Is Drake Still with Cash Money? A Detailed Look at Drake‘s Record Label History and Net Worth

The short answer is no – Drake is no longer signed to Cash Money Records. But his career started on Lil Wayne‘s influential hip hop label back in 2009. Drake has since risen to become one of the world‘s best-selling artists.

In this guide, we‘ll explore Drake‘s journey into the music business. You‘ll learn how he leveraged owning his recordings to build an empire and amass astounding wealth.

Drake‘s Origin Story: Signed to Cash Money Records 2009

Let‘s rewind to 2009. A 22-year old Drake was trying to catch his big break in music. That opportunity came when rap legend Lil Wayne signed Drake to his powerhouse label Cash Money Records.

Cash Money Records had already produced mega-stars like Juvenile and Lil Wayne himself. With their distribution deal through Universal Records, Cash Money had the infrastructure to launch Drake to the top.

In 2009, Cash Money released Drake‘s breakout mixtape So Far Gone. His single "Best I Ever Had" rocketed up the charts, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Drake‘s debut studio album Thank Me Later followed in 2010, debuting at #1 with platinum sales.

Drake‘s early albums were a resounding success. But tension brewed below the surface between Drake and Cash Money Records.

Drake‘s Frustrations with Cash Money Records

Drake soon grew frustrated with his situation at Cash Money Records. In later interviews, Drake revealed he felt cheated out of music royalties by the label.

As an ambitious young artist, Drake yearned for more creative control over his work. But Cash Money still owned the rights to Drake‘s master recordings during this period.

In 2012, Drake tried to gain more leverage by founding his own record label OVO Sound. But he was still under contract with Cash Money, which limited his options.

The rift between Drake and Cash Money Records – especially co-founder Birdman – continued to worsen. Something had to give.

Drake Departs Cash Money – What Sparked His Exit?

In 2014, tensions boiled over into an all-out legal dispute between Drake and Cash Money Records.

Drake alleged that Cash Money withheld over $17 million in royalties owed to him. He requested to be released from his recording contract so he could take control of his career.

But Lil Wayne himself soon sued Cash Money for $51 million in unpaid royalties. This signaled even bigger problems behind the scenes.

In 2015, Drake finally left Cash Money Records for good. He signed a new $19 million contract with technology company Apple to release his next albums.

What sparked Drake‘s messy exit from Cash Money? In short – money and creative control. Drake knew his true earning potential was being capped by Cash Money.

How Leaving Cash Money Raised Drake‘s Earning Power

By leaving Cash Money Records, Drake escaped what he viewed as an unfair record deal. He was now free to record on his own terms.

Owning his new master recordings meant Drake could collect the lion‘s share of his music profits. His previous record royalties flowed mostly to Cash Money.

Just look at how Drake‘s income shot up after cutting ties with Cash Money:

  • Drake earned $17 million in 2013 while still with Cash Money, according to Forbes.
  • By 2017, his income rose to $50 million after building his own OVO label.
  • Drake made $95 million in 2020 at the height of his success.

Drake knew ownership was the key to wealth in the music industry. His bet on himself clearly paid off in the form of massively escalating earnings.

OVO Sound – Drake‘s Record Label Empire

After leaving Cash Money, Drake‘s own OVO Sound label became his new vehicle of success. While still partnering with Apple and Universal‘s Republic Records, OVO afforded Drake much greater control.

OVO Sound enabled Drake to sign emerging artists like The Weeknd, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Majid Jordan and dvsn. Drake also leveraged OVO‘s in-house team of producers like Noah "40" Shebib.

OVO Sound became one of hip hop‘s most influential independent labels. Drake now had a platform to release music on his own terms and keep the profits.

Between album sales, sold-out tours, and endorsements, Forbes estimates Drake earned an astounding $50 million in 2016 alone. Cash Money Records was clearly holding Drake back from reaching his true potential.

Just How Rich is Drake Today?

Drake‘s current net worth is estimated between $250 million and $500 million. That puts Drake on par with hip hop‘s biggest money-makers:

Rapper Net Worth
Kanye West $4 to $6 billion
Jay-Z $1.5 billion
Diddy $1 billion
Drake $250 to $500 million

Much of Drizzy‘s wealth stems from owning his masters and launching side businesses like his OVO clothing brand and Virginia Black whiskey.

