UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP ACQUIRED YOUNG MONEY CATALOG FOR OVER $100M IN JUNE (SAYS LIL WAYNE’S EX-MANAGER, WHO’S SUING HIM FOR $20M)
DECEMBER 16, 2020
Tis the season to be jolly… and, evidently, for the ex-managers of hip-hop superstars to sue their former clients. Earlier this month, we learned that Chance The Rapper had split with his long-time manager, Pat Corcoran, with Corcoran suing Chance for alleged under-payment of commissions. Now, it’s the turn of former Lil Wayne manager, Ronald E. Sweeney, to fire a multi-million dollar lawsuit at his ex-client. In Sweeney’s suit, filed in California’s Superior Court on December 10, the executive accuses Wayne (real name Dwayne Carter Jr) of failing to honor an oral agreement to pay Sweeney a 10% share of certain one-off windfalls. Exploring those one-off windfalls means we crash into an ongoing industry narrative here on MBW: huge music companies paying big money to acquire copyrights. Sweeney’s lawsuit alleges that, as Lil Wayne’s “personal manager”, the artist agreed to pay Sweeney 10% of proceeds from three separate paydays: two lawsuit settlements – which we’ll come back to – plus the sale of “any master recordings owned by the Young Money [record] Label”. An important bit of history: Young Money Entertainment was formed by Lil Wayne in 2005, following a renegotiation with the artist’s label, Cash Money Records (which itself is a subsidiary of Universal Music Group).
Since Young Money launched as an imprint/JV of/with Cash Money, the label has put out huge records by artists such as Drake (including Scorpion, Views, Nothing Was The Same and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late), plus Nicki Minaj (including Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, The Pinkprint) and Wayne himself (including Tha Carter IV, Rebirth, I Am Not A Human Being).
According to Sweeney’s lawsuit, which you can read in full through here, in June 2020, the artist sold Young Money’s entire catalog of masters to Universal Music Group in a nine-figure deal. full read below