Cash Money Records' Entry Into Pop Is Savvy, But Is it Smart?

Plenty of Cash Money Records signees have made a huge pop splash -- a short, incomplete list includes Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Kevin Rudolf, and Drake -- but this has come almost completely from the hip-hop lane. Today, the image of diamond-encrusted Bentleys is getting a makeover for the tweens set as Cash Money has announced the signing of Texas teen group Savvy.

If you thought Young Money was young before, this is a quintet of dancing, twirling Glee-meets-Hannah Montana-style talents who are also stars of a TV show called The Wannabes debuting nationally via Starz Kids & Family in September. And, yeah, that means they've had meetings with Birdman.

Now certainly this is a smart business venture for the Cash Money crew and will likely be a lucrative venture all around. But is it a good fit?

Exhibit A:
Here is the "sizzle reel" from The Wannabes, which has already aired two seasons in Australia.

Not to suggest that this is anything less than a polished entry into the Saved by the Bell-inspired teen sitcoms, but this seems to be the perfect fuel for any rapper who wants to spray some venom at Cash Money artists. The fact that the show is called The Wannabes is like a bow on top of any diss about Lil Wayne "going soft." Following Weezy telling Jay-Z he'd "kidnap yo bitch" on "It's Good," it's hard to imagine Hova not composing a few pointed stanzas that might rhyme "AC Slater" with "I see you, hater."

Exhibit B:
Recall this pleasant scene of Lil Wayne telling Lil Twist about his first sexual experiences -- forced upon him by Birdman -- when he was an 11-year-old.

The young careers of Savvy's Shaylen Carroll, Gabrielle "GiGi" LeMaire, Drew Reinartz, Alan Shaw, and Andrew Bowen Stern are certainly being watched and managed closely by their handlers, parents, and various production companies. It's telling that the news release announcing the partnership features a quote from Birdman's brother, Ronald "Slim" Williams: "We are blown away by the range of talent of Savvy. They work together and embody the hardworking spirit of the Cash Money family." No one will question the work ethic in this crew, but it remains to be seen if the "play ethic" of Savvy's new labelmates can retain the squeaky-clean, Disney-style image a show like The Wannabes requires for its success to continue.

EXHIBIT C:
This is the kinda Rebecca Black in Twilight mode single "Dance With Me Now."

Probably the strongest case for this partnership is the actual Savvy music, which needs some more "seasoning," to put it nicely. Throw a guest verse by Nicki Minaj on here and we're soaring. Have fun, but be careful, kids!


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