Even with Wayne currently serving a jail bid for gun possession, Cash Money, which also houses Weezy’s Young Money brand, is thriving thanks to its diverse and extensive roster. Of course there’s Drake and Nicki Minaj, as well as non-rapping stars like Kevin Rudolph and Jay Sean, who all keep the label at the forefront. Then, there’s Birdman himself, who last year released his forth solo album, Pricele$$. XXLMag.com caught up with the No. 1 Stunna to talk about his success, Cash Money’s expansion and Lil Wayne’s anticipated release from prison.
It seems like you never stop working or putting out music. What’s in the works for Cash Money?
S***, we workin’. We got Tyga’s album. We workin’ on Bow Wow’s album, Brisco’s album, Nicki’s album, Wayne’s album, my album, Jay Sean’s album… A few movies in the works. Just grindin’, bruh. I love the challenge of doin’ music. We wanna be the best that ever did it and do the most. We got the opportunity and I promise you we’re gonna go hard as f*** like we ain’t got a dollar.
When you think about it, it’s kinda crazy how Cash Money outlasted all the other labels that y’all came into the game with. Labels like, Ruff Ryders, No Limit and Roc-A-Fella.
I look at that s*** as we went through war and we sustained the weather and we stood in the fog. Even when muthaf***as counted us out, we stood up and we manned up. We did everything we had to, to get where we’re at today. I think God gives it to ya when he feels you’re ready for it. It took us a long time; we had to go through a lot of changes. A lot of obstacles, losses, gains. I just think right now we’re so great at this s***. We got so many young n****s who look at me and Wayne and what we’ve accomplished. You see the hunger [that] Drake and all the rest of those little n****s [have] because they’re reaching for those stories. We work like n****s who never made a dollar and I think that’s impressive to them. That makes them go harder. Those little n****s got promising futures.
Plus, you diversified. Before it was just a New Orleans thing, now you have Nicki Minaj from New York and Drake from Canada. It’s not just rap either, you have Kevin Rudolph and Jay Sean.
We had to do that. We had to expand for a longer run. I felt like that was very important. Honestly, we’ve been tryin’ to do it, we just never got it off the ground. Now that we have the staff and Universal believing in us, allowing us to have the staff and to do the things we do, it should make it that much easier. But when you have a company that ain’t supportin’ you and you’re trying to do a lot then you’re gonna lose.
As successful as the label has been in Wayne’s absence, you gotta be very optimistic for when he comes home.
Can you image when Wayne comes out? He been gone, he ain’t get to see this s***, he only been hearing it. When Wayne comes home he lifts everybody’s spirits, he lifts everybody’s value, he lifts the brand, he lifts everything. Wayne is gonna be the biggest artist in music, not just in hip-hop; in music. It’s some Michael Jackson s*** right here goin’ on right before our eyes.
That’s a wild comparison. What can we expect from Tha Carter IV? You know that’s the one everybody is waiting on.
He’s a beast; he went back to that raw rappin’. That n**** still be impressin’ me with his music. I say that to say that I be around him a lot so the s*** he do and say shouldn’t be as impressive to me. I’m one of his biggest fans, I be geeked out on him. I watch him work, he’s just cold. It’s some magical s*** to watch the young blood do what he do.
You signed Cory Gunz as well?
Yeah, he’s YMCMB, definitely.
You’ve had your eye on him for a minute. There were rumors that he would sign in 2008 when he jumped on “A Milli.”
Yeah, him and Wayne been cool and he was in a little situation that he finally got untangled. We’re glad to have him a part of our family because I know that little boy, he gonna be somethin’ special.
For a minute it seemed like his career stalled out. It’s good now that he’ll have a chance to put out music. The one thing about Cash Money is that you guys create and put out music.
That’s my whole thing. Everything’s a 911. Life’s a 911. Our thing is we believe in givin’ every one of them a firm opportunity. I can’t buy the music, but I’ll put you in a great muthaf*****’ spot for people to buy your music. I love the challenge of being able to market them, watch them do what they do, help ‘em do what they do, show ’em how to do what they need to do. Really if they’re creative, that’s enough and then we’re just there supportin’ ‘em.
As much as you play the head coach, you have had some big records this past year, like “Money To Blow” and “Always Strapped.”
Yeah, I’ma be in the building, bruh. I’m a chess player; I’m a check mater. I think it out nowadays. Wayne and ‘em are real rappers. All them little n****s can rap their ass off. I don’t try to do that. I just do me. At this point in my life with this s***, I just wanna have as much fun as possible. When my son come home, for me, I’m the happiest man that can ever be alive. I enjoy watching him and just getting in where I fit in. I ain’t trippin’ off this s***, but I’m trippin’ off this s***. Ya feel me?