What’s in a name? Most people who share the same name are usually named after a family member. Total chance is the other common reason. Take Brian Williams for example. It’s the name of Brian Williams, the NBC Nightly News anchor and also Bryan “Birdman” Williams, founder of Cash Money Records and XXL Magazine’s June cover subject. Despite sharing a surname, the two Brians couldn’t be more opposite from one another… or are they? XXL takes a look at the two BWs to see if there’s a connection beyond the name.— Piff Tannen
NAME: Brian Williams
MIDDLE NAME: Douglas
BORN: Elmira, New York
CURRENTLY LIVES: Connecticut
EDUCATION: Dropped out of George Washington University 18 credits short of graduating.
OCCUPATION: News anchor and for NBC Nightly News.
CLAIM TO FAME: After working in radio for years, earning his stripes as a White House correspondent in the mid 1990s and anchoring The News with Brian Williams for MSNBC, Williams became an anchor of NBC Nightly News alongside Tom Brokaw.
FAVORITE PASSTIME: Watching Nascar.
INCOME: Williams makes $10 million annually according to Business Insider. His net worth is unknown.
FRIENDS: Dale Earnhardt
TATTOOS: None… unless there’s something underneath those suits and ties.
LONGEVITY: Williams has been working in the media for 30 years and currently stands as the longest running news anchor following the retirement of Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and the death of Peter Jennings.
NAME: Bryan Williams
MIDDLE NAME: Beatrice
BORN: New Orleans, Louisiana
CURRENTLY LIVES: Miami
EDUCATION: Birdman was only 20 years old when he founded Cash Money. Based on our calculations, it’s unlikely that he graduate from college.
OCCUPATION: Founder and CEO of Cash Money Records, game spitter, YMCMB anchor.
CLAIM TO FAME: Cash Money’s independent grind lead to the imprint signing a $30 million pressing and distribution deal with Universal in 1998.
FAVORITE PASSTIME: Making money, stunnin’.
INCOME: Birdman has been making $4, $5 million annually for the past 22 years according to XXL’s June cover story. To let him tell it, his net worth is more than the $100 million Forbes Magazine reported.
FRIENDS: Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, etc, etc…
TATTOOS: Birdman has an endless number of tats, including one of Wayne on the right side of his chest, tear drops and large red stars on his head.
LONGEVITY: Stunna has been in the music industry for 22 years and is presently one of the last hip-hop moguls with peers like Irv Gotti, Master P and Suge Knight missing in action.
THE CONNECTION: A year into his post at NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams emerged as the program’s main anchor with his reporting of the Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, which particularly ravaged New Orleans. Birdman, who was born-and-raised in the Big Easy, lost property and cars during the hurricane.