Lil Wayne wins huge settlement against Cash Money, Tha Carter V to finally be released

Long-running legal battle ends with eight-figure settlement and Weezy's freedom from former mentor Birdman

Lil Wayne Philip Cosores Tha Carter IV
Lil Wayne, photo by Philip Cosores

It’s over, and Weezy is the winner. The protracted legal dispute that pitted Lil Wayne and his Young Money imprint against his former mentor Birdman and his Cash Money Records has finally ended with a huge settlement in Wayne’s favor.

According to legal documents obtained by TheBlast (via Reddit), Wayne’s lawyer filed a legal notice on May 23rd acknowledging that all parties involved were prepared to dismiss the lawsuit. Universal Music Group, the parent company of Cash Money, shelled out “well over $10 million” to settle the case, which officially separates Wayne from Cash Money. The company justified the massive sum because they figured they’d recoup the expense from Drake and Nicki Minaj’s contracts, which they’ll retain. (Wayne tried to include those contracts in his suit as recently as March.)

(Read: In a Rap Beef, There’s No Such Thing as Crossing the Line)

Most intriguing for hip-hop fans is that a stipulation in the settlement requires UMG to release the long-delayed Tha Carter V, the album that started this whole legal mess in the first place. Lil Wayne recorded Tha Carter V between 2013 and 2014 with the initial intention to drop it in December 2014. The crumbling relationship between Birdman and Wayne led to the album being shelved when the former refused to release it. Not long after, Wayne filed a $51 million suit against Birdman and Cash Money that included an $8 million advance for Tha Carter V and a $2 million finishing bonus.

The record collected dust until infamous and now incarcerated pharmadouche Martin Shkreli claimed to have purchased it in 2016. As part of his sentencing for securities fraud, Shkreli was required to turn over $7.3 million in assets, including Tha Carter V and the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

But now Shkreli is in prison, Lil Wayne is free from Cash Money, and we’re finally getting Tha Carter V. For once, everything seems right in the world.