Birdman Compares Lil Wayne to Michael Jackson

Cash Money Records CEO Bryan “Baby” Williams is a winner. The New Orleans entrepreneur founded his now-ubiquitous record label in 1991 locally, then took it to Universal Music Group in 1998 and signed a $30-million deal with them. The label has since gone through key lineup changes, most notably when Juvenile (Cash Money’s former flagship artist) left the label in 2001. After all the ups and downs, it was Lil Wayne who emerged as the face of CM in the new millennium thanks to the success of his Tha Carter album trilogy.

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?

Shit, 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 fuck 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 shit as we went through war and we sustained the weather and we stood in the fog. Even when muthafuckas 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 shit. We got so many young niggas who look at me and Wayne and what we’ve accomplished. You see the hunger [that] Drake and all the rest of those little niggas [have] because they’re reaching for those stories. We work like niggas who never made a dollar and I think that’s impressive to them. That makes them go harder. Those little niggas 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 shit, 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 shit 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 nigga still be impressin’ me with his music. I say that to say that I be around him a lot so the shit 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 shit 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 muthafuckin’ 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 niggas can rap their ass off. I don’t try to do that. I just do me. At this point in my life with this shit, 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 shit, but I’m trippin’ off this shit. Ya feel me? —Rob Markman

  • BeerGangsta

    A lie don’t care who tell it!! Wayne is wack!! Michael Jackson had hits after hits songs. Other Coast don’t care about no dam Wayne. They do have one thing in common. Gay lol!!

    • Anonymous

      ohh my word..bra will can you prove that??

      • http://www.bing.com/ Zaiyah

        Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good infromaiton.

    • jaybill

      stfu wit dat sht niggah wayne da fucin best ever get off his dick there is more haters den it is fans fuc niggah yuu suckin his sht

      • http://www.bing.com/ Giggles

        This arcitle is a home run, pure and simple!

  • katt

    calm down beer boy, the comparison was taken out of text. decent article though, cash money has been around for some time, and baby winning whether you like him or not. hope some of these signings work out (i.e. Bow Wow, corey gunz, Brisco, 2 pistols etc.)

    • gaddic

      They’re gonna flop you asscrack
      So will Wayne if he doesn’t get his act together and stop selling out with weak pop shits
      Those formulas donot hold hardcore fans Pretty soon he’ll end up another nelly
      Carter 2 was dope as hell
      He needs to go back to when he could actually a good rapper
      C3 was majority pop trash
      If C4 is the same he will tank after a couple of years

      • Jerod

        You’re an idiot. Carter 3 was great. It was a refreshing difference from what you’re used to hearing.

  • http://xxlmag.com yogi22

    Get’em Wayne!! and stop that hating beergirl

  • Sha

    Weezy is definitely beast. But regardless of what he has done, he definitely isn’t Michael Jackson nor can even come close. I don’t think Birdman was comparing him. Sounds like XXL took the words out of context. But just so noone gets it twisted, this dude could never be Michael Jackson.

  • Buck50

    Just like they fell off when the Hot Boys left, people dont realize Wayne been going hard his whhole life since truestory from the BGz he went plat 10 yrs ago his first album he gon always gon reinvent his self He go be in the game for as long as HOV and Em and will outlast G-Unit

  • http://xxlmag jayruckNYC

    I noticed he didn’t mention Freeway. I knew Free wasn’t gonna drop wit these dudes!!! Best believe he ghostwriting for somebody tho….He didn’t mention BG neither. Ain’t he signed back to them???

  • El Tico Loco

    MJ only been gone for like a year and I know some Michael Jackson shit when I see it and that ain’t it. I’m glad Wayne gonna go back to “raw rapping” and I’ll admit it took extra garbage rappers to appreciate Lil Wayne, so as long as he stops singing we good.

    Yo you should’ve asked Birdman what’s the deal with the red star tatted on top of his head, he looks like a dirty Macy’s bag.

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  • KLETEWOOD

    Thriller is 29x multi platinum. If Wayne ever became Michael Jackson….Birdman would bring a new meaning to the word #1 Stunna. That nigga would buy some off the wall shit. Golden Dinosaur Eggs. He’d be shitting diamonds. LOL

    • Dinero

      Thas BALLA!!!!!! lmao….

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  • kia

    fuck this bird ass nigga where’s MAX B?????

