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Death Row. Roc-A-Fella. Bad Boy. Murder Inc. No Limit. G-Unit. Just like Young Money, these labels too, have had their reign at the top. But just as Sir Isaac Newton once said, “What goes up, must come down.” And boy is it coming down. I’ve been watching Young Money for a few months now, because I started to notice the crumbling of their empire. Now if you’re a Hip-Hop head like me, then what’s happening in Young Money is nothing more than history repeating itself. Albums being pushed back, the workers becoming more famous than the boss, disgruntled artists, and so on. It’s been done. And a lot more entertainingly I might add. So lets explore Young Money and the repeating history.
Lil Wayne & Drake’s relationship aka Jay-Z and Kanye: Now before you write me a 30-page dissertation, hear me out. Wayne, made his way from the harsh streets of New Orleans to becoming one of Hip-Hop’s top rappers. Hmmm. Drake, a suburban kid whose raps aren’t considered traditional Hip-Hop. Mkay. Drake’s admiration for Wayne is like that of a little brother/ big brother (or creeper depending on who you ask). Oh. Drake’s is considered the top dog even though Wayne is still his boss. The two even went on tour together, Watch the Throne. Oops, I mean Drake vs. Wayne. But just like Hov and Ye, this relationship will be on the rocks, especially with the success of OVO. The 48 Laws Of Power: Law #1: ‘Never outshine the master.’
A Disgruntled Tyga aka A Disgruntled The Game: First let me say “300 bars And Runnin” is still one of my favorite diss records. The Game showed no mercy. So back on topic, how are the two the same? Both California natives made a splash on the scene. Feature after feature, and straight radio dominance. But both artists believed the hype before there really was some. (Well The Game had a reason. Sold five million on his debut, he had a reason to poke his chest out.) Both artists believed they were bigger than the crew that put them on. I mean nobody was checking for Tyga and his lime in the coconut. They both bit the hand that was feeding them and Hip-Hop wasn’t too happy about that.
Birdman aka Puff Daddy/Puffy/P.Diddy/Diddy/$$: This one shouldn’t be that hard. Both give their naïve artists, crappy contracts so they won’t have to pay them. They keep dropping albums that nobody asked for. (Actually Puff’s album aren’t bad). Like to keep their artists hostage (Juvenile, Ma$e, Lil Twist, The Lox). Flashy. Cocky. And with all that bad press, can still get a sucker to sign to their label.
What Young Money is doing is nothing new. So I see them at the beginning of the end. Both Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne’s albums getting the pushed back treatment. Tyga getting the dreaded step-child treatment from his ‘family.’ Drake drifting off on his own. Young Money steadily forgetting to pay people who do a job for them like produce records. The fact that they only release Drake, Wayne, Nicki, and Birdman albums. Nobody wants a Birdman album. Birdman don’t even want a Birdman album. Where’s Gudda Gudda? Lil Chuckee? Shanell? The other 1,879 members of Young Money? Young Money reign is coming to an end. Won’t be this year or the next, but I guarantee that by 2016 there will be a new king of the hill. The question is just the matter of who? OVO? TDE? Roc Nation? Dreamville? G.O.O.D. Music? Only time will tell, so until then lets sit back and watch another death of a dynasty. Just for fun, a glimpse of happier times can be found below. -Pooh Bailey