It seems like, recently, every month brings a new Cash Money signing. Of course, some have been rap acts, like Busta Rhymes and Mystikal. Birdman isn’t boxing himself in, though. The Williams Empire has inked singer T Lopez, American Idol contestant Chris Richardson and R&B vet Christina Milian to the ever-expanding roster. To top it off, last week, rock band Limp Bizkit was added to the Cash Money squad. Though it seemed a bit out of left field, Birdman has previously voiced a desire to touch all genres and run all of music. To help achieve that goal, here are five country acts that Baby should consider bringing to the label. —XXL Staff
Nicki MinajEspecially when Nicki was in her poppy phase (a la "Starships"), she and Taylor got chummy at awards shows.
If it were possible to sign a country act to Cash Money and add credibility, it would be by bringing Willie Nelson aboard. The 78-year-old is a true OG, with more than half a century in the game and a background as a proponent of marijuana reform. The other Mr. Long Hair Don’t Care, Mr. Nelson is not afraid to enter the hip-hop world as evident in his two songs with Snoop Dogg twice. Roll one up.
Who better to bring to the label than someone who has already proven an ability to sing with rappers? McGraw did just that back in 2004, with his top 3 hit, “Over and Over,” alongside Nelly. Even though the song was more country than rap— as Nelly carried a tune throughout—it showed McGraw’s openness to experiment. At almost 45 years old, McGraw could benefit from, say, a Lil Wayne guest spot. Eiei oh oh!
Shelton may have been known only in the world of country music for the majority of his career, but now that he’s appearing on NBC every week as a judge for The Voice, he’s steadily becoming a household name. If he joined Cash Money, Shelton could bring his résumé of Billboard country chart-toppers. But he could also bring the label into mainstream America’s living room through The Voice, while also using it as a breeding ground for future signings. Take that Christina Aguilera.
the band perry
From signing a preteen Lil Wayne to inking deals for Lil Twist and Lil Chuckee before they were old enough to vote, Baby has shown an affinity to locking in fresh talent. The Band Perry aren’t quite that young, but after securing the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year award at the 2011 Country Music Awards and a nomination for a Best New Artist at the Grammys earlier this month, they’re still on the way up. Da Band have nothing on Perry.