Kanye West and Lil Wayne have collaborated on tracks like "Barry Bonds," "Swagga Like Us" and "Forever," but there once was a chance that we would hear these two titans together far more frequently than that. That's because Yeezy almost signed with Cash Money at the beginning of his career.
The report comes from DJ Booth, who spoke with Chicago native Mikkey Halsted -- a Kanye collaborator who was signed to his Konman Productions in the late '90s -- about the potential partnership. It's a story that had been online in the past, but it's one many people probably haven't heard.
"Cash Money is having a tour," Halsted said. "They come through Chicago. A friend of one of my cousins, some street guy, used to hang with Baby, shoot dice, all of that stuff. I guess [Birdman] asked them, ‘Who’s the hottest in Chicago?’ and they said me. A couple of weeks later, I got this guy on my phone saying, ‘Man, Baby and some of them called. They want to sign you.'
"I said, ‘Kanye, man, they wanna fly me out and I told them they got to fly you out, too.’ So Kanye went to New Orleans, brought all of the music from all the artists, and calls me and says, 'Man, they offering me a deal for everybody on Konman Productions. Everybody. Me, your sister, myself, Go Getters, the whole nine. They just wanna make it like Cash Money Midwest.’"
Yup: There would have been no Kanye on Roc-A-Fella. Just Cash Money Midwest instead. But it wasn't meant to be.
"I asked, ‘What do you want to do?’" Halsted went on. "He’s like, ‘Man, I’m not going to sign with Cash Money because it’s a little too street, the vibe is a little too much and they really want you anyway, Mik. It’s like they just taking everybody because of you.'"
Halsted suggested that they do the deal together.
"He like, ‘Nah, I really want to get to New York and go f--k with Roc-A-Fella.’"
Of course, that's exactly what he did.
Mikkey, though, signed with Cash Money, and Kanye produced a few tracks on his album -- and made enough money to move to Newark and launch his career (a story he told at the end of "Last Call").