For a long time, Young Money was less a proper label than a typical superstar indulgence, the kind of vanity project that gave Lil Wayne something to shout, but never actually released non-Wayne albums that went anywhere. Then much-buzzed-about Degrassi: The Next Generation star Drake signed to the label and Nicki Minaj riveted hip-hop with her “Barbie Movement,” a revolutionary new trend that encourages pneumatic young women to dress in sexually provocative ways.
Now Wayne is capitalizing on his label’s newfound heat by releasing We Are Young Money, a coming-out party for the roster, which includes not only Drake and the much-hyped Minaj, but also some guy (Gudda Gudda), this one dude (Mack Maine), and another one (Jae Millz). “I wish I could fuck every girl in the world” isn’t just the hook to “Every Girl,” the compilation’s first single—it’s also the album’s mantra. This is a crew with a message, namely that they will fuck your girlfriend, possibly while throwing hundred-dollar bills in the air. Young Money begins with an infectious battery of libidinous posse cuts (“Gooder,” “Every Girl,” “Wife Beater”) featuring the ubiquitous Lil Wayne warbling stoned choruses, but the dumb fun begins to dissipate around the halfway point, and Minaj’s Lil’ Kim-as-malfunctioning-sexbot shtick wears out its welcome in record time. Money is pure bubblegum, the kind of instantly disposable pop ephemera listeners forget about while it’s still playing.