Discography Check: Cash Money Records (1996-2006)

By @TrueGodImmortal

Once upon a time, before it was YMCMB, and Young Money became the leading earner of the CMR movement, Cash Money Records was on fire. Over a 10 year period, they would watch their stock rise, with consistency and solid releases. Today, I take a look back at all the prominent releases from the period of 1996-2006. The releases from Pimp Daddy, Magnolia Shorty, Ms. Tee and Lil Slim will not be included here, but there's plenty to discuss here. The massive run of the Cash Money Records is nothing to sleep on and with a long standing discography in place, we here at DAR wanted to bring you a full look at the Cash Money catalog during their most successful decade long run. Let's get it started, shall we?

*U.N.L.V.- Uptown 4 Life (1996)

-They would be be the early lifeblood of CMR before they reached their heyday and this album is a classic down in the NOLA. With "Jazzy Bitch", "Drag Em N Tha River", the saddening "Pocket Full of Furl" and other anthems, U.N.L.V. really put together a solid album to kick off the 1996 year for Cash Money.

*B.G.- Chopper City (1996)

-The second album from B.G. is one hell of an effort from the NOLA MC and I have always believed that B.G. is one of the most slept southern MCs in the world period. The track "Retaliation" features Juvenile and Bun B, and this is one of my favorite B.G. tracks ever to be perfectly honest. Another favorite on this album is "Bat A Bitch", which is a true entertaining listen. While this album isn't what you would consider a true classic, it features enough solid tracks and hood grit to be a Cash Money favorite in many ways.

*Juvenile- Solja Rags (1997)

-The 1997 album from Juvenile is one of the most solid efforts to come from the Cash Money crew honestly. It seems as if some slept on this album, but Juve did his thing here. Listen to "Money On The Couch" and you'll understand exactly what I mean. Juve kills it on the title track, as well as one of my favorite tracks of his "Pimpinabitch". Juve would create a slew of anthems on this album and a crop of gems, including "Who's the M.F.", and "That's How It Be Happenin". This was a true kickoff to the Juve-Cash Money run and it was definitely a great addition to the catalog for them.

*B.G.- It's All On U Vol 1 & 2 (1997)

-Both of these volumes were fire. Mannie Fresh would crank out album after album full of beats and those knocking drums and keyboard melodies, while B.G. would just keep the dope rhymes and hood anthems coming. Vol. 1 features "Cash Money Niggaz" and "I Be Thinking", while Vol. 2 features tracks like "Clean Up Man", "Plan Went Sour", and "6 Figure". Before Wayne or Juve became the stars of the show, the Cash Money ship was steered by the B.Gizzle and he delivered damn near every time he dropped something. I consider both Vol. 1 and 2 to be steps up from Chopper City, though all three are pretty dope albums, Vol. 1 and 2 seemed slightly like an elevation in sound for B.G.

*Hot Boys- Get It How U Live (1997)

-The first Hot Boys album where Turk, Juve, Wayne and B.G. combined to be one of the dopest supergroups in southern hip hop history. You had the beginnings of the Cash Money epic run here, and while this album serves merely as a precursor to their second classic project, it features some solid songs here. "Dirty World" and the Bun B assisted "I'm Com'n" are two of the more solid songs here. This set the tone for all members of the group to move into the solo album territory.

*Big Tymers- How U Luv That Vol 1 and 2 (1998)

-Baby, who is the CEO of Cash Money was extremely slept on in the late 90's. No, he was never a great lyricist, a wordsmith, hell half the time what he said didn't even rhyme. However, where he was slept on at was in his musical comedic value. Make no mistake about it, Baby was a comedic genius, especially unintentionally with his verses. Mannie Fresh was comedic on purpose, while Baby would drop game on them in the most hilarious ways possible. To this very day, I don't know many, if any who could drop game on tracks like Baby and these two albums are like national treasures for hilarious Baby verses. Before he became the Birdman, he was Beatrice, the no. 1 stunna and boy was he entertaining while also a bit suspect. Check "Millionaire Dream", "Ballin", and "Cutlass, Monte Carlo's and Regals" from Vol 1. and Vol. 2 essentially is a re-release with just a few extra songs added and some taken off, and if you only listen to Vol. 2 for one reason, let that reason be "How Should I Ride". Nuff said.

*Juvenile- 400 Degreez (1998)

-The classic album. At over 5 million records sold, this was the one that broke the break and opened up the floodgates for Cash Money hands down. Juve was undoubtedly the star of Cash Money during this era and his knack for great verses, comedic lyrics, and catchy anthems led him right to the promised land as he would see both his singles "Ha" and "Back That Azz Up" became classic tracks. The album features more greatness like the title track, "Rich Niggaz", and "Juvenile on Fire"(one of his greatest moments ever in music), so don't mistake it: while the singles carried Juve to 5 million sold, the album itself truly was 400 Degreez.

