NEW YORK—It’s been nearly three months since New York Harbour’s historic Ellis Island was made the headquarters of the Cash Money Record Label and according to their latest sales totals, it’s been a sound investment.
The island which was the once the gateway for immigrants arriving to the new world has returned to its roots under the ownership of rap mogul, Birdman who says the island now serves as it’s own gateway for aspiring hip-hop artists.
“Every day we get millions of kids (approximately) comin’ out of the projects looking for a better life and we do what we can to help them” Mr. Birdman explained “we’re just trying to bring some stability to these young people lives and of course there’s no career that’s more stable than being a professional rapper.”
Once a young hip-hop enthusiast arrives at Ellis Island, Birdman explained, the only thing he has left to do is wait and be processed.
Upon arrival at the registrar’s office, the child is given a new rap name (as well as a bunch of meaningless nicknames), all the necessities of a rapper's life (gold chains, cough syrup and marijuana) and a new life. The ability to rap however is not included, but of course this is not a necessary skill for Cash Money artists.
One hot new act, Lil’ Crazy, revealed to XXL magazine that only two weeks before he signed his record deal, he was just Chris Smith, a regular kid from Long Island.
“I was actually just there [Ellis Island] to do research for a school report” Smith admitted “On my way there I saw the Statue of Liberty was decked out in gold chains, which I found a little weird so I went inside the front office to ask what was going on.”
|Cash Money has also made an investment in the décor of the Statue of Liberty.|
“Before I could even speak they asked me my name, then said ‘you’re now Lil’ Crazy and gave me this whole crazy back story” he continued “they told me that from now on my life went like this: I had grown up in the Deep South where I dealt drugs, ran with a gang and still harboured resentment against my father for abandoning my family.”
Smith says that the next day he recorded a mixtape, got some new clothes and left to go on tour with Lil’ Wayne for 8 months.
Despite his story sounding unique, Lil Crazy (AKA The Cray 8ght, AKA Young Krazeezy, AKA Professor Na$ty) is actually just one of the hundreds of new acts that have joined Cash Money Records this year in the very same way and according to Forbes Magazine it has helped the label triple its net worth over the last three months.
Although Birdman admits that he does enjoy the increase in money, he says he’s more interested in the good he is doing for local teens.
“I’m just to help the younger generation from making the same mistakes I did, messing around with school and legitimate working instead of immediately pursuing a rap career” he explained “I’m just trying to get as many kids as possible away from a life of poverty and crime, and into a life of wealth and... crime”.