Birdman Net Worth
Birdman Net Worth: $150,000,000
Sources: Cash Money Records, Young Money Entertainment, Lugz, acting
Bryan Williams aka “Birdman” aka “Baby” aka “Stunna” is a record producer, rapper, actor, and entrepreneur. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has a net worth of $150 million. Williams, however, would like you to think that his net worth is much higher. He has claimed in interviews that his personal net worth should be valued at anywhere between $550 million to $1 billion. Williams has made his biggest mark in the hip-hop industry as co-founder and CEO of Cash Money Records, a label that is currently home to artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne.
A veteran of the hip-hop business, Williams started Cash Money Records in 1991 with his brother Ronald “Slim” Williams, who remains co-owner of the company today. Originally intended as a business venture to lift Williams and his friends out of poverty, the label garnered only modest regional success in its first three years of operation. In 1995, the label made a key move by signing a young rap group called the Hot Boys (of which Lil Wayne was a member). That group later attracted the attention of executives at Universal Records. In 1998, the Williams brothers signed a $30 million pressing and distribution deal with Universal, making Cash Money a subsidiary of Universal, but keeping 85% of its royalties, 50% of its publishing revenues, and ownership of all masters.
Soon after this deal, Cash Money began to release platinum-selling albums like Juvenile’s “400 Degreez” and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Block is Hot.” One of the keys behind this early success was Mannie Fresh, the label’s in-house producer. In 1997, Williams teamed up with Mannie Fresh to form the rap duo “Big Tymers.” This duo achieved some success in the early late ‘90s and early 00’s, releasing several of their own albums and appearing as guests on most of the Cash Money releases of that era. Their 2002 album, “Hood Rich,” was their biggest success, and featured the hits “Still Fly” and “Oh Yeah!” The duo would later disband, but not before both artists broke out with their own efforts.
Williams’ first solo album, entitled “Baby aka the #1 Stunna” came out in 2002. So far, he has not achieved the same type of success as a rapper that he has as a businessman, although he and Lil Wayne did put out a gold record together: 2006’s “Like Father, Like Son.”
In 2005, Cash Money expanded with the launch of Lil Wayne’s new label Young Money, an imprint of Cash Money. Lil Wayne briefly took over as President of Cash Money, but later stepped down in order to focus more on his own music.
In addition to his role as CEO of Cash Money, Williams has the heart of an entrepreneur, and has undertaken a number of other moneymaking ventures. Here’s what he’s been up to:
In 2004, the Lugz work boot company brought Williams on board to promote a signature shoe through radio and TV commercials. As part of the deal, Lugz enclosed a signature Cash Money stack clip with every pair of Birdman shoes sold.
While focusing mostly on the business side of the hip-hop industry, Williams has also found some time to pursue a small acting career. So far, Williams has starred in the 2005 movie “Beauty Shop,” and provided the narration for the video game “Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition,” which came out in 2002.
Young Money / Cash Money
One of the reasons that Williams claims that his wealth is so high is because of the total net worth of the Young Money / Cash Money enterprise. Estimates at the company’s net worth have placed it at well over $500 million. But even though Williams is CEO of the company, he is not the sole proprietor. His brother Ronald “Slim” Williams still holds 50% ownership of the company, and Cash Money itself is owned by Universal Records. This all could change soon, however, as Cash Money’s contract with Universal ends in the summer of 2013. This may lead to a bidding war for the company, which could mean a huge payout for the Williams brothers.
Young Money Cash Money Billionaires (YMCMB)
In 2011, Cash Money Records rolled out their official YMCMB merchandise, which includes t-shirts, hoodies, and accessories. Previous to this launch, this apparel was only available to artists signed to Cash Money, who were often seen sporting the YMCMB letters at promotional events.
Latest Venture: New Albums
In May 2013, Young Money / Cash Money will release a new compilation album, entitled “Rich Gang: Flashy Lifestyle,” hosted by Williams. Additionally, Williams has announced on several occasions that he and Lil Wayne will release a sequel to their 2006 album “Like Father, Like Son.” He had previously stated that the project would be released sometime in 2012, but so far the album has yet to see the light of day.
After starting from scratch 22 years ago, Williams doesn’t appear to be satisfied with his company’s wealth yet. And with stars like Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne on the rise, plus the potential for another multimillion-dollar major label deal in the summer of 2013, the future looks bright for the whole Cash Money / Young Money crew. To quote the Birdman: “I think Young Money Cash Money will be the first billion-dollar brand in hip-hop.”