*B.G.- Chopper City In The Ghetto (1999)

-As if Juve seeing major success wasn't enough with his project, who could have expected B.G. to come out with a song that would eventually change pop culture and be put into the fucking dictionary?? Here you have some young guys from the NOLA just making hood anthems and crossing over into white America via their terms. Now, a lot of white people couldn't tell you the origin of bling bling, but they damn sure know the term and probably have used it once in their corny lives. Regardless, this album carried B.G. to platinum heights, off the strength of the "Bling Bling" but of course the project featured a few gems like "Made Man", "Dog Ass" and "Uptown My Home". Another album that knocked down doors for CMR.

*Hot Boys- Guerrilla Warfare (1999)

-In all seriousness, this album might be without a doubt the best album released on Cash Money ever. I say that with sincerity. The Hot Boys found the formula on this album and they damn sure perfected it. With songs like "We On Fire" and "I Need A Hot Girl", they dominated the charts and radio, but with album tracks like "Respect My Mind" and "Tuesday and Thursday" truly made the album complete. There isn't one weak track on this entire album at all, each MC shows up and does their thing. This album is my favorite of any Cash Money Records release and it truly could be the best one that they put out. Cash Money was on top of the world, and they had the platinum touch during this period. They could do wrong it seemed, and Guerrilla Warfare was literally just a reminder of that.

*Lil Wayne- Tha Block Is Hot (1999)

-Where it all began for Tunechi. Before he was known as Tune, he was simply Lil Weezy, with a slightly annoying rap voice, but still had some talent and bars. Wayne was without a doubt a star to me even way back then and his debut album remains one of his best to me personally. With fun tracks like "Loud Pipes", "Respect Us", and a few others, Wayne gave us a solid effort that never strayed away from the Cash Money formula. The hilarity ensues on the funny "Kisha" and Juve and Wayne make a street anthem on "Enemy Turf" as well. Cash Money would be on a roll with 4 platinum albums in a row, including this one. Would their run stop anytime soon?

*Juvenile- Tha G Code (1999)

-My personal favorite Juvenile album and one that I think is criminally slept on by many. Juve delivers what I feel is a true classic and is a top 5 Cash Money release ever and top 2 during this period personally for me. Songs like "A Million And One Things", "Take Them 5", "Guerrilla" and "Tha Man" all gave us a classic look into the mind of Juve and completed his most solid work. I wrote a post on this album some months back. There's much more detail on this great project there. Check it out if you get time.

*Big Tymers- I Got That Work (2000)

-This album is always remembered for the singles, but I personally remember it as a whole for having some truly great music, at least great in terms of the Big Tymers. Besides the fire singles "Get Ya Roll On" and "No. 1 Stunna", tracks like the smooth "Sunday Night", the aggressive "Nigga Couldn't Know", and a few others definitely got the job done on yet another platinum release for Cash Money. 6 platinum releases in a row, there is absolutely nothing that could quite compare to that run, in my mind. However, it would soon lose a bit of momentum shortly after.

*Cash Money Millionaires- Baller Blockin Soundtrack (2000)

-This could spell the beginning of the end for CMR. Baller Blockin, their straight to VHS movie is in many ways a cult classic, and the soundtrack features hits of its own. The title track is a classic, aside from E-40, as Juve steals the show as usual with an amazing verse and kills the beat. The hit song off this project however is "Project Bitch", which got a video of its own, but folks noticed that some of the verses were changed and that there were some folks missing on that video. Speculation slowly started. Would Cash Money begin to fall off? The soundtrack would put an end to the platinum run, as it managed to strike gold, but couldn't hit that 1 million mark. Could the next actual CMR album right that wrong?

*B.G.- Checkmate (2000)

-This is often considered the forgotten Cash Money period. No one goes platinum like that, the hits don't really register anymore and the fans don't love you like they used to. What could have been the issue is that the projects were released way too fast and without any actual growth musically. B.G. suffers from this on the Checkmate album, which has a lot of stale moments, despite a few gems in the Wayne assisted "You Know How We Do", "I Know", and the Hot Boys and Big Tymers assisted "Change The World". While this album wasn't really solid, it still holds a place in the discography.

*Lil Wayne- Lights Out (2000)

-Wayne was now old enough to curse regularly in songs and he was also going down a darker path musically, as it seemed all of CMR was. Now, while the music itself hadn't experienced any actual growth, the sound did become a bit darker. Gone were the fun loving, partying CMR brothers, but now they were more into the aggressive street anthems, more gunplay in the lyrics and Fresh went a bit more militant and darker on production. This is evidenced on tracks like the Hot Boys "Hit U Up", "Get Off the Corner", "Lil One", "Everything" and a few others. The only time the fun loving CMR shows up is on the booming hit "Shine". This album went gold, but it's not bad by any stretch. Wayne puts in a good project that just got lost in the CMR transition shuffle so to speak.

