Recently co-founder of Cash Money Records, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, sat down for an interview with Wallo, from Where’s Wallo, a visual podcast to discuss his journey in the music industry.
During the interview, Birdman and Wallo jumped to the subject of how money is made from an artist’s masters.
Birdman, who has been known for pushing shady deals on his artists for years, revealed that he makes anywhere from $20-30 million a year off his current and former artists’ master recordings.
“We license the music, I just started letting people sample my shit. So yeah, it’s a gang of ways you can make money with your masters,” Birdman stated. “We generate $20-30 million a year just on our masters.”
As mentioned earlier, Cash Money Records, with Birdman at the helm, has been accused of not paying artists and mishandling contracts. Their biggest cash cow, in the form of superstar rapper, L’il Wayne, has taken them in front of the judge, as well as former Hot Boys, Turk and Juvenile.
There is no doubt that Wayne and Juvenile were the primary reasons for Cash Money‘s success during the late 1990s into the early 2000s. Wayne had sold countless records and toured the world before he was 25 years old; Juvenile sold over 10 million units during his career, which Birdman confirmed during his sit-down with Wallo.
In a recent interview with VLADTV, Turk stated that he was involved in an ongoing lawsuit with Cash Money Records for lack of payment. Turk expressed that he hated that he had to go the legal route to obtain what he felt was owed to him.
Within the music industry, master recordings are usually owned by whoever finances the record, which is usually the record label. Although that may be the case, it still doesn’t give label heads the right to misuse their artists for their own monetary gain.
Check out Birdman’s full interview. The masters discussion begins around the 7:20 mark.
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