After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, y’all moved to Miami. It seems like the city has definitely been a good place for you guys, as far as music and productivity.
It’s all about DJ Khaled?
Baby: Khaled embraced us and made us feel like this was us. He took my son in with open arms—the whole town. It’s amazing the love that Miami has given us. It’s like we’ve been there all our life.
How often do you come back to New Orleans?
Baby: This [is] the roots. We always here. Our heart [is] here, our soul gon’ always be here. For me, I try to come here ’cause I gotta come home.
Lil Wayne: For me, it’s kinda rough because I’m young. I’m 24. I’m at the age where you just got out of… you fresh, you just came outta school. Like, [what] am I gonna do? And that’s when you leave the city that you grew up in. I’m on a vacation. I bought a house down here [in Miami] so I can always have a place and studio. You have to understand that I’m young. I was snatched up by [Cash Money] at 11 and jumped on the road at 14. I’m from everywhere.
You’re saying you’re different from the average kid because you grew up in hip-hop and on the road?
Lil Wayne: Exactly.
Baby: His lifestyle was different.
Baby: You talking about a century [ago]. We was young and it wasn’t no normal kid life—[hanging] around with [grown] men.
Lil Wayne: Mess around and get killed.
Did you ever think of going back to New after Hurricane Katrina?
Lil Wayne: I wasn’t tryin’ to go back to New Orleans. But somebody told me yesterday, and I can’t remember who, but somebody told me in like two years [New Orleans] is gonna be [like] Las Vegas. The money [is] coming.
Does that make you wanna invest in New Orleans? It looks like everything’s for sale.
Baby: Right now, if you invest in the town, it’s bad. It’s a longevity situation.
Lil Wayne: The statement that guy made [about the money coming] is still a shot in the dark, but I mean, we could almost see it. Investing and all that is possible. As of right now it’s still…
Baby: They got a hell of a plan. Trust me, it’s blueprinted.
You hear rumors about wealthy people coming to New Orleans and buying all the property…
Lil Wayne: Yeah, I heard Donald Trump is coming. I can’t wait ’til he coming. If he brings some Trump Towers down here then I’m investing in that. But Miami is a very good investing spot, so I done got into that heavy down here. I was [in New Orleans] for the hurricane [but] I already lived in Miami like six months ahead [of that]. That’s why when people ask what I lost, we ain’t lose nothing. I lost a house in Eastover [New Orleans] but I have a place in Miami. There’s people that lost a house who don’t have a house [in another city]. I lost two Jags, but I got Phantoms. Baby lost like 35 cars and he got 35 more. [Some] people lost everything.
Has the relationship between you two grown over the years after everybody left Cash Money or was it always strong from the beginning?
Baby: It’s been the same since the beginning… from the first day I met him.
Lil Wayne: Cash Money Records was already big. Big meaning, whoever you are in the national world, you not coming through our summer fest or summer jam because Cash Money is New Orleans and everything surrounding New Orleans. Baby, he’s been who he is. So I’m from the hood and that boy really got 32 golds [gold teeth in his mouth]. I wanted to be him. I only got one [and I] saw [Baby] and that nigga really had 32 golds. Fucked me up. But my mom [was] always like, “Baby? Brian? No!” I’ma boy [at the time], so whatever she tried [to make] me stay away from, I wanted to be there all the time. She grew up [with Baby]. She knew him. She’s older than him, but she knows him, [like], “Baby’s a lil’ badass.” She went to school with [Baby’s brother and business partner] Slim and he was cool with my uncle. Slim’s homie played in the band together [and] my mom was a majorette. It was all destined.
Wayne, what’s your role as President of Young Money Entertainment? How do you decide whether an artist goes to Young Money or Cash Money?
Lil Wayne: What I do is, if I see an artist I like, I determine where that artist would be bigger—where his success comes from the most. Would he be better over at Cash Money or Young Money? At Young Money, it’s a personal thing. I don’t want it to be nothing like before. It gon’ be totally different because totally different makes a whole lot more money. Cash Money is Cash Money. We are a very well loved category. So if you have that in you, and you can make Cash Money bigger and better, then that’s where you need to go. It’s simple. I don’t even think about it. It’s just one big tree. It don’t matter.
Tell us about the new song you guys have together, “Poppin’ Bottles,” off Baby’s upcoming album, 5★G.
Lil Wayne: [We] poppin’ bottles and celebrating.
Baby: Bring that ceiling, baby, we good. Cash Money party poppin’.
Lil Wayne: The concept is we poppin’ champagne like we won the championship. I got the championship ring ’cause I ball hard. We ball harder. The song already has the Jadakiss sample. The whole concept [and] idea goes [along with] the video. I hit the game winning shot, he wins, and he gets inducted into the hall of fame.
What does the future hold for Cash Money?
Lil Wayne: The next thing I’m doing is the I Can’t Feel My Face album with Juelz Santana. That’s who I respect. That’s whose album I listen to. That’s my dude and my family—Dipset. Rest in peace Stack Bundles.
What label is the album coming out on?
Lil Wayne: We doin’ it right now on mine [Young Money Ent.] and whoever he wants. We gon’ drop two albums on ’em, but not the same album. How we gon’ do it is, the first album we drop is gon’ be me and him. Then, we gon’ get two hip-hop artists to do the I Can’t Feel My Face [album] every year.
Like a series?
Lil Wayne: Yeah, then, like three artist’s albums down the line, [me and Juelz] come back with our reunion album. They need to know that. Get ready artists. Make that cut!