Notched third-biggest sales week for an album in 2013 with Drake’s "Nothing Was the Same." Cash Money artists had 1.3% U.S. market share
Cash Money Records, the hip-hop heavyweight that minted crossover superstars in Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj, deftly expanded beyond that triumvirate in 2013 with a pair of breakout newcomers. Ace Hood, the 25-year-old rapper from Florida, had a platinum single in “Bugatti” (featuring Future and Rick Ross), while 17-year-old pop singer Austin Mahone took home the Artist to Watch honor at the MTV Video Music Awards.
“The music business is like fashion—it switches,” says Bryan “Birdman” Williams, co-founder/co-CEO of Cash Money with his brother Ronald, aka “Slim.” “You either got to switch with it or be the one to switch it.”
Even as the breakthrough players entered the spotlight, the label’s marquee artists continued to deliver. Drake’s third album, "Nothing Was the Same," was the third-biggest debut of 2013 with 658,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “You have to compete to do what we do,” Williams says. Next up for Cash Money is expansion into lifestyle arenas, including fashion and fragrance. Lil Wayne’s Trukfit apparel line, which is carried by department stores including Macy’s and Dillard’s, launched its first women’s collection last year.