Ronald "Slim" Williams

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Ronald Williams
Birth nameRonald Jay Williams
Also known asSlim tha Don
Born (1964-11-11) November 11, 1964 (age 56)[1][2][3]
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Occupation(s)Record executive, audio mixer, record producer
Years active1988–present

Ronald Jay "Slim" Williams (born November 11, 1964)[4][5][6] is an American businessman who co-founded the record label Cash Money Records along with his younger brother, rapper Bryan "Birdman" Williams.[7] As with his younger brother, he is the executive producer of nearly all of Cash Money's artist's albums.


Early life[edit]

Ronald “Slim” Williams was born on the 23rd of May 1964 to Johnnie Williams and Gladys Brooks. His father Johnnie was an ex-military man and owner of multiple businesses in New Orleans. While the business commitments of Johnnie didn’t allow for a complete presence within Ronald’s early life, he made sure to take care of his family, ensuring that they always had what they needed[8]. Williams lived his early years on Saratoga street in New Orleans, in a small home atop Gladys’ bar. The bar, which was named after and run by his mother, was the local hangout spot for all types of people from the neighbourhood; hustlers, pimps, prostitutes, businessmen and drug dealers[8].  The dangers of this home environment became most present when Williams’ father was non-fatally shot during an attempted robbery of the bar while the children were home.[8]

Williams’ mother Gladys Brooks passed away very young in 1975. The death occurred when Ronald was 10 years old and was unexpected.  As his father, Johnnie failed to sign his birth certificate, Ronald and his siblings were placed under state care in the foster system for 2 years. When Williams’ father was able to win back custody of the children in court, the children moved uptown to Valence street where they lived in Johnnie’s family home with the children of his wife at the time. In total, Ronald had 10 brothers and 12 sisters.[8]. The rest of Ronald’s early life was spent riding minibikes, skating and playing basketball. People that knew him at the time described him as “quiet” yet “always thinking” which is reflective of the behind the scenes, calculated character that we see today.[8]

Influences[edit]

Business influences[edit]

The influence of Father Johnnie Williams on Ronald “Slim” Williams is evident when observing his independent, business-minded nature[9]. As the owner of multiple businesses, his father’s willingness to work hard for money was instilled within him from a young age. This ‘hustler’[9] attitude fuelled him and his brother’s business-minded hunger and pursuit of independence from a young age.[9]

Musical influences[edit]

The rich musical history and culture within New Orleans is the primary influence that moulded Williams into the world-renowned musician that he is today. The New Orleans musical culture is based on the habits and livelihoods of the people that reside within the city[10]. Ultimately, the local identity within New Orleans has a direct impact on musical culture[10], and it is the unique cultural environment in which Williams grew up that moulded his personal and musical career. As Williams’ label pushed forward the bounce music sound in the United States[10], it was evident that local identity and his cultural roots influenced his precise music selection, management and production.[11]

Controversy[edit]

Legal issues[edit]

On the 27th of November 2007, Ronald “Slim” Williams was arrested for marijuana possession in Tennessee.[12] He was among 16 people charged for possession of more than 1/2 an ounce of marijuana. His brother Birdman was also arrested and detained overnight. Their RV was pulled over by police for making an improper lane change on a road trip from New Orleans to New York for a BET network shoot.[12]

Between 2009 and 2012, Williams was involved in a lawsuit between his label Cash Money Records and EMI music on behalf of label artist Lil Wayne. This came despite the Williams brothers’ mentorship of Wayne throughout his career. The legal battle was in relation to unpaid licensing fees on Grammy award-winning album Tha Carter III. In 2012 a judge ruled that Cash Money owed Wayne and his label $1.5 million for ““direct, contributory and vicarious inducement of copyright infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract.” [13] Despite this, legal disputes have continued to occur between the two parties, mostly pertaining to withheld and delayed music releases[14]

Other ventures[edit]

Oil business[edit]

In 2010, Ronald “Slim” Williams and his brother Bryan “Baby” Williams started an oil exploration business named ‘Bronald Oil’. It was founded with the goal to develop oil exploration properties in the United States and Central America. The company has had varying presence since its inception. A 2010 Bloomberg investigation[15] into the company revealed a number of inconsistencies with the claims made by the business and its actual operations in the key areas targeted on their website. Namely, it was discovered that oil and gas regulators within these jurisdictions had never heard of Bronald Oil. This report coincided with the website being taken down from the internet at the time. However, Williams’ company was re-registered in 2013 and the company began operating without the announcements and fanfare of the business’ 2010 beginnings[16]. In the present day, the website is no longer operating and the company is no longer mentioned by Williams and his associates at Cash Money Records.

