Drake signs with Young Money Entertainment


Drake: the latest addition to the Young Money family

By now this signing is no longer news to anyone but I needed to take a few days to organize my thoughts before presenting them to you.

I’ve been following the major label bidding war for Drake ever since it was covered by Crazed Hits. This war also coincided with the explosion of Drake’s lead single “Best I Ever Had.”

Honestly, I am disappointed by this signing. Drake could’ve done so much better than Young Money.

Think about it. Besides Lil Wayne and Drake, do you have any earthly idea who the other Young Money artists are? I’ll give you a second to think about that.

Clearly, Young Money Entertainment has a problem attracting attention to its non-Lil Wayne artists. Which sucks because some of them are pretty fucking talented.

Airplay Monster

Lil Wayne’s endorsements certainly helped Drake’s buzz but without that support Drake still has “Best I Ever Had” under his belt. He didn’t need a feature from Lil Wayne to make a hot track.

“Best I Ever Had” has proven itself to be quite the airplay monster. Even moreso than the Young Money single “Every Girl”, which is also doing quite well on the charts. The “Best I Ever Had” iTunes download numbers are pretty impressive, too.

Major Label Bidding War

Since Drake had more than one major label fighting to sign him, then why sign with Young Money Entertainment?

In the position Drake was in, you have a lot of leverage to choose exactly the kind of deal you want. You can wait it out to find the right label that fufills your needs as a performer. As an unsigned artist with a Billboard Top 10 hit, Drake technically could have signed with any record label in the world.

So what sealed Drake’s deal with Young Money?

Reportedly there was a $1 million signing bonus on the table as an incentive to reel in Drake.

That’s what you get when your buzz is hotter than the Arizona desert.

Drake and Young Money

Young Money Entertainment

Young Money Entertainment

I think what it came down to for Drake and Young Money is convenience. Before Drake signed with them he was already doing promo shoots with the label. That indicated to everyone that there was some interest on both sides but at that point I assumed that Drake was taking the smart route and playing Young Money for all its worth.

I think that Drake could have used Young Money’s influence in the hip hop community to build his fan base and establish a name for himself without actually signing to the label. Because let’s face it: when Lil Wayne publicly supports a rapper, that’s a big deal.

A bright future for young Drake

Looking on the bright side I’m sure that Drake will have a very productive future with Young Money Entertainment. Lil Wayne clearly has Drake’s back, even if Wayne does neglect all the rest of the Young Money crew.

Taking the history of Cash Money Records into account (which is the label that Young Money is a subsidiary of), I wouldn’t be surprised if 4 or 5 years down the line Drake ran into some money issues with his label and decided to part ways with them. Baby, the co-CEO of Cash Money, is a notorious hustler/money-grubber.

Regardless of what happens I expect Drake to shine because he has everything the music industry wants: star power, a decent singing voice, and the ability to write hit songs that connect with a large audience.

Lessons from Drake

Drake’s unique story illustrates some key points I’d like to touch on briefly:

His lead single “Best I Ever Had” became a Billboard Top 10 hit (peaking at #2 on the US Hot 100) WITHOUT MAJOR LABEL SUPPORT.

Read that again if you need to. “Best I Ever Had” is actually a track from Drake’s mixtape So Far Gone. His album Thank Me Later won’t be released until Valentine’s Day 2010.

So what does this mean for the music industry as a whole?

Mixtapes Replacing the CD

The major labels will stop investing so much money in debut albums and instead force their new artists to release mixtape after mixtape (for free) until fans show an interest in buying their music. This will start with hip hop (since its already been going on) and gradually move outward to R&B, pop, and maybe even rock.

For artists, the tough part will be proving fan interest to their labels but having a hit song on Billboard is definitely a great starting point.

Expect this trend– mixtape tracks getting airplay on commercial radio and charting on Billboard– to continue as labels cut costs in every way imaginable and as more artists say “screw the record labels” and go independent.

Reader Input

What do you think? Should Drake have signed with Young Money or not? Is Lil Wayne doing everything he can to promote his Young Money artists? Will Drake leave Young Money in a few years? Are mixtapes replacing the CD?

Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Article produced by Dexter Bryant, Jr. (d.BRYJ)
Powered by DbryJ Music Media Group

Related posts:

Breakdown of Drake’s Deal with Cash Money/Universal



  1. Pingback: The Breakdown of Drake’s Record Deal with Cash Money/Universal « The Hit Music Academy
    • natic · September 15, 2009

      your ass man , drake is only a hit bcoz he signed with young money an [TIP] wash your mouth before you send any comment ayt…………………………………….NATIC

      • DbryJ Music · September 17, 2009


        “Best I Ever Had” was a hit before Drake signed to Young Money. Therefore, Drake was a hit before he signed to Young Money.