*Turk- Young & Thuggin (2001)

-Now, Turk was sometimes looked at as the forgotten Hot Boy to an extent, and it was slightly understandable. Lyrically, he was the weaker link in the group, but he was still able to provide quotes in songs he would appear on. However, a full Turk album just felt like overkill. Especially at about 20 tracks, and you have the issue at hand. There is no Juve, and while B.G. is featured once, you can see this was the beginning of the end of that epic run as both Juve and B.G. walked away from the label. Fresh does provide Turk with some great beats here, and there are a couple of anthems on here, such as the singles "It's In Me", "Freak Da Hoes" and songs like "All Night" and "One Saturday Night", which were entertaining to say the least. Not a top release, but definitely noteworthy without a doubt.

*Juvenile- Project English (2001)

-This isn't really even an album I feel like. It's a bunch of leftover Juve songs thrown together, along with a few Big Tymers leftover tracks added to flesh out the project. In many ways, this album was a slap in the face to Juve and his flawless CMR track record thus far, but there is still a few gems on this nonsense. "My Life", "Set It Off", "They Lied", and of course "Mamma Got Ass" make for a good listen, but it's not cohesive enough to truly get love as a good album. Another inconsistent blip in the Cash Money catalog, this time orchestrated on purpose seemingly.

*Mack 10- Bang or Ball (2001)

-The less said about this honestly, the better. I have no idea at all why Mack 10 signed to Cash Money, or rather why Cash Money signed Mack 10. It was truly confusing to me and while this album really has no gems to me personally, there are a few entertaining guest verses. Check it out, if only for that and some of the Mannie Fresh production. I believe Butch Cassidy has an appearance too. There you go.

*Big Tymers- Hood Rich (2002)

-After Juve, B.G., and Turk left, what was next? What could CMR do to regroup? Two answers: push the hell out of the Big Tymers/Birdman and Wayne, and not acknowledge the issues head on like that while making hits. Make hits is what they did, as "Still Fly" became an instant big hit, a mega hit all over radio and videos, and reinforced the long missing platinum touch that CMR needed back. This was also the beginning of the Jazze Pha with CMR era and that would spawn some good music from time to time, like "Pimpin" or "Get High". Not a great album overall, but a huge hit and a return to platinum for the CMR brand. A win definitely in my book.

*Lil Wayne- 500 Degreez (2002)

-So, Wayne was supposed to be the savior of CMR as he was the only one left essentially. How did that turn out? Not so well. This album was horrible. It is Wayne's worst project without a doubt, lacking any sign of cohesion, not even possessing a true anthem outside of the first single "Way Of Life", this album didn't really inspire the listener to want to hear more. I think Wayne was transitioning at the time into the artist he wanted to be and this album was a bit of growing pains. There is maybe one or two songs here that are dope, but even they are forgettable. If you ask a Wayne fan about this album, many would look down and tell you "it never happened"...
Word to Future.

*Baby- Birdman (2002)

-Now, why would someone really attempt to turn Birdman into the star of Cash Money? The idea was that after Juve left, B.G. left and Turk left that it was merely just Big Tymers and Wayne plus some scrubs riding the bench for CMR. Well, what would that really bring? A solo album from Birdman. Ghostwriters and bad rhymes be damned, this album was pretty terrible, but to be honest, it was entertaining in spots. Birdman went all out, spending a shit ton of money to get beats from The Neptunes, Timbaland, and others to make a hell of a piece of shit album that sees Birdman actually try to rap coherently. Aside from "I Got To" and "What Happened to That Boy", there's not much to speak about. Whoever thought it was good for Birdman to have a 77 minute solo album, off yourself. Please.

*Hot Boys- Let Em Burn (2003)

-This is a collection of lost gems from the Guerrilla Warfare sessions and some of the miscellaneous songs made after that time. This is actually a good collection of songs to be honest, and while the album itself is a bit lacking as far as cohesion goes, I still enjoyed this project. It was a shame that none of the actual Hot Boys would be able to do anything to support this due to not being with CMR, but songs like "Stick and Move", "My Section", and "Spin Tha Bend" were damn near classics. This album is likely the most slept on in the catalog and I wish this got more credit for being a solid album.

*Big Tymers- Big Money Heavyweight (2003)

-I really think CMR was lost during this era. Unsure of what works, trying their best to crank out music and trying to relive the glory days. Another long playing Big Tymers album in just over a year. The album itself is a step up some from Hood Rich to be honest, as Juvenile returns to CMR and steals the show on "Back Up", and there is a nice Ludacris and Lil Wayne assisted track "Down South", and the single "Gangsta Girl" which featured creep extraordinaire R. Kelly. This album would end the Big Tymers platinum streak as it only struck gold, but considering things..... that's a win for CMR.

