Lil Wayne was allegedly making some major money moves behind the scenes this summer. According to Music Business Worldwide, the multiplatinum-selling rapper sold the Young Money catalog to Universal Music Group for $100 million in June. At least that’s what his ex-manager Ronald E. Sweeney who’s suing Wayne to the tune of $20 million says.
Sweeney filed the suit in California’s Superior Court on December 10, accusing Wayne of “failing to honor an oral agreement to pay Sweeney a 10 percent share of certain one-off windfalls.” The lawsuit states as Wayne’s “personal manager,” he was told he’d receive 10 percent of proceeds from three separate paydays — two lawsuit settlements plus the sale of “any master recordings owned by the Young Money [record] Label.”
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The court docs also reveal, “Specifically in or about June of 2020, Lil Wayne was able to sell the Young Money masters to Universal Music Group for in excess of $100 million.” This would include platinum-selling albums such as Drake’s Views and Scorpion, Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint and Wayne’s Tha Carter IV.
The move follows several other exorbitant catalog deals this year. In August, Wu-Tang Clan legend RZA reportedly sold 50 percent of his Wu-Tang and solo catalogs to music IP investment and song management company Hipgnosis Songs, roughly 814 pieces of work.
RZA then struck another deal with Downtown Music Publishing in September. According to a press release, the company said it will “represent Wu-Tang’s interest in songs from its back catalog of classic albums — as well as select works co-written or produced by individual Wu-Tang Clan members for solo releases, affiliates and other artists.”
The writers represented under the deal include Ghostface Killah, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Method Man, the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, RZA and U-God.
Earlier this month, Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Knicks sold an 80 percent interest in her music catalog to publisher Primary Wave for about $80 million, while folk legend Bob Dylan reportedly sold his to Universal Music Group as well for an estimated $300 million.
Read Sweeney’s lawsuit in full here.