        Drake got popular partly because he had support from Lil Wayne/Young Money, Kanye West, and some other heavy hitters on his mixtape “So Far Gone” and partly because he’s talented.

        It was Lil Wayne’s support (endorsing him, collaborating with him, etc.) that mattered more in helping Drake’s career than him actually signing to Young Money.

        Bottom line:
        “Best I Ever Had” is a Billboard Hot 100 #2 single, with or without Drake being signed to Young Money. And since “Best I Ever Had” is the main reason Drake is so popular right now, Young Money’s influence on Drake’s popularity is minimal.

      • terry · May 7, 2010

        drake i dont knw about the young money sighin shot to wezzy

    • PELE · May 31, 2010

      yo drake rocks nd young money is the best

  2. natic · September 15, 2009

    ay dawg its your boy natic aka weezy da afa dawg from S.A you shud come over to S.A. coz man your making a hit over here an [TIP] in your next video you should a lil bit of em pop n lock from your biggest fan aka natic da afa dawg peace………………………………………………..

    • DbryJ Music · September 17, 2009

      Natic, you might wanna email Drake, his manager, or Young Money (good luck finding their contact info–try Myspace 1st). To my knowledge none of Drake’s people read this website.

      Like you, I am a Drake fan. I’m hoping he can put together a modern R&B/rap classic with his debut album Thank Me Later.

  3. Alex Broden · October 7, 2009

    Ay i know a betta rap group way betta than lil twist and chucky.I bet thay can sell more albums than them.If you think that thier betta than tha rap group i know then call at 810-458-7116.Bitch.

    • DbryJ Music · October 7, 2009

      @Alex, who is Lil Twist and Chucky? I don’t know them or the rap group you know that you claim is better than them.

      And for future reference you’re on MY website so watch who you callin a “bitch.”


      • John · February 15, 2011

        Ok for one if you do so much research how come you dont know who Lil Twist and Chucky are ? Do you know Gudda Gudda, Mack Maine, Jay Millz, T-Sreet, Tyga ? …. If your are a reporter get your information right ? why report on a subject that you know NOTHING about…

      • John · February 15, 2011

        I also get that these were posted in 09 but I knew who the whole young money team was even at that point. Some of which already had music careers before signing to young money. Jay Millz was an affiliate of dipset when their rap ground fell out he signed with young money. In the future I suggest checking mixtape sites and see the amount of downloads and likes take place RATHER then just looking at M-TV and making a decision that no one knows those peoples names.

  4. Keziah · November 9, 2009

    I think that you made a lot of good points and I really like the young money family I think everyone in there is so talented bt yeah drake could have not made a better choice bt went with another label because the young money family is not really his style. and I lil twist and chucky are apart of young money day like 14 who care how good they is jt having fun

  5. DbryJ Music · November 9, 2009

    Thanks for your comments Keziah. The Young Money family is definitely talented I just worry that none of them will ever get the exposure that they deserve because they’re all in the shadow of Lil Wayne and Drake. Nicki Minaj has been getting a lot of buzz lately though so hopefully she’ll get her time to shine soon.

    • Keziah · November 19, 2009

      Yeah she has bt she has not even sign with them yet so we will see

      • DbryJ Music · November 19, 2009

        If that’s the case then I kinda hope that she doesn’t sign with them because I think she’ll be better off that way.

  6. seo writer · November 17, 2009

    thanks for this post. It helped me a lot. Btw How you get ideas for such posts. sorry if it’s out of topic.

    • DbryJ Music · November 19, 2009

      I pay attention to things that are happening in the music biz and if I feel really strongly about something then usually I want to write about it. Sometimes coming up with ideas for posts are harder than other times but this time it was easy because I had been waiting to see if Drake was gonna sign with Young Money.

      Thanks for your comments.

  7. you are not thinking · November 22, 2009

    why would you complain about drake signing to young money entertainment? your biggest complaint is that he should have signed to a bigger label with better know artists already under the umbrella. however how many times have we heard, or better yet not heard, of great artists on huge labels with massive expectations that have either fallen in the silent background only to be later released or just not lived up to expectations. maybe in his head he wanted to be the face of a label, which with his popularity he very well could be one of the bigger faces of young money, rather than just being “that guy with that one song who signed to island” signing to young money was probably the best decision he could have made and we are all going to be witness to his takeover.

    oh and only to the unappreciative MUSIC listener would someone not know or care to know who the other people on young money are. mack maine, gudda gudda, nicki, twist, tyga, t-streets, jae millz are indeed very talented artists who are well know in the game. the way things go is generally when you hear a song you like you would find more music by the same artist. you seem to like “every girl” yet seemed to disregard and research into the topic or the artist.

    do yourself a favor and stop writing blogs about your narrow minded and mainstream music ideals. oh by the way you may want to hurry, itunes is going to update their top 10 singles of the week soon, and i’m sure you need to find some new music. right?

