Album delays are nothing new for Lil Wayne. But the MC sent shockwaves through the hip-hop world on Dec. 4 when he publicly blamed his label for the ever-shifting release date of his new album, Tha Carter V. Calling himself a "prisoner," he tweeted, "I want off this label and nothing to do with these people." [Ed note: Wayne tweeted yesterday (Dec. 11): "YM! That's it."] The barb was aimed at Cash Money's co-founders Bryan "Baby" and Ronald "Slim" Williams -- who signed a prepubescent Wayne in the early 1990s -- but particularly Bryan, whom Wayne, 32, has described as a surrogate father. Baby has a giant image of Wayne tattooed on his left pectoral, and the pair released an album together in 2006 called Like Father, Like Son.
While the full nature of Wayne's dissatisfaction with the label is unclear, some speculate that he feels he's underpaid, like several '90s-era Cash Money artists before him. Juvenile, B.G. and Mannie Fresh departed amid financial disputes, with Fresh telling Hip Hop Weekly that his time on Cash Money was like "slavery." (He did reunite with Wayne for V, however, and Juvenile has since rejoined the label.) Similarly, a host of producers has accused the label of nonpayment, including "Lollipop" co-producers Jim Jonsin and Deezle, and Bangladesh, who made Wayne hits including "A Milli" and "6 Foot 7 Foot." (All three have since settled with the label.)