It was all bad just a year ago.
In December of 2014, Lil Wayne shocked the hip-hop world by tweeting that Cash Money was holding him and his Carter V album prisoner and that he wanted off the label that raised him, then followed those tweets in short order with a $51 million lawsuit that revealed a decades-long history of dysfunction and conflict between Wayne and Birdman.
The rift grew as serious as Birdman being linked to a shooting of Lil Wayne's tour bus six months ago, but recently it's appeared as if the two are beginning to reunite. According to HipHopDX, in recent months the two have spoken on the phone, performed together, both attended Drake's New Year's Eve party and even recently posed for a photo in the studio.
On the surface, these all appear to be positive steps, but on a deeper level, Wayne and Birdman's conflict is no closer to a resolution than it was six months ago.
Wayne's lawsuit still stands in full with no progress made, he still can't release his album, and he still can't sign to any other label. It appears that once again Birdman might win simply by being immovably stubborn. There are artists who have been attempting to recover lost money from Birdman for years now and he's somehow managed to simply shrug them off while only growing richer, so it's almost unthinkable that he'd let a cash cow like Lil Wayne walk away from Cash Money, not without some serious compensation.
Despite still being shackled to Cash Money, Lil Wayne's been able to keep his name in the public consciousness through mixtape releases, but sooner or later he's going to have to release an album if he wants to remain anywhere near the top of the rap game. It looks like Birdman's still betting that Wayne will blink first and return to Cash Money, and only those who don't know their rap history would bet against him.