After beating the odds by successfully transitioning from teen rap sensation to full-grown solo superstar as an adult on Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne began building his own empire 15 years ago. That kingdom is Young Money Entertainment, an offshoot of the label that took him to stardom.
A few years later, he signed Nicki Minaj and Drake, two artists who eventually became legends in their own right. He also signed folks like Jae Millz, Tyga, Curren$y and more. Over the last 10 years, artists from the label have unloaded songs that helped define hip-hop in the late 2000s and 2010s.
Lil Wayne not only started Young Money, he's also responsible for some of the label's biggest songs. His 2008 single "Lollipop" made him one of the biggest rappers in the world, and he did it under the Young Money banner. Same for "6 Foot 7 Foot" in 2011. For over 15 years, Weezy's been a household name, a rapper who reached that sweet spot of becoming a part of pop culture without losing his flavor.
For their part, Drizzy and Nicki have also served up a ton of memorable anthems over the last decade. As of 2018, Drake has more slaps than the Beatles. In 2017, Nicki Minaj broke Aretha Franklin's record for most songs on the Billboard Hot 100. The dominance has been real.
But it wasn't all about Nicki Minaj, Drake and Wayne. Curren$y had some incredible verses as a member of the crew, and Tyga's work on YM set the foundation for the later parts of his career. Even if Spitta and Tyga didn't remain members of the label, they went off and found success, learning from their time at the house that Wayne built.
Today, on the 10th anniversary of the label's most successful compilation album, We Are Young Money, XXL takes a look at some of the best songs from the earlier days of the record label.
Check out the list below.