    • Jerod

      BAAAHAHAHAHA! Max B. Max B? Max B is a sucker.

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  • Q461

    Birdman’s a fool for sayin that…I fucks with Weezy but MJ status ??? cmon son…

    Niggas didnt mention Freeway, Bizzy Bone, Jae Millz…bet none of dem niggaz drop on Cash Money/Young Money….they gonna put out Wayne, Baby, Drake and Minaj records and thats that…shelve the rest of dem cats…

  • zayzkidd

    Baby probably should call it quits (when it come to HIM rapping). Let Wayne, Bizzy, and Freeway drop some shiit and they’ll be alright. As far as Drake and Minaj–let them continue to do the R&B shiit.

  • Jerod

    Drake really has no passion for rapping. His passion is the celebratory life style, which you can achieve by doing many things. I don’t know… I just don’t hear any “MMPH!” when he raps… unless he throws a “Ra!” in there, trying to sound like wayne.

    • matty21

      i feel u! im happy for all da success he’s having, but i kinda agree with u and feel u… n i support all da people who r really fuckin with him hard, all my nieces n nephews love him and are fuckin with him hard, n dats ok i support them… but i feel u man, just aint writing with enough passion… but i believe he has room to progress and get better, he even knows it himself…so give him room to grow and he will, he’s gonna get so much better, so we will see…dat was his FIRST album, n its kinda crazy, da whole album is just like slow to me and no passion/intensity to it and it all has da same vibe so i feel u 100…but he gonna get better and he knows it n he has the ambition to grow, so we will see but rite now i think you’re right

  • matty21

    yea i agree, but its between ‘King Uncaged’ and ‘Carter IV’ taking over ALL OF MUSIC…which one of them i dont know, but both are equally, highly anticipated and will take over all of music when they come out, like big stunna said… they both gon’ be ill and gonna out shine everything else that is going on in music period…

    …im looking forward to ‘King Uncaged’ more obviously, i’ma a bigger fan/supporter of T.I., lol and any1 who reads any of my comments knows that, but its up in the air between both of them….

    …and its great to see regardless, two HIP HOP albums(our music) bout to take da music industry over, so its good either way, which ever side u pick: we’re good… there are gonna be some mad rappers out there, cuz they aint gonna get no shine when these 2 hit, besides shady, and he gettin his in as we speak, but dats bout it, n X too….

    …on some MJ KING. SHIT boy and we cannot wait!! for sure gon’ run da rest of dis year and most of next year, and then hopefully be timeless, and live FOREVER… i want this shit forever mane, forever mane! KEEP DOING YA’LLS THING N WE LOOKIN FOR WAYNE 2 GET OUT, “OK, you want me up in a cage? den i’ll come out in BEAST MODE!” -weezy ‘KING Uncaged’ dey both gonna be in beast mode, bad idea puttin those 2 guyz away like animals boy, only gonna make them meaner, tell da feds we said “thanx :)” fuck ya’ll! …. to be cont.

  • Prince Caesar

    Matty, you’re a fucking idiot and dick rider. MJ King shit ?! You must be crazy. I don’t think any rapper (or current artist) will ever come close to scratching the surface of MJ’s success. TI is a talented guy, but know one is checking for him like that anymore. The release date on his album just got pushed back and both of those weak ass singles he put it aren’t get any burn. The rest of this year (as far as rap music) will probably belong to Kanye. I don’t think Wayne will drop until next year due to Nicki Minaj’s album coming out in the fourth quarter. Matt..stop riding dick and learn to make realistic predictions about when you talk.

