Rap fans know that Lil Wayne and Birdman have had a tight (and tumultuous) relationship dating all the way back to 1991. However, in 2014, a dispute over the release of Weezy’s album Tha Carter 5 put their father-son bond to the test. A long-term feud ensued, culminating in a shooting that many believed were a failed hit on Lil Wayne. By the end of the decade, it was hard to keep up with the barrage of lawsuits, diss tracks, and online threats coming from both camps. But was their beef really all about dollars? Take one look at Lil Wayne’s net worth, and you’ll know he’s not hurting for money. Birdman’s net worth is nothing to sneeze at either. Get the real story behind their falling out and find out who is richer.
Birdman And Lil Wayne Had A Father-Son Relationship
Lil Wayne met Cash Money Records co-founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams when he was just 11 years old. Wayne, whose birth father was absent and step-father was murdered, saw Birdman as a father figure. As a child eager for a caretaker’s approval, he used to leave daily raps on the label owner’s answering machine.
“I did that every day after school,” Wayne told Complex in 2015. “That was something I looked forward to from nine o’clock in the morning—getting home and leaving another rap on [Williams’s] voicemail.”
In 1997, Lil Wayne officially joined the Cash Money Records roster via the Hot Boys. But his 1999 debut solo album, Tha Block is Hot, is when the then-17-year-old really started making waves. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum. Nine more albums followed, all in partnership with Cash Money Records.
In the meantime, Wayne established his own CMR imprint, Young Money Entertainment. The label includes major players like Nicki Minaj and Drake.
Wayne and Birdman had every reason to rejoice over their shared success. Their bond was so strong that the two had even kissed in public on multiple occasions—behavior that Birdman defended in 2009.
“[Wayne’s] my son,” he said in an interview with Tim Westwood. “If he was right here, I’d kiss him again. I kiss my daughter. I kiss my other son. If you got a child, you understand. I’ll kill for him, ride for him, and die for him.”
Their Relationship Splintered Following A $51 Million Lawsuit
Things began to fall apart in December 2014, when Lil Wayne published a string of tweets expressing his displeasure with Cash Money Records and their handling of Tha Carter V.
“To all my fans, I want you to know that my album won’t and hasn’t been released bekuz [Birdman] and Cash Money Records refuse to release it,” wrote the rapper. “This is not my fault. I am truly and deeply sorry to all my fans but most of all to myself and my family for putting us in this situation.”
Wayne continued, “I want off this label and nothing to do with these people but unfortunately it ain’t that easy. I am a prisoner and so is my creativity. Again, I am truly sorry and I don’t blame ya if ya fed up with waiting for me and this album. But thank you.”
The following month, he announced that he had filed a $51 million lawsuit against his record label. Among multiple charges of financial impropriety, Wayne alleged that Cash Money withheld key documents from the rapper, as well as $8 million for his delayed album.
“I have no words,” Wayne told Rolling Stone in February 2015. He also confirmed that he was no longer on speaking terms with his surrogate dad. “I’m super-numb to it, to tell you the truth.”
By June 2015, Lil Wayne signed a deal with Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal. The following month, he released his album Free Weezy through the platform. Birdman retaliated with a $50 million lawsuit aimed at Tidal and Jay Z. The record exec claimed that Wayne had no rights to license his own music, making the album’s release illegal.
Things had gotten so heated that Wayne’s tour bus was shot outside of an Atlanta nightclub two months earlier. Jimmy Carlton Winfrey, aka Peewee Roscoe, pled guilty to the crime, but many believe the perp was acting on behalf of Birdman and Lil Wayne’s other rival, Young Thug.
By the end of the year, the two looked as though they were on the road to reconciliation. First, Wayne and Birdman were both spotted at Drake’s New Year’s Eve party; then they appeared on stage together.
“Family never die,” said Birdman. “This my [expletive] son, and I’ma die for him, I’ma live for him, and I’ll [expletive] kill for him. That ain’t never changed. YMCMB for life.”
Unfortunately, the truce didn’t last. For most of 2016, Wayne continued dissing Cash Money Records at live shows and on new tracks. He also filed a $40 million lawsuit against Universal Music Group, claiming they had used his profits to pay off debts accrued by Birdman.
By September, Wayne took to Twitter to announce his retirement:
It turns out it was just a bluff, but we could understand how exhausted he must have felt at the time. He and Birdman continued to trading jabs and lawsuits for the next two years—and there didn’t seem to be an end in sight.
Are Lil Wayne And Birdman Still Feuding?
And just like that, the beef was squashed. In March 2018, Lil Wayne and Birdman were spotted hugging and chatting at Club LIV in Miami.
Birdman spoke to Wendy Williams the previous month and shared his hopes for a reunion.
“It’s a lot of moving parts with me and Wayne, but it’s important to me that I fix that,” he said. “I will fix that. At some point in life you’re going to see me and Wayne working again.”
Perhaps separating family and business helped heal the wounds. In June 2018, the two reached an out-of-court settlement, but the terms remained private. It was later revealed that Wayne had received full ownership of Young Money’s catalog, clearing the way for Tha Carter V’s release.
“There’s no hard feelings or animosity,” said Ron Sweeney, Wayne’s attorney and manager. “This is business, and we finally got our business straight.”
Wayne even said he was on speaking terms with Birdman again, but the nature of their relationship had permanently changed.
“Not even just with him, but my relationships with a lot of people have become different, just because of how different I work now,” he says. “I’m submerged in everything about myself, trying to be better at who I am. It’s something where you have to cut some things off.”
However, this August 2019 photo suggests that they are still on good terms:
What Is Lil Wayne’s Net Worth In 2022?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Lil Wayne has an estimated net worth of $170 million. A Forbes profile cited a number of lucrative income sources for the rapper: live performances ($600,000 per show), a clothing line, and a multimillion-dollar deal with Mountain Dew—and that was in 2012! His valuation has certainly increased since then.
Wayne blew $15.4 million on a 10,000-square-foot mansion in Hidden Hills. The rapper also owns a $16.75 million mansion on Allison Island near Miami Beach.
Weezy spends some of that money on hot rides, too. According to The Things, his drool-worthy collection includes a $1.8 million Bugatti Veyron, Maybach Landaulet (worth $1.35 million in 2002), and Rolls-Royce Phantom. When he’s feeling humble, he drives a $289,000 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
And don’t forget that Lil Wayne is a dad who lavishes his kids with gifts. His daughter Reginae Carter appeared in a 2015 episode of MTV’s My Super Sweet 16, and her dad’s idea of a joke was almost offensive. Lil Wayne surprised Reginae with a BMW, then pulled a “just kidding!” and revealed a second car—a Ferrari.
What Is Birdman’s Net Worth In 2022?
Birdman’s net worth is an estimated $100 million. Thanks to his business savvy, Cash Money Records made $100 million in revenue at its peak. He also negotiated a deal with distributor Universal Music so that his company retained ownership of master recordings—a rare feat in the music business.
Unfortunately, Birdman may not be very good at managing the money that’s been raining on him. In 2012, he purchased a Miami Beach mansion for $14.5 million, in 2020 it sold for $10.85 million. Reports revealed that he defaulted on the mortgage in 2017.
Perhaps he could have sold some of his cars to make the missing payments. Birdman’s collection includes an $8 million custom Maybach Excelero and Lamborghini Aventador.
In the same year he stopped paying off his house, he showed off a blinding jewelry collection on Instagram. Birdman’s bling was said to amount to $50 million.
It looks like the grasshopper has surpassed the master in terms of net worth, but there’s enough money that both should be satisfied with their bank statements. We hope the past is water under the bridge and that their relationship has resolved itself for good.