Former Cash Money signee Mikkey Halsted recently recalled his time at the label.
In a feature story with DJBooth, the Chicago rapper opens up about his stay at Cash Money Records, revealing differences with founder Birdman and his stinginess with money.
According to Halsted, he never saw “eye-to-eye creatively” with Birdman, even claiming he was told to completely change his image by suggesting that he get tattoos on his neck.
“We didn’t see eye-to-eye creatively and he was trying to make me do something, be something that I wasn’t,” said the rapper. “I was wearing Polo, they only wanted me to wear white T-shirts and Reeboks. It felt like real prison over there. I was trying to explain to him that a clean cut rapper will work. Where I’m from we do this, we do that, this is what we do. Why would you sign me if you want me to be like I’m from New Orleans? I can’t go home and be around my friends if I go and change and act like I’m from you guys, from y’all. And he was like, ‘You should go get tattoos on your neck,’ and I’m like, ‘Listen, f*ck that, I’m not doing sh*t like that man.’ ”
Elsewhere, Halsted says Birdman was also quite stingy when it came to money. He recalled a time when the hip-hop mogul have thousands of dollars in cash in plain sight and would demand his change back when he gave money to a family member for some McDonald’s.
“I’ve seen Baby [Birdman] over there with $50,000-$100,000 spread out on the bed and people that’s in his own family are asking him to give them McDonald’s money,” the rapper said. “He would give somebody $10 and ask for change back. So, that’s the kind of person he was. It was just a lot of bad business man, that I’ve seen done and you know, it’s only so far as I can talk about it… until I get my money.”
Finally, Halsted claims he’s owed more than $500,000 from Cash Money Records to this day.
“I feel I’m owed probably a half a million dollars right now,” he said. “After I saw what happened after Kanye got his money [Mikkey had to fight to get Kanye paid] I should have tried to get off the label. But I always had hope. I left over 75 songs [with Cash Money] because back then they didn’t just give you the music. It wasn’t like we were using email. We couldn’t hear it. None of this sh*t [the music I recorded] ever saw the light of day.”