Young Money

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About Young Money

Rapper-led labels are a dime a dozen, but few have been as powerful as Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment, an imprint whose roster found stardom that rivals that of its founder. Lil Wayne founded Young Money as an imprint of his longtime label home Cash Money Records in 2005, as he was beginning to hit his stride as a superstar. By 2008, Wayne was on an unprecedented high with the meteoric rap classic Tha Carter III. Soon after, he signed two franchise players: Drake, a Canadian actor-turned-musician who could sing catchy hooks and spit emotive rhymes; and Nicki Minaj, a Brooklyn lyricist with ferociously confident bars and a host of show-stopping alter-egos. As both artists earned buzz on the mixtape circuit, the label capped the year with the clique album We Are Young Money, illuminating the label's Big Three—and signees like strip club hitmaker Tyga and Gudda Gudda—with fun, infectious singles like "BedRock'' and "Roger That." Drake and Nicki Minaj went on to influence a generation of melodic emo-rap soundalikes and female rap disciples, respectively. Young Money made two other compilations in 2013 and 2014: The first combined Young Money and Cash Money under the collective name Rich Gang (which later transformed into a two-person outfit consisting of Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan), and its follow-up, Young Money: Rise Of An Empire. The label's young stars maintained momentum as legal disputes stalled the release of Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V, but various contractual changes left official label homes unclear. Still, loyalty remains among YMCMB, and legacy outlives all else.

New Orleans, LA, United States of America

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