Lil Wayne's manager Cortez Bryant stopped by the Rap Radar podcast and dropped some information on the issues between Cash Money Records and his artist. Among the details revealed was that Tha Carter V was supposed to be released on Google for free, but the deal was killed by the label's founder, Birdman. Cortez said he and his team would come up with a plan and the label would fork over the money, until the "Believe Me" single.
"We were ready to put our Carter V. We put out 'Believe Me' as a single before we put out the record… it's never been a situation in the 12 years I worked with Cash Money... where I would have to worry about anything financial. They were great with the checks because we'd come with a plan, I'd lay it out to them, they cut the check...This time, once we put it out, the check didn't come."
Cortez says he then gave them time to work things out while his team did the Drake vs Wayne tour, which was very successful. They were performing the "Believe Me" record every night, and it became a huge hit. Cortez figured he had to strike while the iron was hot, but the label had to come forward and say they didn't have the money. Cortez says the tipping point came when Lil Wayne said don't worry about the advance, he asked the label to just put the Carter V out and he'll make it for them. Cortez said they then worked something out with Google, but when he presented the deal to Birdman and Slim they didn't understand streaming at the time and went to the higher ups and got the deal killed.
"We had a deal cut with Google where they were going to back the album and put it out for free. When I presented it to Slim and Baby, they didn't get it and the label was against it," admitted Cortez, who says the pair didn't get what it meant to stream the album."They basically told me 'Yo, we can't put the album out.' When I had to tell Wayne that, he was like 'What? You can't stop me, you can't hold me back. I got to tell my fans because they don't deserve this and I'm 'bout to air it out. Before I got off the phone to call his lawyer to let him know we was about to have some s***, TMZ was on the other line."
From there, things escalated quickly as fans called on Birdman to "free Wayne" and Wayne released Free Weezy exclusively on Tidal and other streaming services.