Drake’s new album wasn’t supposed to be bought — it was supposed to be free and released as a mixtape exclusively on DatPiff.com until Cash Money Records stepped in with an offer Drake couldn’t resist.
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late dropped from thin air into the iTunes store last week in what appeared to be a promotional strategy stolen from beneath Beyonce’s britches. DatPiff founder Kyle “KP” Reilly says that’s not exactly what happened.
“Originally we were in talks to release it for free,” Reilly told HipHopDX. “However, the label was not in favor of that and they struck an agreement to release the project the retail route and it would count towards one of his albums.”
According to the interview, Drake had planned to release the mixtape for free all along and was happy to release it through DatPiff. As of two weeks ago, the label had not yet come to an agreement with Drake to release the album to retail, and the final plans for the mixtape were still undecided.
“He wanted to give it away. [The label] said, ‘Hell no,’ not in those words, so they ‘agreed’ to do it this way as a middle ground and it would count towards his Cash Money deal album total,” Reilly said. “The label had zero input or creative control over [the album].”
If the album had been released as a mixtape, would it still have been titled If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late? This new drama surrounding Cash Money makes us wonder if the album title wasn’t a message from Drake to his fans, a sort of subtle apology or statement saying “I tried” or “It’s not my fault” that you have to pay for this.
Drake’s friend and mentor Lil Wayne is currently suing Cash Money Records for $51 million stating that the label withheld important financial documents from him and never paid him for the last album he recorded, which Cash Money has delayed releasing for at least two years.
“I am a prisoner and so is my creativity,” Lil Wayne tweeted last December. “I want off this label and nothing to do with these people, but unfortunately it ain’t that easy.”
During the difficult legal process, Lil Wayne has been recording a new album that he will release to his fans for free next month called The Free Weezy Album.
“I’m working on it every day, man,” he told Rolling Stone. “I guarantee it’s going to be something dope. If you don’t want a musician being creative, don’t get The Free Weezy Album.”
What do you think of the recent drama between Cash Money Records and its artists? Should other artists follow in Lil Wayne’s footsteps? Cash Money Records currently controls the careers of Austin Mahone, Nicki Minaj and many more.
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