By Rob Markman
With a roster that boasts Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake and Tyga, it’s hard to contend with Cash Money’s power in the world of urban music. This is something that the folks at Billboard surely took into consideration when they compiled their inaugural Urban Power List and placed Cash Money co-founders and Co-CEO’s Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams on the cover of their new issue.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, T.I., Tech N9ne and newly named Def Jam president Joie Manda all appear on the list, but it’s the Cash Money co-executives who get the biggest look. In the past 12 months Cash Money dropped chart-topping albums from all of their marquee artists. Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV sold just under a million copies in its first week of release and both Nicki Minaj and Drake scored #1 albums. In the coming months they are scheduled to drop LPs from DJ Khaled (Kiss the Ring), Mystikal (Original) and Weezy (I Am Not a Human Being II).
Though hot at the moment, Cash Money is no flash in the pan. The multi-million dollar label got its start as an independent in the streets of New Orleans in the early 1990s. In 1998 Birdman and company inked a deal with Universal Records for $30 million and haven’t looked back since. In addition to all of the label’s rap releases Birdman has diversified his musical portfolio through the years. In 2004 CMR released an album with deceased R&B legend Teena Marie and more recently has signed UK pop star Jay Sean and rock veterans Limp Bizkit.
Who is your favorite Cash Money artist of all-time? Let us know in the comments