9137550u)Lil Wayne - Dwayne Michael Carter, JrLil Weezyana Fest, New Orleans, USA - 25 Aug 2017.
  • Lil Wayne successfully claimed ownership of Young Money Entertainment.
  • He’s been involved in this legal dispute with his original label, Cash Money Records, for years.
  • Whether Lil Wayne will retire after “Tha Carter V” remains to be seen.

Rapper Lil Wayne, born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., has severed ties with Cash Money, the music label that signed him in 1998 when he was just a teenager, and is now the legal owner of the label’s spinoff, Young Money Entertainment.

Wayne settled the $51 million lawsuit out of court for an undisclosed sum, with Forbes reporting a $10 million settlement. The terms: Wayne’s imprint is now owned entirely by him, though the label shares distribution with Cash Money’s parent company, Republic Records. For his fans, the lawsuit’s conclusion signals the forthcoming release of Wayne’s long-anticipated album “Tha Carter V.”

Will Lil Wayne Retire After ‘Tha Carter V’ or Focus on Young Money?

“Tha Carter V” was officially announced back in late 2012, and the expected December 2014 release was also meant to signal Wayne’s retirement. In a twist of events, just days before the fifth installment in “Tha Carter” series was due, Wayne accused his long-time mentor and Cash Money co-founder — and father figure — Bryan “Birdman” Williams of refusing to release the album. Plans for “Tha Carter V” along with Wayne’s impending retirement were put on hold.

In January 2015, Wayne slapped Cash Money with the $51 million suit, alleging breach of contract, failure to pay royalties and withheld advances. The suit requested a financial audit of Cash Money records.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Quiz: Is Lil Wayne Worth More Than Lil Bub?

Young Money Artists Earn Millions per Year

With the lawsuit now behind him, Wayne can finally focus his efforts on the release of “Tha Carter V” while cultivating the talents of Young Money’s top-selling artists, including:

  • Drake
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Tyga
  • Mack Maine
  • Chanel West Coast
  • Christina Milian

With a stacked roster of immensely lucrative and talented recording artists — Drake is rumored to be worth $100 million and Nicki Minaj around $75 million — Wayne should see a significant monetary return as the label’s sole owner.

Click through to read more about the biggest hits and flops of celebrities who dabbled in music.

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