Cash Money Content[edit]

Cash Money Content was created in 2010 as an additional component of the Cash Money Records brand. The launch of Cash Money Content saw Williams and his brother’s creation of a book publishing business and film making organisation. The book side of the business was created in partnership with Simon & Schuster's Atria Books division, acting as the primary distributor[17]. Williams has been involved in community-focused initiatives through Cash Money Content. In 2014, Williams publicly supported Cash Money Content's online pro-reading campaign stating; "Reading is an important step in the right direction toward making a difference in our community,"[17].

Charity work[edit]

Giving back to the community has always been a major focus of Williams.[18] Since the late 90s, Williams and his brother have hosted a community thanksgiving giveaway, where over 2000 thanksgiving turkeys are personally handed out for free. Access to free medical screening is also provided at these events.[18]


In February 2009, the Williams brothers were featured in CNBC's Newbos: The Rise of America's New Black Overclass, a documentary show profiling several black multi-millionaires.[19] Williams appeared in Lil Wayne's Behind The Music episode, which premiered September 10, 2009.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Instagram post from Cash Money Records". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  2. ^ "Instagram post from birdman". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  3. ^ "Cash Money's Williams Arrested In Tennessee". Billboard. November 28, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2017. ...Ronald Williams, 43...
  4. ^ "Cash Money Records (@cashmoneyofficial) posted on Instagram • Nov 11, 2020 at 10:05pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  5. ^ "@birdman on Instagram: "Hapoy BDAY to my Blood 🩸we do this for #MSGLADYS THE GODFATHER SUGAR SLIM 🐐uptown livin legend🦅❤️🩸#RG #CASHMONEYKING"". Instagram. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  6. ^ "Cash Money's Williams Arrested In Tennessee". Billboard. November 28, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2017. ...Ronald Williams, 43...
  7. ^ Allison Samuels (February 28, 2000). "and Cain "Big C" McCall ; The Cash Money Crew Gets No Respect From Grammy". Newsweek. Retrieved on June 22, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Birdman Before Anythang: The Cash Money Story (Documentary) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  9. ^ a b c "Birdman Before Anythang: The Cash Money Story (Documentary) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  10. ^ a b c Miller, Matthew LaFollette. "Bounce: Rap Music and Local Identity in New Orleans, 1980-2005". etd.library.emory.edu. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  11. ^ Pearson, David (2016). "Bell Patterns, Polyrhythms, Propulsive Subdivisions, and Semitones: The Musical Poetics of Late-1990s Cash Money Records Style". Journal of Popular Music Studies. 28 (3): 356–380. doi:10.1111/jpms.12179. ISSN 1533-1598.
  12. ^ a b Billboard, Staff (28 November 2007). "Cash Money's Williams Arrested In Tennessee". Billboard. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  13. ^ Grimm, Beca; Grimm, Beca (2012-03-26). "Cash Money Records Settles EMI Lawsuit". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  14. ^ "Lil Wayne Reaches Settlement in Lawsuit Against Cash Money". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  15. ^ "Rap Moguls Go From Lil' Wayne to Oil, Keep It Real With Tattoo". Bloomberg.com. 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  16. ^ Slavik, Nathan. "Inside Birdman's Unbelievably Strange & (Probably) Fake Oil Company". DJBooth. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  17. ^ a b Times-Picayune, Alison Fensterstock, NOLA com | The. "Cash Money Content, the record label's publishing arm, launches new #iRead #WeRead campaign". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  18. ^ a b "Broadcast Music, Inc. to Name Cash Money's Bryan "Birdman" Williams & Ronald "Slim" Williams as BMI Icons at the 2013 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards | Press". BMI.com. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  19. ^ Hinckley, David. 'Black overclass' rich in opinion Money talks - via affluent athletes and music-biz bigs, The New York Daily News. Published February 25, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2009.

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