Interview: Juvenile Talks Leaving Cash Money, How Ice Cube Helped Him, and Claims Lil Wayne Got Ripped Off
The New Orleans rapper talks about fighting to get his money and says Weezy re-signed to the label because "he was scared."
There have been many interesting collaborations this year but one that caught us off guard was Juvenile teaming up with Lil Wayne and Birdman for "Picture Perfect." To casual fans, this probably seemed like a good look—a reunion of sorts between three of the original Cash Money Millionaires. But it seemed strange to us because just a few weeks before dropping the song, Juvenile was in the Complex offices talking about his last days at Cash Money.
Although our conversation was supposed mostly about his 25 Essential Songs, we wandered off to a topic that Juve clearly still has very strong feelings about: Cash Money. Although he wasn't angry, Juvenile had plenty of venting to do about how and why he left his label.
His main gripe was that the label refused to pay him what he felt he was owed as a major part of its rise. He also talked about how Ice Cube did him a huge favor in the midst of the drama, found time to dish out advice to younger artists, and revealed that he suspects Lil Wayne isn't getting all of the money he's entitled to.
As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
Leaving Cash Money
“My reason [to leave Cash Money] is the same reason most artists leave their label—money. The music business is like the sports business. We use entertainment agents, entertainment lawyers. The only difference is they play sports. We all try to operate a certain way.
Why Did Lil Wayne Stay?
“When Wayne was trying to leave Cash Money [in the mid 2000s], same thing. He was trying to find out how did I leave, what did I do, he wanted to see my paperwork. I was like you can see it, but you’re gonna have to pay me for it now because now I know you ain’t with me. You’re own your own because I’m definitely on my own. If you want the paperwork and help from my end, I need to be compensated for it. [He never paid for it].
RELATED: Juvenile Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs
How Ice Cube Helped Him
“When the hurricane [of Cash Money drama] hit, Ice Cube sent me $50,000 and I don’t even know Ice Cube. You know why? Because I was going through the same exact thing he went through [with N.W.A.].
His Advice To Younger Artists
“Just know that it's 95 percent business and 5 percent talent. If you can learn about the business and what you're worth, know what your mechanical percentages is...Cats don't even know what publishing is. Cats don't even know how to break a song down. Learn those things and you'll pretty much be alright.