    • DbryJ Music · November 23, 2009

      Thank you for commenting. That was the most well written critique I’ve gotten on this blog thus far.

      My concerns with Drake signing with Young Money weren’t about the label being small, it was about the shady business practices that Cash Money/Young Money has earned a reputation for and the fact that none of the other talented artists on the label are getting much shine. I don’t care to know the rest of the Young Money roster because I’ve never had a reason to–if I never hear anything from them then why would I bother? I know about Tyga and I know about Nicki but I haven’t heard enough from either of them to justify me searching for more music from them. I like “Every Girl” but Drake’s verse is my favorite–the others didn’t impress me enough to make me go look for more songs by Jae Millz and Mack Maine. Whereas with Drake he impressed me so much with the first few songs I heard from him that I sought more of his music.

      The problem is, if those other artists (Jae Millz, Mack Maine, etc.) never have a song that puts them in the spotlight then how will most people ever be aware of them and want to hear more of their music? Some of those cats are well known and respected in the rap game, but the mainstream audience (aka the pop music crowd) don’t know shit about them. That hurts their success no matter how you look at it.

      I agree with you that Drake (along with Wayne) is going to be the face of Young Money and he might have planned that from the get go. And Drake is definitely taking over hip hop and R&B, there’s no doubt about that. In my post “Breakdown Of Drake’s Record Deal With Cash Money” I actually reconsidered my position on Drake’s signing with Young Money. All in all, he made the best decision for his career so I respect him for that.

      I don’t have “narrow-minded and mainstream music ideals” as you stated. This website is about more than mainstream music even though that is a primary focus. If you bothered to check around you would see that I feature a lot of music that isn’t on the radio or on the Billboard charts, and I often feature songs before they become hits. I feature whatever songs I’m feelin’ whether they are hits or not and I find new music from a lot of places– including the Billboard charts, my friends, music blogs I read, YouTube, and other sources.

      I listen to dance/electronic, alternative rock, punk rock, New Wave, emo, funk, soul, indie, pop, hip hop, R&B, classical, country, chiptunes, Broadway music, etc. and I love it ALL. Considering my wide ranging tastes it seems to me like your definition of “narrow-minded” is a bit off, don’t ya think?

  8. Pingback: New Music Monday: “Bed Rock” « The Hit Music Academy
  9. DREAM LBC!!!! · December 8, 2009


    • DbryJ Music · December 8, 2009

      Thanks for commenting. I agree with you–Drake is doin it big. As long as he continues to put out hot music he’ll be one of the top hip hop artists in the game.

  10. Kaylynn · January 9, 2010

    Go nicki manji

  11. lukasp · January 10, 2010

    man, young money is dope! you ever even listen to a song by them? drake is smart for signing with wayne, chuckie, twist, shawna, nicki minaj, gudda gudda, tyga, mack maine, jae millz, t streets, and short dawg. they kill it. lil chuckie and twist are the protogys of wayne, when they’re older, no one will touch them. they already are dope as hell. drake is smart.

    • DbryJ Music · January 11, 2010

      Yep I agree. Drake is smart. Young Money is really making a name in the game right now. If they keep puttin out hot songs and dropping mixtapes they will be hard to stop.

      Thanks for your comments.

  12. paula strickland · January 13, 2010

    i love u lil weezzy babe i srry i could not come to yo concert but i miss call am crazy 4 u

  13. jansis · January 15, 2010

    luv you guys my dream is to be as successful as you one day

  14. Mz.charter · January 20, 2010

    hey i love me some young money except chukke cuz he iz so ugly but lil twist is so sexy and fine i ove me some mr.charter, and my lil twist.

    • DbryJ Music · January 21, 2010

      I have no idea what either of them look like but I think you should be more concerned with how good their music is instead of their looks.

      Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it supposed to be about the music? They’re artists, not models.

      • john · March 2, 2010

        ikr bro u ugly 2 nigga

  15. Kelli · January 30, 2010

    I’m willing to be in young money I can sing really good I swear

    • d.BRYJ Music · January 31, 2010

      Call em up. Send em a demo. Find out who the A&R for Young Money is and get in contact with them.

  16. Dandy Bonya · February 9, 2010

    Lil Wayne made me, I pray Young Money Entertainment hear me someday…I learnt so muCh from Lil Wayne….He’s Great

    New hot single from (Dandy Bonya) Titled: (Make it twinkle)

    Download now its free.

    http://limelinx.com/files/68f1fbd271150e28d2b08cea1c99c5a9 he is on fire.

    • d.BRYJ Music · February 9, 2010

      Hopefully you get a chance to meet him someday

  17. Dandy Bonya · February 10, 2010

    Hey….Wat you think about the song??

    • d.BRYJ Music · February 10, 2010

      It would sound better if the drums hit harder but you did a good job with the vocal melodies. Its definitely catchy and the beat is nice.

