Recording information: CMR Studios, Miami, FL; YM/CMR Studios, Miami, FL.
He may be a veteran rapper, but by 2009, Birdman was better known and more active as a label owner, mostly because he was the label owner, manager, and mentor of hip-hop superstar Lil Wayne. As such, Birdman's Pricele$$ doesn't display a new set of skills when it comes to rapping and writing, but it does present the stone-cold millionaire as a more assured man, extremely comfortable to be on top and in charge of the now innovative and interesting Cash Money. If Birdman doesn't take lyrical chances, Wayne and Cash Money upstart Drake are more than willing, making tracks like "Money to Blow," "Bring it Back," and the Timbaland-produced title cut all highlights. Edgier production from the current in-house stable of producers helps too, and even if Birdman is stuck on money, money, and more money, musical detours into the world of dance music ("I Want It All") and T-Pain's brand of ultra-glossy R&B ("Shinin") keep the album from feeling stagnant. Not startling but satisfying and worth the attention of the Cash Money faithful. ~ David Jeffries