The delayed release of Lil Wayne's long-awaited 12th album Tha Carter V has been one of the biggest points of contention between Wayne and Birdman's Cash Money Records. Wayne has previously claimed that the label was holding his album hostage and wouldn't allow it to be released. But is Wayne the one who is actually holding on to the album and refusing to put it out?
That's what some people are saying. In a new report from TMZ, sources close to Birdman say that Wayne is in possession of the physical recording of the album and that he's long refused to hand it over to the label. According to the report, Wayne is essentially holding on to Tha Carter V for leverage during his ongoing legal battle with Cash Money. Wayne sued Cash Money for $51 million in 2014, claiming the label refused to release Tha Carter V and didn't properly compensate him for the success of Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga on Young Money. There is also reportedly $8 million in advance money owed for Wayne's work on Tha Carter V, plus another $2 million owed upon its completion that he claims he never received.
Any report that relies on anonymous sources should be looked at skeptically, but this latest one from TMZ would make sense if it's true. There's never really been a good reason given for why Birdman and Cash Money wouldn't release Tha Carter V, so to hear that Wayne is possibly holding it as a bargaining chip during his longstanding lawsuit against Cash Money would certainly be plausible. And considering that the lawsuit shows no signs of resolving itself anytime soon and that Wayne recently told Skip Bayless on Undisputed he could never work with Birdman again, it's possible we'll be waiting a long time to hear the album.