Birdman talks success of Drake and Lil Wayne

4 Dec

Back in the 1990s, when he launched Cash Money Records, Birdman could not have expected the label to be one of the last hip hop labels standing. Late in the 1990s, the label had a good run, now late in the 2000s, the label is having another good run. Most labels have one run and it is all over.

In the late 1990s, the label began releasing popular music from Juvenile, B.G., and Lil Wayne. But, when Juvenile and B.G. left Cash Money, they fell off dramatically. The only remaining star on the label was Lil Wayne and he had only a small following. After a few years of obscurity, Wayne hit the mixtape scene in a major way.

By 2008, he was the biggest star in the rap game. Single-handedly, he had led Cash Money Records to new heights. By himself, he was doing more for the label than the entire roster of the 1990s Cash Money was doing. In 2005, Wayne had expanded Cash Money to also feature a label called Young Money.

For years, the label lived under the shadow of Lil Wayne. During his promotion of Tha Carter III, Wayne promised that 2009 would be their year to shine. As soon as 2009 came in, Drake rose to stardom. His mixtape, So Far Gone, was produced with such high quality that it was assumed that the mixtape was an album.

There were two singles released from the mixtape. Those singles were “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful.” In September, he released a retail version of the mixtape as an EP. In a short period of time, Drake became the most popular rapper of the year 2009. Birdman has the pleasure of being the head of the label that contains both Lil Wayne and Drake.

Recently, Birdman was asked about the possibility of Drake reaching the status of Lil Wayne. He did acknowledge that Drake was on a very high level. However, without Lil Wayne, Drake would not be as popular as he is. Plus, Lil Wayne is a platinum-selling rapper, Drake has yet to even release his debut album.

For Drake to ever reach the level of Lil Wayne, Birdman said that it may take ten or twenty years for Drake to reach that level. Next year will see the release of Drake’s debut album and Wayne hopes to release Rebirth before the end of this year. Next year, he hopes to release Tha Carter IV.

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