With his 14th studio album, I Am Not a Human Being III, set to become available to fans later this year, rapper Lil Wayne has officially signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).
UTA just recently unveiled the high-profile roster addition, via a formal release that was shared with DMN. The five-time Grammy winner Lil Wayne has sold north of 120 million records to date, the announcement message notes, and as initially mentioned, the 38-year-old’s I Am Not a Human Being III will release “later this year.”
For reference, the New Orleans-born artist debuted his eighth studio album, I Am Not a Human Being, in 2010 and followed the effort in 2011 with Tha Carter IV as well as I Am Not a Human Being II in 2013. UTA will provide the Young Money Entertainment owner and CEO with “worldwide representation in all areas,” while Lil Wayne’s “longtime partner” Mack Maine and attorney Kenneth Meiselas will remain part of his professional team.
At the time of this piece’s publishing, it didn’t seem that Lil Wayne had mentioned his joining UTA – or the specific reason(s) behind the move – on social media. But the deal appears indicative of the sweeping changes that are arriving in the representation space, both in terms of individual signings and broader plays.
On the former front, The Weeknd – who, like Lil Wayne, has added his name to the growing list of artists who’ve taken issue with the Grammys – jumped from WME to CAA ahead of a massive 2022 world tour. Separately, WME parent company Endeavor, which abruptly shelved its IPO plans in September of 2019, is once again preparing to go public.
Wasserman – which was founded by Casey Wasserman, grandson of pioneering Hollywood talent agent Lew Wasserman – today rebranded Paradigm’s music division as “Wasserman Music” and outlined ambitious “plans to expand assertively as the live entertainment business rebounds in 2021 and 2022.”
Wasserman Music intends to provide its artist clients with a collection of support resources and, interestingly, “amplify its existing marketing offerings to brands looking to connect with consumers via music and sports programs.” And TBA, which ex-Paradigm agents founded last year, has quietly continued to sign acts and, in the process, develop a bolstered market presence.
Finally, UTA last month acquired London-based Echo Location Talent Agency, which was founded in 2012 and boasts clients such as DaBaby, NBA YoungBoy, Marshmello, and Waka Flocka Flame.