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Cash Money Records Earns BMI Icon Award

Birdman/AP
• July 17, 2013 3:19 pm

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Close behind household brands Jay-Z, Diddy, and Dr. Dre on the list of hip-hop's wealthiest artists are Cash Money Records’ co-founders Bryan "Birdman" and Ronald "Slim" Williams.

Unlike their better known peers, they didn’t shamelessly shill for a Korean phone company or attempt to create moguls in the classroom. Birdman and Silm found themselves in the upper echelon of wealthiest hip-hop artists the old fashioned way: by making music.

And the brothers’ entrepreneurship has earned them a distinction that their fellow moguls have yet to attain: the 2013 BMI Icon Award.

BMI VP Catherine Brewton in a release:

"Bryan and Ronald Williams’ creative and entrepreneurial acumen has resulted in over 20 years of global success for them personally, and for their enterprise, Cash Money Records."

Sean Combs, Shawn Carter, and Andre Young’s immense wealth resulted from selling branded vodka, a clothing line, and headphones and, notably, only representing Gotham and the City of Angels.

Clocking in at a net worth of over $200 million combined, Birdman and Slim are pioneers of a different kind. They were the first to take advantage the demographic trend of Americans moving south, which in turn popularized southern hip-hop.

The history of Cash Money tells the story of the last twenty years in hip-hop.

At the turn of the 20th century, in-house acts Juvenile and the Big Tymers moved Cash Money into popular music.

Cash Money dominated the mid-2000s off the back off of Dwayne Michael Carter.

Weezy’s success allowed the label to remain relevant in today’s fragmented music landscape by diversifying its roster. When I say diversify, I mean the label underwent mitosis, randomly signing Kevin Rudolf, Paris Hilton, and Limp Bizkit.

But the days of being a purely a music label are dwindling. Cash Money will be publishing a book by the Reverend Al Sharpton, "The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership."

Politics aside, by peeping the Rev’s latest squeeze, there’s a few things we could learn from the man.

Cash Money Records, where dreams come true.

Published under: Hip Hop