Lil Wayne may have ended his bitter feud with Birdman, his former mentor and label boss, but that doesn’t mean he’s done demanding the money that he believes he’s owed. He’s still proceeding with his $51 million lawsuit against Cash Money Records. And now he’s also suing Universal, Cash Money’s parent company, for an additional $40 million.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wayne’s lawyers filed a federal lawsuit against Universal in California yesterday. Wayne claims that Universal owes him for discovering and nurturing people like Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga, all of whom were part of his Young Money crew and who would almost certainly not be Universal talents if not for Wayne’s work with them. According to the lawsuit, rather than paying Wayne, Universal has diverted those funds to repaying itself the $100 million that it advanced Cash Money.
According to Wayne’s lawyers, he signed a deal in 2003 that would grant him 49% of the profit from those artists and 49% of their masters, as well. The deal was extended multiple times, and it didn’t expire until last June.
A spokesman for Universal had this to say: “It should be no surprise that we learned of the lawyer’s complaint through the news media. We don’t intend to dignify this with further public comment except to say that we will vigorously contest it and that the merits of our case will carry the day.”
It’ll be up for the courts to interpret those contracts, of course. But it’s pretty obvious, even to outsiders, that the label has profited mightily from all the work Wayne did in bringing in all these now-massive artists, and also Gudda Gudda.