By Lora Neng
WWW.STREETGANGS.COM STAFF WRITER
December 15, 2010
Cash Money Records is responsible for the break out careers of a number of hip hop artists, as well as garnering criticism over their accounting management. The particular story of how the label shortchanged the music consultant who got them their label deal with Universal Records is written in a book by veteran hip-hop journalist Dan Charnas.
Charnas's book on the history of hip hop includes the story of Wendy Day, who founded the non-profit Rap Coalition to help artists obtain better record deals and not be exploited by the music industry, aiding the rise of labels such as Cash Money Records. After Cash Money Records reached success and Wendy Day, in a moment of financial difficulty, asked for a finder's fee of "five percent at the time - reasonable, the same thing that a lawyer would charge," said Charnas, they refused to pay her. Later two gunmen showed up at the lawyer's offices of both Wendy Day and Cash Money Records, demanding, "Somebody didn't get paid. Somebody better get paid." Wendy Day said it wasn't her doing, and at least one of her lawyers believed her word.
Dan Charnas worked for seminal rap labels Profile Records and Def American Recordings, has written some of the first cover stories for The Source magazine, and is now an author of The Big Payback released earlier this month.