Rapper Lil Wayne was suppose to be collaborating with rapper Jay-Z, but it seems that’s not the case. Lil Wayne’s label, Cash Money Records, filed a $50 million lawsuit against Jay Z’s streaming companies Thursday, accusing them of violating their exclusive rights to Lil Wayne’s music. Cash Money Records has had Wayne under contract since 1998, and they claim their huge investment in the rapper is being hurt by Jay-Z’s streaming companies. Cash Money stated in court papers that, “(Their actions) are a desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service which has failed to gain traction since its much publicized launch in March 2015.”
Even though Lil Wayne is a part of Cash Money, he is desperately trying to cut ties with the record label, especially because of his conflicts with founder and owner Bryan Williams, better known as Birdman.Wayne has frequently expressed his distress against Cash Money Records, and how he’s their “prisoner.” Wayne announced back in June that he would become a part owner of Jay-Z’s streaming company, Tidal.
Jay-Z’s companies that are being sued include, Aspiro, and WiMP Music, better known as Tidal. Wayne’s contract terms state that he can “not perform for any persons other than” Cash Money, and “not license, or consent to or permit the use of” his name for “the recording or exploitation of any Record” that has a composition which he recorded under that agreement. Birdman’s label also states that it also has the exclusive rights to Lil Wayne’s recordings that are released and not released.
The recordings the lawsuit mainly focuses on is Wayne’s “FWA” album, that was put out by Jay-Z’s streaming services on July 3rd, including 16 songs that had not been released by Cash Money yet. The record label also said that the releases also violates Wayne’s contract, and the release of “FWA” has created confusion in the marketplace about who actually released the album and that Cash Money was hurt because the album was panned. Cash Money is demanding $20 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages from the streaming companies. Hopefully one day, Lil Wayne will be free from Birdman’s grasp.