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Money Man is made: How the Atlanta rapper became his own boss

Money Man may not have the name recognition as the latest SoundCloud sensation, you may not see him doing press tours nor flaunting in high-budget music videos, but if there’s something you can unequivocally count on when it comes to the Decatur native: he’s his own boss.

Money Man can drop music when he wants, how frequent as he likes, put as many songs as he wants on them, and not promote it if he doesn’t feel like.

He has his own marijuana farm, made hundreds of thousands in cryptocurrency and owns an imprint — all while being fairly new to the rap scene.


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Can’t afford this drip cuz it cost to much

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This past Tuesday he dropped his first release of 2019, a 25-track EP called Paranoia. Usually, albums aren’t that long without at least some promotion, but that’s what you can do when you call the shots, which is how the 32-year old has positioned himself in a short span of time, it feels.

The Atlanta rapper first made a splash on the mixtape circuit back in 2016 with his Black Circle series, with his most notable song being “How It Feel,” yet Money Man moves like someone who’s a 10-year vet in the industry.

Where most rappers upon getting into the game can’t articulate the simplest nuances of their deal — like Lil Yachty and Blueface for example — Money Man has been maneuvering, peeping game and making ground, the whole time.

After catching his buzz, Money Man signed with Cash Money Records in 2017 but eventually found it not conducive to how he wanted to go about his career. So the then-new rapper with a shiny new record deal, put up $250,000 to get out of that contract.


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Most rappers wouldn’t be able to recognize they were in the midst of something that wasn’t for them, nonetheless be able to put the money up to buy themselves out, but that’s why Money Man has all the leverage now. He told HipHopWired in a 2018 interview,

“I just left because my [signing] wasn’t helping me. It wasn’t bettering my situation. Whatever I felt like they could do at the time, I could do myself. When they took my music down from streaming platforms, that was one of the final nails in the coffin because I was like ‘I gotta ahead and get myself out of this situation before it messes up my income.’ So I went ahead and rectified them and got everything back up and running,”

Chalk it up to his age or maybe just a different mindset, but he knew from the jump what needed to be done for him to be where he wanted. Now, he has free reign to also be a businessman.

Along with his marijuana business, his own imprint, The Black Circle, where he’s in charge of at least four artists outside of himself (Shooter, Gutta, J Rock, Juney). He told Pitchfork in a 2018 interview,

“I look at rap as a doorway to becoming a billionaire. It attracts different types of people for me to do business with, find out new things. It’s like holding a key right now.”

Nowadays Money Man deals with much smaller corps, partnering instead of signing to Republic Records for his label’s distribution needs. He also relies on a digital distribution like Tunecore and YouTube, which don’t need a major or indie distributor.


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His vision as a businessman has truly already made him a boss, even without being mainstream yet.

Without a doubt, Money Man has the talent, mindset and hustle to become one of the hottest artists in the game. Those who already know respect him as one — it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up.

Stream Money Man’s Paranoia below.

Why Lil Wayne is far from being paid his due after Cash Money deal

Cheers of congratulatory praise showered the air when reports that Wayne had finally won his long-fought legal battle with Cash Money Records over financial disagreeances Wednesday night.

The settlement comes with a $10 million payout and also means Wayne’s now able to release his long-awaited Tha Carter V album, which will drop through Universal Records and not Cash Money, as he has finally severed ties with the veteran hip-hop imprint.

On paper, this does sound like good news. And, in a way, it is.

Cash Money has owed Wayne tens of millions of dollars, including an $8 million advance for Tha Carter V, as well as $2 million after the album was completed. At one point it was reported that Weezy was also asking a judge to declare him the joint copyright holder of all of Young Money Entertainment Recordings.

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But this is nothing new. Cash Money’s financial woes and the misdealings from its figurehead, Birdman, have long been known, dating back to when the label had Curren$y, B.G., and others.

Pusha T famously spoke on it in his feud with Lil Wayne. He rapped in 2013’s “Exodus 23:1“:

“You signed to one nigga that’s signed to another nigga”

A few years after Pusha’s diss, in what is now a historically viral moment in pop culture, Birdman stormed out of an interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club demanding “respek” be placed on his name.

In this instance, Birdman attempted to check the show’s host, Charlemagne, for his alleged nonstop talk of Cash Money’s bad deals. Apparently, it was hurting business.

And just last year Rick Ross’s scathing “Idols Become Rivals” revealed the “They” DJ Khaled often warns us of, was Baby the whole time. He too had been shortchanged for his work with the camp back in the early 2000s.

Given Birdman’s history of bad business, the joy we’ve witnessed after hearing the results of Lil Wayne’s long battle for reciprocity is understandable. Not only was it symbolic of a victory for Wayne himself, but it means there is hope for countless of other artists who also feel like Cash Money records still owe them loot.

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However, I feel like the breaks should be pumped a little here; because symbolic is as about as deep as this victory goes when it comes to Lil Wayne’s compensation. In fact, it’s a stretch to call it a win at all.

In a statement provided to Billboard, Wayne’s attorney Ron Sweeney confirmed the rapper reached a settlement but did not disclose any specific figure:

“Per our settlement agreement, the matter has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. In terms of the particulars, we’re prohibited legally from saying anything further. I can say that my client is happy. He is his own man, a man that owns his assets, his music and himself. At some point, Wayne will let his fans know what’s going to happen next.”

However, there have been updated reports claiming the dollar amount being disclosed is false.

XXL claims Birdman did pay a red penny as it was covered by Universal Records. But even if they did, Lil Wayne is worth far more than $10 million. Keep in mind, he sued Birdman and Cash Money for $51 million initially.

When you think of the value both Nicki Minaj and Drake have added to the label then compile Lil Wayne’s legendary body of work, $51 million is really light.

He is a veteran with decades in the game in — he should be set up like one. Instead, Wayne tours and makes club appearances like new-age SoundCloud rappers.

Celebrating Wayne’s emancipation is good, but when done in context. Like Diddy, Hov, Baby, Dre, and other OG’s, Lil Wayne should be stress-free and be making art on his terms. At 30 plus, it’s a shame he still isn’t at that point.

While the silver lining is The Carter V, it’s a shame we have to settle for moral victories when it comes to a legend this big.

Let’s hope now that he has contractually severed ties from Baby, he can salvage that latter part of his legacy.