Lil Wayne's manager, Cortez Bryant, tells the Rap Radar podcast about the events that led to the ongoing dispute between Wayne and Cash Money over "Tha Carter V."
In a new interview with The New York Times, Lil Wayne spoke on Tha Carter V, the album that he's been unable to release due to issues with the label he's been signed to for his whole career. Luckily, though it's been ready for release for at least two years now, Wayne still regards the album as his chef d'oeuvre, describing it as "better than everything I've ever heard." There's still no release date in sight, though Wayne's manager, Cortez Bryant, has confirmed that his client is still going forward with the fifth edition of his legendary "Carter" series. Speaking to the Rap Radar podcast, Bryant also explained why Tha Carter V was originally barred from release by Cash Money in 2014, after its lead single, the Drake-featuring "Believe Me," had become a hit.
Bryant begins the interview explaining how he had never had any financial issues with Cash Money during his tenure with Wayne, which has apparently spanned over a decade. It was normal protocol for Wayne to be given an advance upon dropping his album's lead single, though after "Believe Me," released in May 2014, he never got a check from Cash Money. He and Bryant figured the money would come eventually, and in the meantime, they took part in the successful "Drake vs. Lil Wayne" tour, while watching "Believe Me" climb up the charts.
In the wake of a successful summer, they wanted to put out Tha Carter V as soon as possible, though the advance from Cash Money still hadn't arrived. That's when Wayne decided that he wasn't concerned about the financial aspect of his album's rollout, telling Bryant that he wanted to put Tha Carter V out for free.
Bryant was then able to help Wayne secure a "lucrative" deal with Google, as the company had promised to make Tha Carter V available as a free stream. This was before streaming was a common idea in the industry. When Bryant presented the idea to Cash Money, he says that Birdman and Slim "didn't get streaming." "We can't put the album out," they apparently told him.
Cash Money's refusal to go along with the Google deal was allegedly what led Wayne to the "tipping point," details Bryant, as he was unable to stop his client from airing out his grievances with his longtime label via an now-infamous series of tweets from late 2014. Bryant recalls phoning Wayne's lawyer to give a warning about the imminent upheaval, only to receive a call from TMZ at the same time.
Wayne has managed to release some music during the ongoing blockage of Tha Carter V. Last year, he teamed with Jay Z to put out the Free Weezy Album on TIDAL. Bryant tells the Rap Radar hosts that Universal (Cash Money's parent company) sent out cease and desist letters following the album's release, thus barring it from all platforms aside from TIDAL, and he doesn't want something similar to happen to Tha Carter V. "It is incredible," he says of the music on C5, "so I don't want to put it out until I'm sure that it could be properly marketed the right way."
Watch Bryant's full interview with Rap Radar below.