Eagle-eyed Drake fans spotted something strange yet familiar on Wednesday, in the credits for Summer Walker’s new remix of “Girls Need Love,” featuring The Boy. The song is credited to Walker’s label LVRN and its partner Interscope, but there is a third name as well: Frozen Moments, LLC. Drake’s normal label Young Money/Cash Money, credited on Scorpion, was nowhere to be found.
Back in July, Variety reported that Drake had a "release" lined up for his next record deal, though it wasn't specified when or where that would take place. Naturally, seeing the name Frozen Moments this week reignited speculation of Drake's current label status. Does this mean Drake is a free agent? Is Cash Money no longer in the picture?
While we can’t say anything for sure about Drake’s label situation, we do know a fair amount already about Frozen Moments, LLC and the very particular role it’s played in the rapper’s business. The saga goes back over a decade, to the very beginning of his career.
Dalton Higgins’ 2012 book Far from Over: The Music and Life of Drake, the Unofficial Story includes a brief mention of Frozen Moments. The company, which Higgins calls “a sports and entertainment finance group” based in Philadelphia, sent out an email to music business bigwigs back in 2006, talking Drake up on the occasion of the release of his first mixtape. (His music was described as “a blend of Common and Jay-Z.”)
Whatever Frozen Moments was in 2006, by 2009 Drake wanted to lock the name down legally. On May 7 of that year, Frozen Moments, Inc. was first incorporated in Florida. Just eight days and $160 in filing fees later, it was changed into an LLC, with Drake as the manager and sole member. You can see the relevant paperwork, Drizzy signature inclusive, here. And the company’s mailing address? Philadelphia.
Drake isn’t the only person involved in Frozen Moments, though. Cortez Bryant, who signed the rapper to his label Aspire back in 2008, was a registered agent for the LLC—you can see his name on the company’s articles of incorporation. The law firm that handled said incorporation? Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, out of Philly. (After an examination of the LLC’s records, it appears that Bryant’s involvement had ended by 2011, when the registered agent was changed to Drake.)
In its maiden year of 2009, the company was credited on Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” as it made its way up the Billboard charts. That August, the company started filing for trademarks for Drake-related products and services like it was going out of style. (It’s doubtful they’ve gotten much use lately out of their right to use “Drake” on CD-ROMs, but better safe than sorry.)
The company would file for trademarks on more stuff in 2014, and again just last year, most recently renewing its lapsed trademark for Drake-branded audio equipment. They even filed with the FCC for their own internal radio system. Frozen Moments has had other tasks in recent years, such as getting fake Drake, 40, and OVO websites taken down—sorry to whoever owned “aubreydrakegraham.com” and “officialdrake.com.”
All of this, save the Billboard listing, was behind the scenes—very much in tune with other not-generally-known companies registered to Aubrey D. Graham like “Live Write, LLC” and “Away From Home, LLC.” The “Girls Need Love” remix is the first public-facing mention of Frozen Moments, LLC since “Best I Ever Had”—a sure indication that something is changing, even if we don’t yet know what.
Complex has reached out to a rep at Interscope, as well as Drake’s reps to find out more about why Frozen Moments is now the name of record on Drake’s music. They have yet to respond.