Cash Money and Comfort ZonesPosted: January 31, 2010
Late Friday I heard about two brothers, founders of a major music label, who are now venturing into the oil and gas field. The brothers are Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald”Slim” Williams, of Cash Money Records. The company is Broland Oil and Gas, LLC.
Here’s company statement from the Bronald website reads:
“Bronald is committed to working cooperatively with governments and private enterprise to recover energy from known oil and gas reserves throughout North and Central America in an environmentally friendly manner,” and it “intends to utilize both historically successful technologies and means, as well as new innovations and technology, to recover energy resources in both and economic and environmentally efficient manner. Bronald is committed to preserving the environment, promoting worker safety and maximizing the potential output of various oil and gas assets.”
If you don’t know who they are, you’ve probably heard their artists who presently include Lil’Wayne, Drake, and Jay Sean. Also, they are credited (for good or bad) with popularizing the phrase “bling, bling,” used in the chorus of the song “Bling, Bling”
Back to the news, my first reaction was a mix of amusement and “whuuh?”. Upon further thought though, what the Brother’s Williams are doing is no different from Sir Richard Branson, of Virgin [You Name It].
They have it. In 1998, Cash Money signed a $30 million pressing and distribution contract with Universal, entitling the label to 85% of its royalties, 50% of its publishing revenues and ownership of all masters.
Comparably, that would be like Google agreeing to distribute your BIG IDEA, give you most of the profits, and allowing you to retain full equity in the company. My gut tells me Google would rather hand deliver a Nexus One with full tech specs to Apple and Microsoft, before they’d agree to such a deal.
In other words, it wouldn’t happen.
The take away
In hindsight my initial reaction was because I didn’t see the connection. Rap music to oil and gas? Really? But then I remembered the post I wrote on getting out of your comfort zone. Branching out beyond what you know, moving to spaces unfamiliar can lead to interesting, if not profitable experiences. I’m banking on the latter being a primary focus of the brothers. Whatever else people might say about the Williams brothers, they appear to have two things in their favor: business savvy, and most importantly, MONEY.
Is this foray into the oil and gas business a gamble? Sure, but as Mark Cuban says, “No balls, no babies.” If they do well they’ll be called “geniuses.” If not Chapter 11 and on to the next one. Also, because Broland is an LLC, i.e. a limited liability company, the Williams brothers are only liable up to their investment in the company, baring individual torts.
I wish the Williams brothers much success in this new venture!