During his career, Lil Wayne has had a strong affiliation and connection to Rap mogul and rapper himself, Birdman. Birdman, with his brother, had formed Cash Money Records in the early 1990’s and it became the label in which Lil Wayne launched his solo career. Success for Wayne in the early 2000’s was followed up with him forming the record label Young Money Entertainment in 2005.
Back in 2009 and 2010, Lil Wayne was arguably at his real peak and one of the best rappers around at the time. The Young Money Entertainment label and Cash Money Records formed an alliance and due to the already established affliction between Wayne and Birdman, Young Money became a subsidiary of Cash Money Records.
It was around 2009/2010 when the YMCMB collective actually had a rise to popularity. Their song “Bed Rock” achieved massive success, achieving platinum status three times in the United States and charting in the UK. The song featured on the We Are Young Money album that also gained results.
During this whole period, many artists came and went from the labels. Shortly after this spout of success with the We Are Young Money album, some of the artists continued to path their solo careers, others left the labels, others disappeared into obscurity and some are still signed to the labels. The list is endless…
So, instead of looking at all of them, we take a look at some of the contrasting members and what has become of their differing careers since signing with the labels and also look at where they are now.
Tyga first signed for Young Money Entertainment and actually featured on the “Bed Rock” hit. Since then, Tyga has gone on to become one of the biggest names in Rap music with his friendship with Chris Brown forming many collaborations. Tyga continued to release music via Young Money and Cash Money but in 2014 actually became frustrated when he claimed his latest project The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty was being “held hostage” by the label. Tyga released the album independently and in 2016, signed with Kanye West’s GOOD Music label. After a brief period of criticism and poor music, Tyga made a comeback in 2018 and has been releasing top hits since.
A contrast to that of Tyga, Lil Twist did not feature on “Bed Rock” and is still associated and signed to the labels. Making many guest appearances with other artists at the time, Lil Twist has still not released a solo album. Lil Twist’s last single release was “Good Credit” in 2014 but last released a solo mixtape in 2018.
Unlike Lil Twist, Gudda Gudda did make an appearance on “Bed Rock” but very much like Lil Twist, Gudda Gudda still remains signed to the labels. Releasing mixtapes in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, Gudda has still not ever released a solo album. He achieved a Best Group award with Young Money in 2014 at the BET Awards and a few features on Lil Wayne singles but did not feature on Wayne’s latest album in 2018.
Jae started out by performing in rap battles and after a successful debut single entitled “No No No” in 2003, the labels came knocking. After singing with and then leaving Warner Bro’s. and also Universal, Jae went back to releasing mixtapes. In 2008, Millz signed the dotted line with Young Money Entertainment and in 2009, featured on “Bed Rock”. Jae is no longer signed to either label and no album has been forthcoming in the years since.
After releasing a couple of mixtapes in 2007 and 2008, the deal was to be done in 2009 with Nicki signing for Young Money Entertainment. Minaj featured on “Bed Rock” and also “Roger That”, another track that appeared on the Young Money album. Following this, Nicki Minaj would go on to have huge success with the release of four albums, multiple tours and even appearances in films. Now regarded as one of the most popular female rappers this decade.
Well, I’m sure at this point of this list, we are all very aware of what has occurred to this artists career. Drake signed with Young Money Entertainment in 2009 after releasing mixtapes “Room For Improvement” independently and “Comeback Season” from his own formed OVO label. Over the years, Drakes popularity has increased drastically with the Canadian rapper/singer becoming one of the most popular and well known rappers on the planet. Still technically signed to Young Money, since then Drake has also signed artists to his own label, OVO Sound, with artists such as PARTYNEXTDOOR and Majid Jordan currently signed to the label.
The list is a long one. Many artists had brief stints with the labels with no singles or albums being released and other artists only had affiliations with the labels. Other notable names to mention are DJ Khaled, Bow Wow, Omarion and even…Paris Hilton.