      Even though its good I think you can do even better. The more you write and record the better you’ll get. Try not to sound so much like Lil Wayne though. Using autotune is fine but make it your own, you feel me?

  18. Dandy Bonya · February 11, 2010

    Thank you so much….I really appreciate your advise

    • d.BRYJ Music · February 12, 2010

      No problem. Good luck with everything you do 🙂

  19. Dandy Bonya · February 12, 2010

    Please can you help me with any site where I can contact Young Money directly??

    • d.BRYJ Music · February 12, 2010

      Unfortunately I don’t think they have a site for that. The best way to talk to them is for them to contact you first. The only way that will happen is if you get a buzz and build a name for yourself (like Drake did) and they hear about you and wanna work with you.

  20. lalito · February 14, 2010

    I love the song bed rock lil’chucky,ft.loyyd,lil’wayne,and nicky are my favorite singers in the world id would like to meet you guys i live in Austin TX meaby we can hang out ,street martin luther king hilldale 78723 4805 bey.

    • d.BRYJ Music · February 15, 2010

      try to holla @ young money at one of their concerts if they come to austin. thx for ur comments

  21. deablo · February 17, 2010

    …let der b lite/
    n der waz…

  22. Anonymous · February 19, 2010

    oliveira david residente em Angola no munivipio da samba/ benfica/ partido praça do artesanato. sou fã da yong money gosto da maneira que eles se apreswntam em palco, também nos seus clip´s musical.
    o nosso povo Angolanos ja está a vossa espera, queremos a vossa presença nos palco´s Angolanos. Oliveira David Mário. chefe Man-very is my name whith puto-r my brother… kisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    • shayla · June 25, 2010

      girl wat the f*ck is u sayin speek english becuz no able espanol

  23. LUV mii · February 20, 2010

    alll of yong money is talented and they are really poppin now a days but i wish that they wood cool down a bit what their saying….i mean like they are grown adults but there are alot of kids that are fans and represent for young money and its not that fare…..other than that young money has it all in the bag and they really blew up……for the new members of ymcmb (nicki,drake,tyga,and the rest)congrats and hope you guys get ur own spot light and shine…..and also young money hope jay-z does not rewin ur grate fun……with jay thinkin he the buss he got a nother thing comin……

  24. Pingback: New Music Monday: “Over” « The Hit Music Academy
  25. Pingback: HOT or NOT: “Pass Me The Dutch” « The Hit Music Academy
  26. max burton · April 19, 2010

    listen to my nigga lemar songz cooper on facebook just type the name in and watch the vid, tell me what you thimk….

  27. lil Las · April 19, 2010


    • d.BRYJ Music · April 22, 2010

      Writing songs that you can perform at Bdays and parties is actually an excellent strategy to make $$ with your music. Major performers make stacks for their concerts and you could carve a whole new market for yourself doing birthday parties and shit like that. Let me know how that’s working out for you.

    • shayla · June 25, 2010

      u took the wordsout of d***n mouth b

  28. LAddI.SAVAGE · April 23, 2010

    younq money is tha shidd * * * * nikki&&drake two ov tha best

  29. ayah · May 4, 2010

    yo watup G! DRAKE’s that ish! I can tell you that much. U r ontop of your game G, I FEEL U. WORD UP!

  30. barbie nikkah..aka Adorable MOB · May 7, 2010

    plz plz plz no beef nikkahs people have dey own opinionzz

  31. max burton · May 12, 2010

    hit me up

  32. Kearston ripley · June 3, 2010

    lil waynes da Sh!t man and so is young mon3y.

  33. Yassin · June 7, 2010

    I love you guys!

  34. megan · June 21, 2010

    drake iz sooo fuckin sexy i luv young money

  35. shayla · June 25, 2010

    young money isvery lucky becuz ya got the baddst chick nicki minaj ,im her higgest fan ,i know all of her songs,one day i hope to meet her young mula baby

  36. shayla · June 25, 2010

    yo it would b tite if ya make a song wit justinB

  37. shayla · June 25, 2010

    i wuld luv to meet nicki an drak3
    i liv in fort lauderdale florida

  38. shayla · June 25, 2010

    i wuld luv to meet nicki an drak3
    i liv in fort lauderdale florida deepsouth

  39. Dandy · July 18, 2010

    Do you know any popular link….that will enable me upload my songs for others to download.

  40. Mike White · July 26, 2010

    Yo,I think rhe whole young money go hard!! even lil chuckie goes in. but serious… Drake and Nikki minaj is a beast. when Wayne come home…….Young money gonna be unstoppable

  41. Elfrieda Lehman · July 1, 2011

    Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  42. cheap pa speakers · September 15, 2013

    I every time used to read piece of writing in news papers
    but now as I am a user of web so from now I am using net for posts, thanks
    to web.

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