He may not look like it, but Birdman is one of the smartest men in hip hop. With only a small amount of money that he made from past dealings, he created Cash Money Records. Even before the label went big time, he had it making money. But, in the late 1990s, he pulled a major coup when he signed Lil Wayne and the other Hot Boyz.
Right after he signed that deal, he signed a $30 million deal with Universal Records. Under the terms of the deal, Birdman controlled the rights to all of the music released and 70% of the profits. In return, Universal agreed to distribute all of the music and take the other 30% of the profits. The deal that Cash Money has in-place with Universal is tied with Aftermath/Interscope for the longest existing deal in hip hop.
While Birdman showed great savvy in the past, he has made some mistakes. One of those mistakes came after a great collaboration with R. Kelly. In 2003, he recorded the hit single, “Gangsta Girl,” with Kelly. The song became a quick hit and Birdman had plans of doing more work with Kells. For the year of 2004, Birdman had plans of replacing Jay-Z with R. Kelly on The Best of Both Worlds. His plans came close, but at the last minute, R. Kelly signed on to work with Jay-Z, again.
This decision, which came back to bite R. Kelly, hard, also cost Birdman, seeing how he had made plans. He is upset at the potential money that they could have made. There were plans for an accompanying movie and a tour, nationwide at that. But, he chose to work with Jay-Z. Even after all of these years, Birdman is still upset with R. Kelly.