Lil Wayne, Cash Money and 5 Epic Artist vs. Label Feuds

by Sophie Schillaci 8:35 PM PST, December 10, 2014
Playing Lil Wayne, Cash Money and 5 Epic Artist vs. Label Feuds

Remember when Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V was supposed to drop? Well, it didn’t.

The long-delayed album was slated to street on Tuesday, Dec. 9, but Wayne revealed days earlier that it had been pushed back once again. In a fiery Twitter rant, Tunechi declared "I want off this label."

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And while artist-label feuds are nothing new in the music biz, Wayne's rant was particularly surprising. The 32-year-old signed with Cash Money Records in his pre-teen years and has remained with the company ever since. In 2005 he founded the label’s Young Money imprint, launching stars including Drake and Nicki Minaj.

No word yet on when Tha Carter V will final see the light of day (it was set to be released in 2013, but has been delayed several times), but here’s hoping Wayne and Birdman are able to mend fences ASAP. After all, theirs isn’t even the most epic artist vs. label spat of all time.

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1. When Columbia Records refused to promote Johnny Cash's controversial single "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" in 1964, the singer-songwriter responded by placing a scathing letter in Billboard Magazine as a full-page advertisement. "Where are your guts?" he challenged the music industry. On the 50th anniversary of Bitter Tears this year, the concept album was revisited by Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris and more for a new release via Sony Music Masterworks.

2. Who could forget Prince's famous spat with Warner Bros. in the '90s? The singer famously wrote "Slave" on his face and eventually changed his stage name to the unpronounceable "Love Symbol" in an effort to escape his contract. But all's well that ends well -- today, Prince is back on Warner Bros. and releasing new music.

3. Serious tensions were revealed in a leaked email from Nas to Def Jam execs in 2010. The rapper called himself "nobody's slave" and demanded that the label "put my s*** out!" "Time and time again, it's the executives who always stand in the way of a creative artist's dreams and aspirations," Nas wrote. Earlier this year, the Illmatic rapper released his final album under his Def Jam record deal.

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4. Now this feud is a little more lighthearted. Brad Paisley made headlines this summer by leaking his own album, Moonshine in the Trunk, and broadcasting it on Twitter – much to the chagrin of Sony Music Nashville's top brass. True, some are speculating that Paisley going rogue was nothing more than a marketing ploy, but it’s worth noting that he's also engaged in a $10 million lawsuit with his label over royalties.

5. And now we bring it all back to Cash Money: Tyga tweeted his frustration with the Young Money label back in October, claiming that the executives were holding him "hostage." "Might just leak it for my fans than let them make money off it," Tyga said of his still-unreleased Gold album. Adding for good measure, "the music industry is a devil's playground." When asked by a fan whether he was still with Young Money, Tyga zinged "not for long," and in an interview with Los Angeles' Power 106 radio station, the rapper said he would be releasing his new album independently.

Clearly art and business don't always mix, but can't we all just get along?!

Follow Sophie on Twitter: @SophieSchillaci