“Man he was doing some wild S&M s**t with this Puerto Rican chick. I mean we all heard
the whips and screaming. So we tried to turn some music on to drown
it out. All he had in the house was a stack of Carter 3 CDs they
bought back from the label in 2008. So we had one on blast, but
Birdman came out butt naked and said, ‘turn that s**t off.’ He
knocked the CD player off the table with his whip and broke it. So we
just had to listen to them for another hour.”

After being asked why he and his crew put up with such an uncomfortable situation, new Cash
Money artist Left Ear Louie Shoe answers, “Man, Birdman got money.”

It seems Birdman’s fortune has bought him a lot of goodwill in Hip-Hop. The Cash Money
Records co-founder has long had a reputation for being flashy and
buying expensive cars and homes, but at the same time not paying his
own artists. He’s currently embroiled in a financial dispute with
flagship artist Lil Wayne. Every member of the Hot Boyz has
left the label due to Birdman’s shady business tactics. Young Money
artist Tyga said he never received any royalties from his “Rack
City” smash.

Despite the long trail of
frustration, new artists line up to sign with Birdman’s Cash Money
Records. Even as Lil Wayne, who once called Birdman his father, says
f**k the label onstage. It’s alleged that Birdman signs 3 Cash Money
artists a day—and it’s rarely because of music.

“Bryan just goes around hiring real n*ggas and people that benefit him,” says Constance
Williams, his cousin. “He signed his chaffeur. He signed a guy he
saw wearing Lugz. He signed a cook at Red Lobster because they
buttered his lobster right.”

Though many industry insiders believe Birdman signs artists as “tax writeoffs,” his
reasoning is noble—if not flawed.

“One day, we were talking about how crooked the game is,” Constance recalls. “And
he said he wanted to do something for Black artists. He wants to sign
every rapper. Not like how people say every and it means a lot. He
literally wants every artist signed to Cash Money so all the money in
Hip-Hop flows through him. He said only then will he pay his artists,
because he’d be spreading the wealth for Hip-Hop artists. It’s rap
communism. He’s like Hip-Hop Castro, but people ain’t woke.”

YMCMB artist Gudda Gudda
laughs to keep from crying as his “Bedrock” royalties lie on a
pool table.

Since that day, Birdman has used the fortune accrued from his artist’s hard work to buy cars
and portray a lavish lifestyle that will attract signees. He was able
to keep up appearances for years, but after the fallout with rap
superstars Drake and Wayne, Birdman has been upfront to new artists
about not being paid.

New Cash Money signee Yung Holdup Spinbox is OK with not being paid, and states his

“Birdman got money. And yeah I won’t get any of it, but at least he has it. It’s simple
mathematics: I’d rather be around a n*gga with $100 million than a
n*gga with $50 ‘Ms’ because he paid me half. Once you got $100
million you can meet the President and s**t. Obama probably make a
billion a day, he don’t need to meet $50 million n*ggas.”

Birdman uses his fortune as an excuse for seemingly every misdeed, including recently missing
Thanksgiving dinner with his family. When his daughter asked him what
kind of business meeting takes place on Thanksgiving, he showed her
an ATM receipt and stormed out of the house in a huff.

The next day, he was at a high profile Italian Restaurant in New York when he walked out and
refused to pay. Why did he refuse to pay?

“He pulled out a bankroll of $100,000 from his Gucci bag, dropped it all on the floor
and had his man count each piece,” Constance says. “Then he told
them n*ggas, ‘I’m not paying you ’cause I got money.’ Man, Birdman
got money.“