Lil Wayne made headlines last week when it was announced that he sold his masters for $100 millon back in June, but new reports claim he gave away more than the rights to his music.
According to Music Business Worldwide, a pending lawsuit reveals that the No Ceilings rapper’s settlement also sold Young Money’s entire catalog to Universal Music Group.
The suit reads, “Plaintiffs are informed and believe… that, subsequent to [Sweeney’s] termination [as Wayne’s manager], specifically in or about June of 2020, Lil Wayne was able to sell the Young Money Masters to Universal Music Group for an excess of $100 million.”
Wayne helped to develop the careers of Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Tyga when he signed them to Young Money Records. Over the years, the artists released multiple projects under the label.
Drake’s albums before and including 2018’s Scorpion, for example, were released under Wayne’s record label, but all other projects since have come out under his own imprint, October’s Very Own. Nicki’s entire catalog, including Queen, has been released under Young Money, and as for Tyga, he stopped dropping music with the label since he decided to release his fourth studio album, The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty, independently.
Wayne’s decision to sell his masters as well as the Young Money catalog comes at a time when artists are trying to obtain the rights to their masters.
Kanye West particularly had a hard time trying to buy his masters back from Universal, prompting one of his social media rants. “I need to see everybody’s contracts at Universal and Sony,” West tweeted. “I’m not gonna watch my people be enslaved. I’m putting my life on the line for my people. The music industry and the NBA are modern day slave ships. I’m the new Moses.”
“My kids gonna own my masters,” he continued in a follow-up tweet.