Fans of Lil Wayne are going through some excruciating pain this year, as the battles over money, music, and life itself seem to keep getting pettier and darker every passing week. Last night the news broke that Wayne’s recent tour bus shooting might have been masterminded by Cash Money CEO and former Wayne mentor Birdman and Wayne-influenced rap prodigy Young Thug. Two of his formerly closest friends might’ve been involved with a plot to have Lil Wayne killed? What the fuck? There’s label wars, there’s broken friendships, and then there’s this. But the malice of Birdman doesn’t stop there.
TMZ reports that Birdman is now going after Jay Z, claiming that Tidal’s exclusive streaming of The Free Weezy Album is illegal and suing for $50 million. Tidal says that Cash Money doesn’t have exclusivity rights to Wayne and his music and that Wayne gave Tidal a right to stream his music in exchange for ownership in the company. Cash Money calls the decision “a desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service,” and counters that Wayne doesn’t have the right to license his music elsewhere. Neither party mentions how Tha Carter V, an album Wayne practically begged Cash Money to release yet remains in the label’s vault, plays into all this.
Cash Money also got in a few parting shots about the quality of FWA, claiming its lukewarm critical reception could hurt their chances at releasing other music from Wayne. As if their malicious bitterness will have no impact on consumers? This soap opera level politics is the last thing fans of Wayne want; what’s a bigger incentive to boycott an album than watching a company hold music hostage and plot to kill your favorite rapper? This lawsuit may end being up being the arena Birdman finally fails in, though; if we know anything by now, it’s that Jay Z knows how to be about his business. It’s hard not to see this as much more than a question of artist’s rights versus corporations. At this point, it feels more like a battle of good versus evil. Too bad justice is blind; let’s keep hoping the law bails Wayne out.