    • matty21

      welll dats your opinion buddy, your entitled to it, u know there like assholes, everybody got 1, n so do we… n i’m speaking my mind hoe, i’m allowed to… n i know all da real fans out there of that REAL music are checking for T.I. n Wayne…it dont matter if the singles are getting spins or burn man, their getting burn in peoples rides and in da streets, i do know that and thats fact, not just opinion… i know who all da real 1s are checking for, and it aint kayne…n i was only referencing MJ da king becuz thats what the post was about… i, in no way, compared wayne or t.i.(da king) to MJ…and i wouldnt, i aint that stupid… i think t.i. is the spokesman for this generation and one of the best entertainers and performers of our generation, but i would not compare him to MJ n i didnt…i said on some MJ king shit, as in the anticipation becuz MJ is gone(R.I.P.) dats all… and i’m checking for king uncaged more than any other thing in music this year or in the near future and i know a lot of other people where i’m at in the street and in Atlanta that are too… soo like i said, i’m speaking my mind and i think when these two hit, its gonna shut down just like eminem did… aint no1 checkin for kayne on his power trip, becuz that big power trip comes b4 the fall… i’m checkin for that REAL shit, that real street, struggle shit…and i know the real ones are with me…n get da fuck outta here with that “dick rider” shit u dont know me #1, i get on here n support these artists cuz all i see is haterz on here fuckin talkin lies n shit so i bring some truth to the discussion n support these artists cuz i love them, and aint afraid to fuckin say it, dat dont make me no fuckin dick rider or idiot…every1 is checking for t.i. he top 5 DOA so u must be crazy, stay in tune with da streetz n whats going on before YOU go talking shit and making predictions…aint no1 checkin for “power” i know that lol… fuck outta here fool, think u a prince n get online n talk shit, u aint no fuckin prince…change dat name while your at it too…da release date on da album got pushed back cuz he’s taking his time n getting da music right dumbass, and he’s putting out a huge movie right now if u aint notice…do ur homework fool, then come talk 2 me, n talk with respect n u might get some listen, other den that: fuck ya, i could give a fuck what u think… cuz i know what i’m supportin and im supportin dat real shit that is about da struggle going on heavy in da world right now…if me loving an artist and what he stands for and me coming out and saying it makes me a “dick rider” and an “idiot” den cool, fuck u i dont care…i aint never been no dick rider, i’m man enough to give props n respect where there do fool, unlike most these other fools on here that hate what they love…da rest of this year going to da KING in my book, n dats all dat matters to me, ask around, ask da real people in da street n what their checkin for, n ask the ladiez what they like… aint no1 in da last 10 years changed da game more than t.i. i do know that, fact, and he brought all that dope boy shit n trappin shit u hear on da radio to da mainstream, fact i do know that, i do know he’s kept it real inside and ouside da booth from day 1 no matter how big he gets… why u think they call him the KING boy? its certified, wake up n do ur homework, or go support your fake shit n keep trying to be a prince, while a man trying to be a king of one self out this bitch…. fuck u, quit riding MY dick ya bitch… i aint into da internet talkin shit like u punks, u wanna talk 2 me n have a convo cool then do it, if not shut da fuck up fool, n clean ur mouth out: its full of shit

    • matty21

      and i’ll tell u one more thing that i know… T.I. shit is timeless, young homeboyz are going to be riding to “i’m serious” all da way to “trap muzik” “urban legend” and “King” , young bucks are going to be riding to and studying that shit forever, its timeless… and young home boyz struggling coming up are going to grow with and learn from “paper trail”.. as we grew with and learned from t.i. as a man with paper trail… da music is timeless 4real, and dats another fact for u, and that is saying A LOT, not many of these cats out here are making timeless shit, that is going to have an impact 4ever like few did (pac, biggie, jay) the music/art is going to impact lives forever, now think about that, how big that is? and how many other artists are doing that 2day? now think about it… how much music can u say that about these days? theres a big difference between HOT and TIMELESS, think bout it… all da albums have been fire so far, and real, so why would this next album: “king uncaged” not be highly anticipated? if u denying that, then your denying the truth and i think you just hating… why would da album not be one of the biggest albums in history in all of music and one of the most anticipated? (think all eyez on me, ready 2 die, just mentioning hip hop, but we’re talkin all of music too)… look at da history and whats already been done by t.i. and how thats already in history and going to have an impact on people and kids forever…why wouldnt and how couldnt “king uncaged” be everything im saying its gonna be, and be highly anticipated? how is it not gonna shut shit down like no other rapper can do right now? how can u go against dat, looking at what already has been done? hes already etched in history, he dont even need this, but with king uncaged…mannn… just watch, wait and see, watch when the album roll around and how big the buzz is around it, just watch my man…come talk to me then, dis is gon’ be a big album on a big scale and its gonna go down in history again, just like EVERY OTHER ONE HAS, but maybe even bigger n better… just watch, take a look at history and listen to da music, but just watch when these albums roll around and see what happens

      • matty21

        and i’m done talking about it, if it was meant for people to know, they would know… i talk about it too much anyway and try to change peoples minds and opinions and most of da time u just cant…and every1 has their favorite and their thoughts, opinions, and feelings…so i’m done talkin about it, i’ve done it so much, i’ve probably done it too much…. time will tell and we will see… and much love to u and whoever u love in dis game, every1 got their own thing and dats da shit too…

  • balaramesh

    @Jerod,
    drake is cool. i would say he is a watered down clean cut wayne. drake will continue to excel in the game though. he will surpass wayne pretty soon. not sure he will ever be as big as eminem though.

