Birdman sits down for a rare interview with Wallo, during which he opens up about his annual earnings from the Cash Money master recordings.
Birdman's Cash Money Records is easily one of the most legendary labels in hip-hop history, having launched the careers of artists like Lil Wayne, Juvenile, Turk, BG, and Mannie Fresh. Following its dominant run, a new generation of rappers emerged to rep the movement with the launch of Young Money, which brought Drake and Nicki Minaj into the mix. Suffice it to say, Birdman has built quite the substantial nest, having amassed an impressive -- and no doubt valuable -- collection of master recordings under the Cash Money banner.
Over the weekend, Birdman took a moment to sit down with Wallo of Where's Wallo (co-host of Gillie Da Kid's Million Dollaz Worth Of Game podcast) for a rare interview. And while the topic of master ownership can certainly be a touchy subject at times, Wallo made sure to inquire all the same, prompting Birdman to reflect on the substantial earnings the label sees as a result.
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Explaining that he owned his masters ever since signing his first record deal, which came with a ninety-ten royalty split in his favor and a thirty-million dollar advance Birdman noted that it didn't take his label very long to recoup. "Juvenile dropped 400 Degreez, that shit did ten million," he reflects. "A bad day for us was a million or two million copies."
Stressing the importance of owning one's work, Birdman explains that he felt many of his predecessors in the game were shortchanged in unfavorable deals. Wallo inquires about how an artist can make money off the masters, prompting a gem from Birdman at around the seven-minute mark. "If it has a value," explains the mogul. "That's a value. If you don't have a value, you sitting on some shit that's dead -- but it's still your shit. But our shit had value. We license the music. I just started letting people sample my shit. There's a gang of ways to make money off your masters. We generate twenty-thirty million dollars a year just on our masters."
For more from Birdman, including the early days launching Cash Money Records, discovering Juvenile, and his philosophies on business, check out the episode of Where's Wallo below.