Since that very short interview with The Breakfast Club Power 105.1, Birdman has reminded us all of the importance of ‘respek’ as the memes have continued to go crazy on the internet.
The co-founder of Cash Money Records has been on his business grind for years accumulating his millions. Last year, Forbes reported that Baby had an estimated net worth of $150 million with his ventures extending to clothing and spirits. Now, Birdman is switching back lanes, as he is set to release a new solo album, Ms Gladys next month, his first since he dropped Priceless back in 2005.
We caught up with Baby to get the lowdown on his business life and the new album.
RESPECT.: Did you expect the whole “Respek” thing would blow up to be so big?
No not really, not at all.
RESPECT.: What’s been your reaction to it?
I think the word itself has big demeanor to it. I think that everybody feels that they should be respected.
RESPECT.: What does respect mean to you?
Respect is what you give to get respect. If you don’t respect, you deserve to get the same level as the individuals that don’t respect. But besides that respect should be a balanced situation. For everybody, that comes first.
RESPECT.: You capitalized off of “Respek” by making t-shirts, how did you learn to turn bad situations into business opportunities?
Everybody was feeling it, and I thought that it was something nice that I could build from the foundation and donate the profits to a boys home.
RESPECT.: How it did feel to make an album after so many years? Did you take inspiration from any current rappers?
It was definitely good to still be able to do an album. The inspiration is just my life and my family. The s**t I go through, the s**t I been through – that’s the aspiration for my music. It’s a personal project for me.
RESPECT.: What did you do differently this time getting back into the studio?
The difference this time is it was easier for me then, because it wasn’t hard for me to catch a feature or get a song from Wayne or Drake or anybody that was part of the scene at the time to just stretch a verse. This project, it’s gonna be my own thing. It’s gonna be me. I’m not gonna have no features on the album. That’s the big difference.
RESPECT.: So completely no features this time?
Maybe one or two. But it’s gonna be like one verse on a lot of songs, it’s not going be nothing like that. It’s gonna be more of me. It might have a few features, but nothing major like, not a lot like it’s a compilation and s**t. Nothing like that.
RESPECT.: In terms of the features you mention, can we expect them to include the Rich Gang members or Cash Money?
Of course, that will be all the features that I do ever, people that are a part of the team. But outside of my Rich Gang album which is like a compilation with four or five people on one song or every song. That project is made for that type of environment. But my solo album, it’s personal. It’s should be a selective few. I want to do my own thing.
RESPECT.: Out of all the crew, how does that selection process happen?
We don’t really call or nothing, it’s just whatever song they fit in the moment or who the artist is working with in a particular way. I don’t know. I haven’t got to that point yet. The album’s coming out June 24th and I’m still waiting so I don’t know yet.
RESPECT.: As a successful entrepreneur, do you feel you enjoy the business side of things more than the rap side?
They both have their ups and downs. I really enjoy the business side. I also have enjoyed the rap side. But I enjoy the business side more because I enjoy making all the acts and that takes talent and building up my staff and company, that sort of thing. I take more to that. I rap because I really like that too. But I’m more about the business than that.
RESPECT.: You’re a very behind the scenes type of person. How is your day to day as a businessman that we don’t get to see?
The business part is way more important than all of the other parts. You are running an empire with all the businesses, and you’ve got your personal life, you are always trying to build stuff and make stuff and break stuff and turning something into something. It’s an ongoing day all day, on the phone, on emails. Then I still got kids, and family, a personal life. To dedicate your life to the game, sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. At the end of the day, it’s still what I love to do so I don’t complain about it.
RESPECT.: Who do you think from your camp will be blowing up this year?
A few of them, Jacquees, he’s in his route. Ralo, I think he’s gonna be real big. J-Soul. BBG look cool. I think all of them. Neno, I think Caskey, he’s had a big imprint. They’re all new youngsters so I think it’s going to be a big summer. We’ll see, that’s just my opinion. We just have to see who the people pick. Talent wise, I’m very impressed with them, at this young age with how talented they are and the music they make. I really like what they’re doing, I’m excited about it. I’ve been working with them for a while now and it’s time to let them go.
RESPECT.: What type of music are you bumping right now?
You know I’m listening to the Drake album [Views]. A lot of our music. I also like that 50 Cent record , “I’m the Man.” I play that a lot, that’s one of my favorites.
RESPECT.: With the involvement that you’ve had in Drake’s career, how proud of him are you?
Very. Just watching him grow that has been exciting, from day one till now and with his whole career. On the music side, just watching him grow. That was one thing we always talked about. We got to see how it goes, but to see the growth, it seemed like magic, the way it has happened. It’s happened right in front of your eyes. I’m just blessed to be a part of it.
RESPECT.: He’s one of the biggest artists out there right now. Do you think there’s space for him to get even bigger?
I think, he’s still a young man. He’s still got a lot of growth, a lot of life living to do. I think it can only get bigger for him. I think he can do something that’s never been done in hip-hop, ever. I think he can do it. He’s gonna try hard to do it. I know he has that ambition, and that drive. You never really know, I think it can happen and it can be something that’s never been seen in hip-hop.
RESPECT.: With all the time you spend managing your businesses do you have time for a special lady? We’ve heard about certain pictures [Toni Braxton and Birdman were spotted together according to TMZ]!
Ah none of that is important to me, this is important, my children, my family. Ain’t nothing else more important to me than doing this for my children and my family.
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