In 2005, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., or more popularly known as Lil Wayne, established his own record label called Young Money Entertainment. Lil Wayne is an influential hip-hop recording artist that has gotten the attention of even the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Obama has referenced the artist at least three times, basically telling little kids that not everyone has the rhyme and talent of Lil Wayne, thus, the need to stay in school.
And it is not only in the fields of rhyming and music that Lil Wayne is good at. Young Money Entertainment has created an empire of its own because of his business skills and savvy. The label has signed a number of important artists and has produced some of the biggest hip-hop albums of all time. As a matter of fact, three of its albums are part of the top 10 list of best selling hip hop records ever released. These are “Thank Me Later” by Drake, “Rebirth” and “I Am Not a Human Being,” both of which were by Lil Wayne himself.
Artists under the label include Gudda Gudda, T-Streets, Lil Chuckee, Short Dawg, Torion Sellers and Flow. It has also signed the We the Best Music Group of DJ Khaled, including Ace Hood. Alumni of the group boasts of names like Omarion, Kidd Kidd, Curren$y and Boo. Other prominent artists that are still part of the Young Money Family include the following:
12 Lil Wayne
His first album was released in 1999 and it was called “The Block is Hot.” He gained prominence in 2004 with the release of “Tha Carter.” This was followed by “Tha Carter II” in 2005 and “Tha Carter III” in 2008. The latter won him a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. He holds the record for being the solo male artist with the most number of entries in the Billboard Hot 100. He already has 109 songs included in the chart, surpassing the old record held by Elvis Presley.
His real name is Michael Ray Nguyen Stevenson, but he is more popularly known as Tyga, which stands for Thank You God Always. He gained prominence when his debut “Coconut Juice” became a hit. His debut with Young Money was an album called “Careless World: Rise of the Last King” that had chart toppers like “Faded,” “Far Away” and “Make it Nasty.”
10 Mack Maine
Jermaine Murdock Moldova Jerrilson Preyan, or Mack Maine, is the President of Young Money Entertainment. It is just appropriate that his first album will be entitled “Maine 4 President.” He has performed with Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, T-Pain and Playaz Circle.
His real name is Aubrey Drake Graham and he was part of the Canadian series “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” His first album called “Thank Me Later” debuted at number one in the Billboard album charts and it yielded the singles entitled “Over” and “Find Your Love.” He then topped that with his second album called “Take Care” that included songs like “Headlines,” “The Motto,” “Make Me Proud” and “Take Care.” His “Club Paradise Tour” was the most successful hip-hop tour in 2012 after earning more than $42 million.
8 Nicki Minaj
Onika Tanya Maraj was born in Trinidad and Tobago before her family moved to New York when she was only five years old. More popularly known as Nicki Minaj, she became the first solo artist to have seven songs on the Billboard charts at the same time. The seventh single, entitled “Super Bass,” has been certified as quadruple platinum. Her two albums, namely “Pink Friday” in 2010 and “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” in 2012, were bestsellers and topped the charts all over the world. Minaj is known for her fast-paced rapping style and accents.
7 Jae Milz
Jarvis Mills is known for his rap battles with fellow Harlem artists like Larsiny, 40 Cal. and JR Writer. He was part of Lil Wayne’s video for “Lollipop.” He was also featured in eight tracks in the “We are Young Money” collaboration album. His first album under Young Money Entertainment is entitled “Nothing is Promised.”
6 Kevin Gates
Kevin Gates is a Louisiana native branded as the rapper to watch by prestigious publications such as SPIN Magazine. He has released a mixtape entitled “The Luca Brasi Story.”
5 Lil Twist
Christopher Lynn Moore, or LIl Twist, was already a big artist in Dallas back in 2003 when he topped the local charts for six straight weeks when he was just ten years old. He achieved a breakthrough after convincing LIl Wayne to allow him to be his front act in a concert in Tyler in Texas. He was thereafter signed to Young Money Entertainment.
4 PJ Morton
Paul Morton Jr., or PJ Morton, was a temporary keyboardist and back up vocalist for the band Maroon 5. He wrote the India.Arie Grammy Award-winning song called “Interested.” His debut recording was an EP entitled “Following My First Mind” that featured collaborations with Adam Levine, Lil Wayne, Jazmine Sullivan and Chantae Cann. His first album under Young Money is called “New Orleans.”
Her real name is Shanell Woodgett and she also goes by the name SnL. She started out as a principal dancer for Ne-Yo. She has written songs for the likes of Ne-Yo, Kelis, Danity Kane, Jennifer Hudson and Melanie Fiona.
2 Cory Gunz
His real name is Peter Cory Pankey Jr. He has been associated in the past with record deals with the likes of Tommy Mottola and Jay-Z. He was part of the remix of the single by Rihanna entitled “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want.” He was then signed into Young Money Entertainment and was featured in the Lil Wayne song called “6 Foot 7 Foot” from the album “Tha Carter IV.” He is also the star of the reality show “Son of a Gun” that follows his every move after being signed up by the record label.
1 Christina Milian
Christine Marie Flores, or Christina Milian, was signed to Young Money in 2012. Before that, she had released several songs and albums that topped the charts in both the US and the UK, including “AM to PM,” “Dip it Low” and “Say I.”