It's fun play the Hip Hop alternative history game. We all did it last week when Fat Joe revealed that he had six opportunities to sign Eminem to Terror Squad.
How about this one: Kanye West on Cash Money.
DJ Booth recently spoke to Mikky Halsted, who was the first artist West officially signed to his late 90s Kanman Productions label.
When Cash Money came through Chicago in 1998, Baby's people approached Halsted about joining Cash Money and bringing Kanye with him.
So Halsted and 'Ye flew down to New Orleans and met with Birdman and Slim. But something about the meeting rubbed West the wrong way
"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," 'Ye told Halsted. I’m like, “Man, why don’t we just do it together?” He like, ‘Nah, I really want to get to New York and go fuck with Roc-A-Fella.’ So he left the ball in my court. First they offered me a deal, and it was some good numbers, but I wanted to stay with Kanye. But they gave my sister the same deal and I ended up signing.Things almost immediately went south for Halsted at Cash Money when Baby refused to clear the samples on the beats Kanye was still providing him. Halsted wasn't having that, since getting West paid was part of the reason he took the deal.
An argument ensued, and Baby threatened Halsted's life. Eventually, Birdman backed down, and Kanye used the 5K he got for the beats to move to New Jersey and link up with Hov and company.
But it could have been really different if 'Ye instead signed with Cash Money.
Do you think Kanye would have still been Kanye?