Birdman and Slim founded Cash Money in their native New Orleans to serve as a home for hip-hop. After initially following the “hustler” footsteps of their father, Slim says, they decided to try making a living in music. Early recruits included producer Mannie Fresh and rapper Pimp Daddy, but their best investment was an 11-year-old wordsmith who called himself Shrimp Daddy—later, Lil Wayne. Drake and Nicki Minaj followed, propelling Cash Money into the 21st century. Forbes’ Zack O’Malley Greenburg dives into the label’s past.

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