Updated: Feb 29
NEW YORK, NY – Once upon a time Birdman once said that Drake and Nicki Minaj are forever in business with him. The same goes for Lil Wayne, Young Thug and the many other artists under or associated with Young Money Cash Money.
During a recent stop by Complex’s Everyday Struggle, the millionaire-mogul opened up about his past business dealings while building up Cash Money and what it means for Drake and other artists on the award-winning label to have an “unlimited budget.”
Last month, HipHopDX caught up with Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge and took the opportunity to ask him about Drake’s line on “Stay Schemin'” where he says, “Tell Lucian I said fuck it, I’m tearin’ holes in my budget.”
The record exec quickly responded: “If ever Drake or whenever Drake calls up and says he needs something for his project, I give it to him.”
“I got an open book,” Birdman explained on the show. “I was given an open book with Doug [Morris] and Mel at a young age in the business. When Lucian came he gave me a bigger book. So with me having an open book, I gave Wayne an open book. He opened his book for Drake and Nicki and now they’re doin the same thing. I gave Young Thug an open book so he opened his book for other people. What I mean by open book [is] you can spend any amount of money you want.”
For Baby, it’s all about believing in the artists and trusting what they’re going to do.
Although Thug isn’t necessarily signed to Birdman, he states that Thugger’s Young Stoner Lifestyle imprint is part of him and it’s not always about money.
“I really sat down with Thug and taught him a lot,” said. “He lived with me for like four or five years. Me and him really, really put in the work. I’m expecting Young Thug be a great artist, but a great CEO also because I taught him a lot. He really sat with me and picked my brain. That’s why you see the Gunnas and the Dukes and the Dollys.”
Cash Money innovated the independent music game back in the late 90s when they signed their lucrative distribution deal with Universal Music Group in 1998 for $30 million. It included a $3 million advance contract and gave him ownership of all masters.
Watch Birdman‘s interview on Complex’s Everyday Struggle below.