ON DECK: ‘Leaders and Legends’ Gala To Honor “Birdman” Williams And Ronald “Slim” Williams.

YouTube Music announced its second Leaders and Legends gala, celebrating hip-hop’s top executives, entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives who have impacted the music industry in an immeasurable way. Coinciding with Black Music Month, this year’s event will honor southern hip hop icons Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams, founders of Cash Money Records.

Hailing from New Orleans, Ronald and Bryan played a pivotal role in popularizing Southern rap music in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Cash Money Records’ unique sound, characterized by bounce beats and catchy lyrics, helped shift the focus of the rap industry from the coasts to the South. The label has been home to some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Mannie Fresh, and Juvenile. These artists have not only achieved immense commercial success but also pushed creative boundaries within the genre.

“The story of Cash Money Records is one for the history books,” said Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube. “Leaders and Legends recognizes entrepreneurship and leadership in black music and culture, attributes Birdman and Slim embody to their core. They defied the odds, raising up some of rap and hip hop’s most iconic figures to superstardom and shattering sales records while doing it. We are humbled to honor the success and look forward to celebrating the music that continues to shape the label’s incredible legacy.”

“We at YouTube are committed to pushing the culture forward, so leading the charge to celebrate Cash Money’s impact via Birdman and Slim’s leadership is an honor” said Tuma Basa, YouTube’s Director of Black Music and Culture. “As a platform with a global reach and influence, it is our responsibility to acknowledge and elevate the stories of black trailblazers in the industry and remind the world of the immeasurable impact black music has on the culture globally, and that’s what Leaders and Legends is all about.”

The Leaders and Legends gala will be held in Los Angeles on June 27. The program will feature a star-studded lineup of performances, culminating with Lyor Cohen presenting Birdman and Slim with the 2024 Leaders and Legends Award. The event is invitation only.