    @matty21,

    TI is dope. he will continue to have a successful career. but i would not put ANY of his albums on the same cd rack with say cuban linx or aquemini. not to say he dont have dope singles, but c’mon, i wouldnt call any of his cd’s timeless.

    birdman is a pure hustler…..not mad at him.

    no one will ever touch or come remotely close to MJ. even his “weak” albums sold 10 million worldwide. wayne is at like 15 million total sales in his career (not a diss).

    • matty21

      i’d bet, if he died 2day(god forbid) like pac or in anyway, we would be talking about t.i. and ALL of his music 20/30 years later and he would be legendary just like Pac, Kurt Cobain, etc… dats timeless and dats what i beleive, t.i. is a legend in dis game and what he spit about had relevance everytime and was about things going on in the world, dat makes it timeless… and da fucking flow is so sick on all of them and da music is soo good, it will NEVER die…i would almost guarantee that, if he died, he will be on pac status if not bigger…and i truly mean that and believe that… my opinion may be biest becuz i love t.i. but i still think its true…. his albums have been thorough and real talk da whole way through and i would put them on a rack with ANY ONE: jay, B.I.G., Pac, Nas, ugk, cuban linx, aquemin…ANY of them and stand toe to toe, i feel u and dats how u feel, dats ur opinion but i just think t.i. can stand toe to toe with any1 in history…and if your WERE gonna compare to MJ or anything like that IN ANY WAY, he would be the MJ, Hank williams, kurt cobain, john lennon etc of HIP HOP…. he has been a spokesperson for da streets since 21, and times may have changed, but hes still speaking and repping for da youth and speaking his mind and relating to the struggle…and he’s a GREAT performer, one of da few in hip hop too, and i think all that is only gonna get bettter (not to mention)…. and now he doing big fuckin movies n shit, he’s singing, he did a rock record, i mean damn, who can u say dat about? he’s a living legend, and on fire all over again

      • matty21

        he’s keeping his music down in the gutter, no matter how big he gets, and he is huge right now, but he stayin low and keepin it real…. he’s keeping his music in the gutter and in the struggle to uplift people that are still in that gutter and struggle, he WANTS them to come up with him, as long as dey aint haterz and suckaz lol… just like pac… but i love that aspect of it, never growing out of that remembering where u came from and having love and respect for da people, keeping yourself and your art down in da street, in da gutter, and saying fuck what da industry is doing, fuck what da industry wants, im doing it for da streets….dats y people love him so much, he rep dat struggle and he’s a multi-platinum record artist/movie star/multi-millionaire…

        • matty21

          and ANY ONE dats real appreciates a person of that stature keeping it real also, a person that big, not acting like he’s better than any1 and not forgetting about the struggle people go thru everyday… any real person will appreciate that and notice that, and we do so much, that goes for eminem too… its much appreciated

  • Anonymous

    n

  • jaronb

    My apologies, but lil wayne and drake arent putting anything out that makes me sit and say “wow” the majority of fans are below the age of 16 and the others can agree that after a while, lil waynes flow was nice, but there was no meaning behind it and even ja-z said that. Drake was cool with his underground albums but when he hit mainstream, it seems like he fell into the monotony of the “same ol shit” thats why people value nas, pac, jay-z, big, big L, t.i..etc. because they werent just one dimensional. And as far as brdman goes, didnt that nigga compare wayne to pac? lmao, that nigga is just silly as any kanye.

    • matty21

      yea, going from comparing wayne to pac, to comparing him to MJ… kinda crazy n contradicting… i guess its saying how much Baby just loves wayne and what hes doing in music and in life…. but i hear u

  • jrell

    wayne is da truth no matter how you look @ it.no one has ever went harder than em nobody

  • http://xxlmag.com tommy

    if i compare any rapper to micheal jackson its gotta be JAY-Z. haters wont agree but thats just my opinion.