By Todd Williams Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Cash Money Records has been a hip hop juggernaut for over a decade now. As the only late 90s rap imprint that's still standing--and arguably, stronger than ever--the New Orleans-based label has surprised many by outlasting former contemporaries like No Limit and Ruff Ryders, and expanding it's vision beyond the Big Easy. The man behind it all is Bryan "Birdman" Williams, the tattooed and gold-toothed businessman who, along with his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams, launched Cash Money in the early 90s.
Today, Cash Money and it's Young Money subsidiary have sustained its popularity by snatching up some of the most talked about young artists. Canadian rapper Drake and colorful femcee Nicki Minaj have become two of the most talked-about stars of 2010, with British soul singer Jay Sean signing with Cash Money in late 2009, as well as established artists like Bow Wow and Bizzy Bone and production duo Cool & Dre and DJ Vlad.
In 2009, Birdman also took part in Pace University School of Law professor Vernon J. Brown’s entertainment law class. The class highlighted the relationship between entertainment lawyers and their clients.
As an artist, Birdman's recording career is sometimes overshadowed by his business moves, but the rapper/exec collaborated with Nelly's re-formed St. Lunatics crew in 2010, and is finishing his Bigger Than Life album and prepping it for an early 2011 release. Williams is also rumored to working on an album with Miami superstar Rick Ross entitled The H.