Birdman on Rick Ross, Others' Claims of Missing Cash Money Payments: 'Numbers Don't Lie'
"I'm a man and I stand my ground and I do my thing."
Rick Ross' ninth studio album, Rather You Than Me, was released today (March 17) via Epic Records with high-profile collaborations with Nas, Jeezy, Future, Gucci Mane and Young Thug, among others. But it's a solo Ross track (albeit with a Chris Rock introduction) that has the internet abuzz: "Idols Become Rivals," which leaked online yesterday, features Ross spending three full verses and an extended outro taking aim at Cash Money Records CEO -- and frequent Ross collaborator, at least in the past -- Bryan "Birdman" Williams.
Among several claims, Ross hones in on one grievance that has cropped up repeatedly throughout Cash Money's extensive history: that the label doesn't pay artists and producers the full amount of royalties that they're owed. "Catholic record labels, n---as gettin' raped, boy /Birdman's a priest, moans in his synagogue /Publishing is his sin, repent, forgive me, Lord," he raps at one point; "You stole them boys' pub and bought a foreclosure," he raps at another, referring to the Hot Boys; "You would give us self-esteem and motivate our drive / But was in our pockets by the time we count to five," he says still later.
His closing lines reference recent lawsuits with Lil Wayne and several Cash Money producers with, "I pray you find the kindness in your heart for Wayne/ His entire life, he gave you what there was to gain / I watched this whole debacle, so I'm part to blame/ Last request, can all producers please get paid?"
Since Cash Money was founded in the 1990s, several artists, producers and companies have either sued the label or publicly denounced its business practices, including Wayne, Juvenile, David Banner, Turk, producer DVLP, label EMI, Orange Factory Music and Drake's first label Aspire Music Group. A few hours after the song leaked, Billboard spoke to Birdman in an unrelated interview and asked the Cash Money CEO about the allegations of missing payments over the years, and the Ross track that resurfaced them.
Read more: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/7728577/birdman-responds-rick-ross-idols-become-rivals