Home » The Making of a Hip-Hop Millionaire: Slim Williams and the Cash Money empire

The Making of a Hip-Hop Millionaire: Slim Williams and the Cash Money empire

From New Orleans to Hip-Hop Royalty: The Slim Williams Story

by Motoni Olodun

Ronald Jay “Slim” Williams, born on November 11, 1964, hails from New Orleans, Louisiana. He is an American entrepreneur and record executive who co-founded the renowned record label Cash Money Records alongside his younger brother, rapper Bryan “Birdman” Williams. His journey from the streets of New Orleans to co-founding Cash Money Records and diversifying his wealth is truly aspirational.

Early Life and Influences

Ronald’s father, Johnnie Williams, was an ex-military man and a shrewd businessman with multiple ventures in New Orleans. His mother, Gladys Brooks, owned a bar in New Orleans, and they lived in the building above the bar. Gladys Brooks passed away unexpectedly when Ronald was just 10 years old. As Johnnie hadn’t signed Ronald’s birth certificate, he and his siblings spent two years in the state foster system. Eventually, Johnnie regained custody, and the family moved uptown to Valence Street. Ronald grew up alongside his step-siblings in Johnnie’s family home. In total, Ronald had 10 brothers and 12 sisters—a bustling household indeed!

Ronald’s father instilled a strong work ethic and a hustler’s mindset. Johnnie’s multiple businesses fueled Ronald’s hunger for independence from a young age. Growing up in New Orleans, Ronald was immersed in the city’s rich musical culture. The habits and livelihoods of the people and the rich musical culture of New Orleans also played a pivotal role in shaping his future.

Co-Founding Cash Money Records

In 1991, Ronald Slim Williams and his younger brother, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, co-founded Cash Money Records. In 1998, Cash Money Records secured a groundbreaking $30-million pressing and distribution contract with Universal Music. This deal granted the label 85% of royalties, 50 percent of publishing revenues, and ownership of all masters. The label’s roster included artists like Juvenile, B.G., Turk, and the Hot Boys. Their albums sold more than 45 million records. Cash Money Records signed several highly talented artists. Among them, Lil Wayne emerged as one of their most profitable discoveries. The label’s roster expanded to include other major names like Drake and Nicki Minaj. Cash Money Records boasts an impressive track record of 12 number-one albums on the Billboard 200 chart and seven number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally, Cash Money Records has sold over 500 million singles worldwide. As of 2024, Cash Money Records boasts an estimated net worth of $300 million. Ronald Slim Williams’ business-minded hunger drove the label’s success. He served as the executive producer for most of Cash Money’s major releases since 1997. 

Beyond Music: Diversification

Slim’s entrepreneurial spirit extended beyond the music industry. He owns a business consulting company, RW2 Enterprises, that provides strategic advice to entrepreneurs. 

He founded  Bronald Oil & Gas with his brother, Bryan “Birdman” Williams. Bronald Oil & Gas is an independent company focused on identifying and utilizing gas and oil reserves. They operate in several regions, including Osage County, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Central America.

He also has significant real estate properties. In 2012, Ronald “Slim” Williams purchased the largest house in South Florida for an impressive $7.15 million. The mansion, located in the ultra-exclusive triple-gated Windmill Ranch community west of Fort Lauderdale, spans an impressive 34,000 square feet. Notably, Slim paid for the entire property in cash, without any mortgage or involvement from banks.

Giving Back

Slim has also made significant contributions to various charitable causes, including supporting educational initiatives and providing assistance to underprivileged communities. In fact, during the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020, the Williams brothers contributed $225,000 in rent assistance to those in need in New Orleans. Additionally, Birdman (Bryan Williams) once purchased 50 vehicles for New Orleans residents, demonstrating their commitment to community betterment. Their philanthropic efforts have left a positive impact on their hometown, and they continue to maintain strong ties to their roots. The city of New Orleans recently honored them by presenting them with the Keys to the City, recognizing their enduring spirit and contributions to music and community.


Ronald “Slim” Williams’ journey from the heart of New Orleans to the pinnacle of the music industry is not just a story of success; it is a narrative of resilience, foresight, and unwavering commitment to his vision. Co-founding Cash Money Records with his brother Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Slim transformed the music landscape, nurturing talents like Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Lil-Wayne that have become synonymous with modern hip-hop. Beyond music, his ventures into real estate, oil and gas, and philanthropy demonstrate a profound understanding of the power of diversification and giving back. Slim Williams’ story is a beacon of entrepreneurial spirit, showing that with determination and strategic planning, it is possible to rise above challenges and make a lasting impact across industries.

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