*Juvenile- Juve The Great (2003)

-Man, no one was more excited than I when I heard that Juvenile was coming back to Cash Money. I thought things were squashed and that he was back in the family and got paid finally. I was legit happy. Then, I saw that there seemed to be a bit of separation between the whole team and that Juve went back as a business deal to finish his contract and get his money. Regardless though, this album is a sure fire dope project, and it revitalized the CMR platinum touch off the strength of the solid Soulja Slim assisted track "Slow Motion". Juve and Mannie made great music this go round as well, evidenced in the best track on the album "Bounce Back", which featured Birdman. My only gripe on this album honestly? Two Birdman features, but not a feature from Wayne, as he was hitting his prime? A criminal mistake, but regardless, the project was without a doubt a solid one.

*Lil Wayne- Tha Carter (2004)

-This. Is. Where. It. All. Began. The early beginnings of Wayne as the man for CMR and the man in hip hop even. He would end up putting this album out after a series of false starts it seemed and this project to me stands as his best overall album. Cohesive, sticking to a theme, and the last true project to feature Mannie Fresh producing the entire thing essentially, Wayne gave us an album that could truly be considered a classic. On tracks like "I Miss My Dawgs", he gave us emotions and the feeling of a lost friendship and on tracks like "BM JR", he spit his best rhymes ever. Hands down. I can't think of any other song that Wayne killed more than "BM JR". It is almost crazy how bad he killed that track to be honest. Wayne would do this multiple times on the album and bring A1 rhymes on solid production, long before the cheesy Tunechi punchline era began. This album is a personal classic for me, and remains Wayne's finest hour.

*Mannie Fresh- The Mind of Mannie Fresh (2004)

-This album is long winded, unnecessary and I still to this day can't remember the motive behind it existing outside of trying to push Fresh to do something besides a Big Tymers album. As crazy as this sounds, the best songs on this album are interludes by Wayne. And it's not even close, like the rest of the songs are mostly jokes and feature solid production, but nothing more. A very unnecessary album.

*Birdman- Fast Money (2005)

-When we speak of unnecessary albums, this is another one. However, somehow, this album wasn't THAT bad, as the theme for the Birdman Lugz commercial reigned supreme here. That song is "Get Your Shine On", and I loved it upon release of the song and still do, same with "Neck of Da Woods", which all feel like leftover Carter tracks that Wayne was nice enough to lend Birdman. The rest of the album is surprisingly not that bad, as production is pretty good, the features aren't that horrible, and Wayne is present enough to make it make sense. However, I really didn't think we needed another Birdman album. At all.

*Lil Wayne- Tha Carter 2 (2005)

-Many consider this to be Wayne's finest hour and I believe it to be his 2nd best album period. This album is Wayne spitting some of his best lyrics, in what I like to consider his album prime. As I mentioned earlier, when talking Tha Carter 1, I don't think there is any Wayne song greater than "BM JR", but he comes very very close to beating it with "Tha Mobb" on C2. Production on this one was very good, with a few missed swings and about 2 or 3 songs that didn't overall hit the mark, but this album is near flawless and remains one of the best things to drop from Cash Money. The Young Money Era was just starting slowly at this point, as Wayne was putting the pieces together. Aside from "Tha Mobb", songs like "Receipt", "Money On My Mind", and "Hustler Muzik" truly drove home the new feel and sound for Wayne. This was a new era. And Wayne was leading it. Unrelated, it seems this is the album that he apparently became a "blood"........... references are everywhere and you won't find many of them on his previous albums, thus why I said that. Regardless, C2 is a great album.

*Birdman and Lil Wayne- Like Father, Like Son (2006) 

-This album was extremely slept on to me in many ways. Birdman was never a lyrical genius or anything of that sort, but he meshed well with Wayne on these songs on this album. Wayne would bring his A game to an extent, though some of his verses seemed recycled, he still put together a solid album with Birdman. Songs like "You Ain't Know", "1st Key", and "Leather So Soft" were all anthems and showcased the strength and power of Wayne during this run as the album strike gold in a declining record sales climate. This album would be a landmark one as it marked the first of its kind released on CMR. It made me wish to an extent that we could have got that Juve and B.G. duo album, or a Wayne and Juve album, instead we got this, and the end product was still pretty good.

Well, all these albums over a 10 year period and that doesn't even cover the full run that Cash Money has had, though it takes care of a large majority of it. Regardless, Cash Money and their legacy are forever solidified.  This article proves it without a doubt. Long live CMR, whoadie.



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