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Lil Wayne manager’s legal battle with Cash Money over Drake’s cash money is over

By | Published on Monday 29 July 2019


A legal battle over all that lovely Drake money is over. The litigation never actually involved Drake directly, it being between a company called the Aspire Music Group and the Universal-allied label Cash Money. Although there was an artist caught up in the middle of it all, that being your old mate Lil Wayne.

The Aspire company was co-founded by Cortez Bryant who, until last year, was Wayne’s long-time manager. In a 2017 lawsuit, the firm explained how it had signed management and recording agreements with Drake all the way back in 2008. It then subsequently did a deal with Cash Money Recordings via the label’s joint venture with Wayne, Young Money Entertainment.

Aspire claimed that, under that deal, Cash Money/Young Money got to release Drake’s records, but on the condition that Bryant’s company got a third of all the recording copyrights created under the arrangement and a third of all the profits generated.

The lawsuit then alleged that, beyond “a few modest advances”, those payments had never been made. It also claimed that Cash Money had failed to regularly report on the monies Drake’s recordings were generating, and that – on the odd occasion it did actually provide financial reports – there had been some dodgy deductions applied in order to reduce what was owed to Aspire down to less than zero.

Cash Money and its boss Birdman responded by countersuing last year, accusing Bryant of conspiring with both Wayne and the rapper’s lawyer Ron Sweeney to gain a larger share of Drake’s profits than they were really due. The label demanded that Aspire’s lawsuit be dismissed, and that Bryant be forced to pay damages for fraudulent conduct and interference with contractual relations.

Aspire and Bryant’s legal battle with Cash Money followed years of legal wrangling and public feuding between Wayne and Birdman, a beef that greatly delayed the release of the former’s ‘Tha Carter V’ album. But that long-running spat was officially ended in June last year, a couple of months before Cash Money filed its countersuit in the Aspire case.

With Wayne being named in the countersuit, at the time it looked like maybe a second phase of the rapper’s feud with Birdman might be about the begin. Though he then quietly parted company with Bryant, and it’s not clear what his exact involvement has been in the back and forth of this particular legal battle.

Either way, according to legal papers filed with the New York courts late last week, both sides have now voluntarily withdrawn their respective lawsuits. That suggests some sort of deal has been reached, though quite what that deal may consist of is not known.