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Who would have thought after 22-years in the music industry, Cash Money co-founder Baby a.k.a. Birdman, would be on top of the game? Responsible for three of the rap world’s biggest artists—Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj—Birdman is one of the hip-hop’s last true moguls. For XXL‘s forthcoming June 2011 issue, the magazine spoke with the New Orleans native about his exclusive position in the rap industry as one of the last moguls standing and the secret to his longevity.
In a sit-down with editor-in-chief, Vanessa Satten, Baby reflected on the harsh nature of his profession. “When I look around, through my years and my time, you know, the game, it was a lot in the field, a lot of people doing it,” he says. “And I look around, and it’s like, where the f*** did everybody go? I ain’t never understood that, but the game like that sometimes, that muthafucka’s gon’ keep ya or it’s gon’ leave ya. It’s all on you.”
Despite his current status as one of the only remaining powerhouses, there was a time when many considered Cash Money over. Following the departure of his first successful act—super group the Hot Boys with Wayne, Juvenile, B.G. and Turk—and before Weezy rose to the prominent position that he holds today at the top of the rap food chain—Cash
Money seemed to be losing its touch. But as Birdman tells XXL, the hip-hop heavyweight learned a lot of important life lessons and studies the greats in order to figure out the best way to sustain his position in the game.
Arguably the best decision Baby made, was empowering Lil Wayne with his own label, Young Money, in 2005, which Weezy used to sign stars like Drake and Nicki Minaj over the past couple of years. “Honestly, I gave him the floor,” Baby says of Weezy. “He wanted it. I been with him since he was seven years old, eight years old. I been in his life all of his life, and he was like, “Let me handle, it.” At the time, me as an artist, losing my sister and everything I was going through personally, I was just like, ‘Go ahead, I’ma just support what you gon’ do. You can handle it.’ And I took a step back. Probably was the smarted move I ever made in my life was to let him go ‘head.”
In addition to the cover story on Birdman, XXL’s June 2011 issue also features an in-depth look at buzz-worthy, Los Angeles skate rap collective Odd Future as they brace for the limelight. Other articles include a candid interview with Ja Rule as he gets ready to begin a two-year prison sentence for gun possession, and an exclusive conversation with incarcerated Harlem rapper and ex-Bady Boy G.Dep, who is currently awaiting trial after he surprisingly admitted to shooting and killing a man 17-years ago. The mag also catches up with Tech N9ne and Max B, Swizz Beatz schools heads on Basquiat and the producer’s new Reebok gig, Outasight and Theophilus London are featured in XXL‘s fashion and there’s much more.
XXL’s June 2011 issue will be hitting newsstands nationwide on June 7, 2011.
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Christoper Wallace was known by many stage names: The Notorious B.I.G., Big Poppa, Biggie Smalls and The Black Frank White. Only 24 at the time of his untimely death, he recorded two classic albums, “Ready To Die” and “Life After Death”, and outshined anyone he ever collaborated with.
Without Biggie there would be no Lil Kim or Lil Cease. Both of whom were introduced to the world via Biggie’s group Junior M.A.F.I.A.
His unique delivery, voice and wordplay are still unmatched to this day.
So let’s drink a toast today to Biggie and celebrate his legacy.
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Wiz’s main squeeze is the focus on the July/August cover of KING magazine. The issue hits stands May 31st, but here’s an excerpt from the feature below.
KING:What’s the difference between this relationship with Wiz and your last with Kanye?
AMBER ROSE:The thing of it is…how can I say this without sounding crazy or mean? I’m sorry.
KING:No need to apologize, the floor is yours.
AMBER ROSE:There’s no comparison in personalities. You know when people say how do you go from Kanye to Wiz Khalifa, that’s a downgrade. But the only question I can ask them is: have you ever dated Kanye? Because I have, and believe me, I did not downgrade at all. Not in any aspect, at all.
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