Is Signing To Cash Money The Only Way For Rappers Like Soulja Boy To Be Relevant Right Now?
If you’re a rapper and you’re looking for a deal right now, Bryan “Baby” Williams better be the first guy on your list of people to call. In fact, if you’re a rapper and you’ve already had a deal in the past but you haven’t seen your career take flight like you think it should have, you better have Baby on speed dial.
Don’t look now, but Cash Money is taking over. Again. With most of hip-hop’s top acts, including Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj already signed to the label—or to Weezy’s label Young Money Records, which falls under the Cash Money umbrella—it’s no secret that The Label That Baby Built is running the game right now. Just check out the $8 million Maybach that Baby just bought for proof of that. But there’s another alarming new trend that’s got us scratching our heads right now: Artists looking for a second chance by coming over to Cash Money to put out an album.
That list already includes acts like DJ Khaled, Bow Wow, Cory Gunz, and, most recently, Soulja Boy, who has allegedly been in talks with Cash Money about joining their roster once he finished out his Interscope contract. Though Baby denied talking with Soulja because of his affiliation with Interscope, Soulja did admit to meeting up with him to talk business recently. And that left us thinking: Has a deal with Cash Money become the only way for artists like SB to be successful in the game? Because they’ve opened up their arms to so many different kinds of artists, has Baby’s label made itself the premiere place for artists to be signed?
The answer: Eh, sort of. A quick glance at the Cash Money roster shows that many of the artists that are affiliated with it—from Glasses Malone to Jae Millz to Tyga—have improved their visibility as a result of signing with Cash Money but haven’t necessarily put out great albums or gone platinum after signing with the label. Additionally, the artists who have sold a boatload of albums on Cash Money—Weezy, Drizzy, Nicki—have done so on their own merits, not just because of their ties to the label.
But the Cash Money name certainly holds a lot of weight in the game. And that’s one reason that a Bow Wow or a Soulja Boy could greatly benefit from being signed to Cash Money. For better or worse, artists these days are having trouble moving many units without being affiliated to a crew. Eminem has his Shady 2.0 camp as well as his ties to Dr. Dre and his artists. Rick Ross has his Maybach Music Group and all of the artists that fall underneath that umbrella. Even a new artist like Tyler, the Creator runs with Odd Future and isn’t facing the same struggle that someone like SB is facing.
The reason Cash Money is different, though, is that they’ve been notoriously open to the idea of signing artists who are marketable but are having trouble doing things on their own. Much like Roc-A-Fella did during the end of their reign, Cash Money has opened its’ arms to artists who you might not immediately associate with the label—and that’s making them look extremely attractive to artists who want to microwave their buzz because they don’t have time to build it up slowly.
So, in that regard, it’s no wonder Soulja Boy wants a piece of the action. It’s no wonder that Bow Wow is banging down LIl Wayne’s door asking about his next album. It’s no wonder DJ Khaled took his talents out of South Beach and over to New Orleans. Cash Money is undoubtedly where you need to be if you’re an artist looking for a quick fix to a stalled career.
So if you’re a rapper and you’re looking for a deal right now—whether you’re new, old, or somewhere in the middle—you better find a way to get in touch with Baby. Because like it or not, it’s one of the only ways to make sure that your name, your music, and your career remains relevant at the present moment.