His business manager Oliver El-Khatib estimates Drake can easily clear over $100 million annually from his varied income streams.

Drake‘s Massive Real Estate Portfolio

With all that wealth, Drake spends lavishly on his true vice – real estate. He owns stunning homes across North America:

  • A $100 million palace in Toronto sprawling over 50,000 square feet
  • A $4.5 million Hidden Hills estate in California
  • A $6.7 million Toronto waterfront mansion
  • Multimillion dollar condos in Beverly Hills and Toronto

Drake‘s real estate portfolio is valued at over $200 million. His custom-built "The Embassy" mansion in Toronto cost a record $100 million, making it one of Canada‘s largest and most expensive private homes.

Clearly Drake is living in luxury befitting of one of music‘s greatest hit-makers.

Just How Much are Drake‘s Master Recordings Worth?

Owning masters to his recordings is the foundation of Drake‘s wealth. But just how valuable are his master rights?

According to industry experts, Drake‘s entire music catalog could be worth over $300 million. That‘s just for his existing collection of hit albums and singles.

His forthcoming recordings under his new Universal deal are also massively valuable. Drake reportedly negotiated a stallion-sized "LeBron James" sized deal with Universal for future music rights.

These master recordings earn Drake income every time his songs get played or licensed commercially. As his catalog grows, so does the earning potential.

Given how prolific Drake is, he could easily add hundreds more commercially successful songs to his catalog over the next decade.

Drake Earned $50 Million From Streaming in 2021 Alone

To put it into perspective, streaming accounted for over $50 million of Drake‘s income in 2021.

His monthly revenue from Spotify and Apple Music is estimated between $5 and $10 million. On Spotify, Drake gets around 3 to 4 cents per stream from his back catalog.

In total, Drake amassed an absurd 52.5 billion streams across all music platforms just in 2021. That‘s over 1 billion streams per month. It demonstrates the power of retaining rights to your creative work.

Drake‘s ‘Boy‘ Ad Campaign Earned Him $10 Million

Beyond music, Drake earns big as a brand pitchman. He teamed up with Nike subsidiary Air Jordan on a major ad campaign and merchandise deal.

The iconic ads feature Drake sporting OVO-branded Air Jordan‘s while DJ Khaled calls him the "boy". Drake pockets an estimated $10 million annually from this collaboration alone.

He also signed a blockbuster $20 million endorsement deal with T-Mobile in 2022. Look for Drake to keep cashing in through more big-money brand partnerships.

On Tour Drake Earns Up to $2 Million Per Show

Drake‘s live tour revenue adds up quickly too. According to Billboard Boxscore, his 2018 "Aubrey and the Three Amigos" tour with Migos grossed $79 million.

Across 42 shows, that comes out to around $1.9 million per night. And that‘s not even counting merch sales and sponsorships on top.

During his 2022 "October World Weekend" residency in Toronto, Drake reportedly grossed over $100 million from ticket sales.

Between his dedicated fanbase and hits for days, Drake can expect to earn elite money on tour for decades to come.

Key Takeaways on Drake‘s Journey to Wealth

To recap Drake‘s prolific career:

  • Drake signed to Cash Money Records in 2009, releasing his first studio albums Thank Me Later and Take Care

  • Frustrated with label politics, Drake founded OVO Sound in 2012 while still under Cash Money contract

  • In 2015 Drake departed from Cash Money to gain creative freedom and control his music

  • His net worth now sits between $250 and $500 million thanks to owning masters and business ventures

  • OVO Sound grew into one of music‘s top independent labels

  • Drake‘s masters and catalog could be worth over $300 million given their massive earning potential

  • He earned $50 million from streaming alone in 2021 on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music

  • On tour Drake can gross over $2 million per night in ticket sales

  • Expect Drake to keep building his fortune in the years ahead through music, business deals and investments

Drake took control of his career by any means necessary. That ambition has paid off with an estimated half billion dollar fortune while still in his 30s. Now he sets the blueprint for generation wealth through music ownership. Cash Money Records certainly helped launch his career. But Drake‘s determination to bet on himself took him all the way to the top.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.