Lil Wayne has reportedly settled two lawsuits with Cash Money Records and Universal Music Group, potentially paving the way for the release of his long-awaited album, Tha Carter V. According to Billboard, the rapper’s lawyer has confirmed a settlement.
“Per our settlement agreement, the matter has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved,” Lil Wayne’s attorney Ron Sweeney of Sweeney, Johnson & Sweeney LLC told Billboard in a statement.
The details of the settlement have not been disclosed. “In terms of the particulars, we’re prohibited legally from saying anything further,” Sweeney continued. “I can say that my client is happy. He is his own man, a man that owns his assets, his music and himself. At some point, Wayne will let his fans know what’s going to happen next.”
Wayne’s legal saga began in 2015 when he sued his longtime label, Cash Money, as well as its co-founders Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams. Wayne sought to end his contract with the label, claiming the company owed him a substantial amount of money connected to Tha Carter V. A year later, Wayne slapped Cash Money’s distributor, Universal Music Group, with another lawsuit, claiming unpaid royalties from both his music and the artists his Young Money label helped foster, such as Drake and Nicki Minaj.
With regards to the first lawsuit, a notice for dismissal was filed May 23rd, and according to the Blast, Universal paid “well over $10 million” to settle the suit. The agreement reportedly also ended Wayne’s deal with Cash Money, meaning Universal is now expected to release Tha Carter V. Rolling Stone was unable to independently confirm The Blast’s report.
As for the second lawsuit, Pitchfork reports that a notice of dismissal filed May 25th does not mention a monetary settlement, though each side has agreed to “bear its own costs and attorneys’ fees.” It’s unclear whether Wayne will receive any royalties accrued by the Young Money roster.
Lil Wayne’s multi-year legal drama with Cash Money was accentuated by a string of surreal events and controversies outside the courtroom. In April 2015, Jimmy Carlton Winfrey, an associate of Birdman and the rapper Young Thug, fired multiple gunshots at Lil Wayne’s tour busses. He ultimately earned a 10 year prison sentence, plus 10 years on probation (neither Birdman nor Young Thug faced charges related to the incident).
Over the years, Lil Wayne and Birdman also seemed to take aim at each other in occasional diss tracks, while ostensible signs of peace were scuttled within months. In one of the saga’s most bizarre turns, the infamous pharma bro, Martin Shkreli, became involved when the federal government requested he forfeit a copy of Tha Carter V he supposedly owned.