The glory of Lil Wayne’s big announcement Saturday night was quickly overshadowed by confusion when fans thought he signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation label.
“I just signed a deal with my motherf—ing idol, Jay Z,” the “Lollipop” rapper can be heard telling the crowd at KMEL’s Summer Jam in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday in a video posted to YouTube about joining Jay’s subscription-based music streaming service Tidal as a co-owner.
The audience immediately roared its approval at the news, but many thought it meant he signed with Jay’s Roc Nation label, which has had an ongoing conflict with Cash Money Records, the label Wayne has been signed to since 1993.
“The Internet and blogs took his words out of context,” Wayne’s manager Cortez Bryant told Billboard. “When Wayne was speaking about the partnership with Jay Z, he was speaking about his new deal as an artist owner with Tidal.”
Additionally, the New Orleans rapper dropped his new track “Glory” exclusively through the streaming service to celebrate the partnership.
Regardless of what fans initially thought of Weezy’s big news, the fact that he’s working with Jay Z at all is huge.
Hova and Cash Money Records’ co-founder and CEO Bryan (Birdman) Williams have had beef for years now since the Brooklyn-born rapper tried to sign Wayne.
“I felt it was only right to call him,” Jay Z said in a 2013 radio interview about informing Birdman of his interest in signing Lil Wayne. “I called him out of respect like, ‘Yo, I was talking to Wayne. Just to let you know.'”
But that didn’t exactly go down well with Birdman, who responded by having his lawyer send a letter to Jay alleging interference.
“I could have signed him and then told him after,” the “99 Problems” rapper added. “I did the right thing and I’m cool with that decision.”
While Wayne and Jay are partnering through Tidal for now, it doesn’t mean there couldn’t possibly be more collaborations between two of the greatest rappers of all time in the future.
“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,” Lil Wayne tweeted in December 2014 after the release of his album “Tha Carter V” was delayed.
“To all my fans,” he added. “I want u to know that my album won’t and hasn’t been released bekuz Baby & Cash Money Rec. refuse to release it.”
Wayne and Birdman are currently in a $51 million court battle over the “How to Love” rapper’s contract and still unreleased