Bryan “Baby” Williams: In It For Keeps [June 2011 Cover Story Excerpt]

It seems like an interesting role that you took at that point in the label. You named Wayne president of the company in 2005. You were stepping back in a sense.

Honestly, I gave him the floor. 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 that 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 smartest move I ever made in my life was to let him go ’head. And I saw his…he had a vision, and we stuck with it. I believed in him. I believed in everything he wanted to do, and I supported it. I still do that today.

What did it mean to take a step back?

Back then, I was looking at the flow, too. Observing the game. We had a lot of niggas in my position don’t wanna take the step back, and I didn’t wanna be one of them niggas, you know. I understood he can do it longer than me. He had the talent. And it’s my son, so I’m gon’ support whatever he wanna do. And I ain’t have a problem stepping back. Go ahead, you do it. I’m gonna rock with you. It’s yo’ world, our world. Do ya thing.

At that time, before Wayne blew up so big, was there ever a thought of, Maybe we don’t do this anymore? Did you ever think of quitting?

Never was, No, don’t do it. I always knew that he was gon’ do it. I was gon’ let him do it, ’cause he was young. So for me it was that or back on the block.

You had come so far. Could you have really gone back to the streets?

I mean, honestly, we never left there, you know. I just didn’t wanna have to be one of those ones who was a story like, He did it this year and ain’t do it the next year. I couldn’t. It was a fear factor for me to have it and don’t have it, be on top then don’t be on top. ’Cause I always studied the game. I watched the Suge Knights, the Master P’s, the Sean P. Diddys, Tony Draper, James Smith. I watched Eaz. I studied them, and I wanted to be better than all of them together.

Okay, so YMCMB is a little confusing. Is Young Money on Cash Money and Universal? If you’re signed to Young Money, are you signed to Cash Money? Is it the same label? Sister labels both on Universal? Can you explain?

Me and my son is partners. We partners. Everything we do, we do together. We 50/50 with it, and we one. I don’t look at us as separate. We one. We’re a unit. We a team. It’s our family. We work together, and we grind together, and we a team. Just point-blank, we’re a team.

So it doesn’t matter if Nicki and Drake are signed to Young Money or Cash Money officially?

They signed to Young Money.

But affiliated with…

Cash Money.

So it’s different on the paperwork, but you get in the studio, stay involved with everybody the same?

Yeah, I still do that. I love doing that. That’s what keeps me young, being in the studio. I worked with them all. We all got personal relationships. They my son acts. They the new talent, and they very talented. I think Drake gonna be the next best to ever do it, after Wayne. He gon’ hold the world down, and I feel like Nicki there. It’s just a matter of time. She will be…you never had a female artist that you would put in the realm with the males to be the best. She that…

That’s the picture we paint to the world. This is family, me and my son, Wayne. You know where we come from and how hard. Ain’t nothing never came easy to us. It’s a together-forever thing, and we wanna grow and let the artists grow. Let them be as big as they could be and just keep growing as a brand.

Do you think that you get the respect that you deserve for the role that you played over the past 10-plus years in hip-hop?

Nah, not at all. But it do give me another motivation. It make me wanna work harder. Maybe I didn’t work hard enough. I’ma just keep going hard and keep tryna let my muscle, my money, my creativity, just keep us getting bigger and bigger. I think we have a lot to do, and I have a lot to do. But I definitely think people ain’t got it yet, and that’s good, too. I respect that.

**TO READ THE REST OF BRYAN “BABY” WILLIAMS’ COVER STORY, PICK UP THE JUNE 2011 ISSUE OF XXL. ON SALE NOW.**

  • bug

    gay

  • Sean Izzle

    maaan i never knew he lost that many close family members, woow! must be hard living with that everyday… he really is like batman, he lost both his parents and then he becomes the wealthy Birdman that lives in mansions with his pigeons Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Kam

    I RESPECT THIS NIGGA MORE THAN EVER NOW. HE ACKNOWLEDGED OEN THE MAIN THINGS THAT HASN’T GOTTEN HIM IN THE POSITION HE IS IN RIGHT NOW, AND THAT IS……STEPPING BACK A LIL BIT IN ORDER TO LET THE YOUNGIN’ DO HIS THING. RESPECT.

    OTHER NIGGAS IN THE GAME WOULD BE IN HIS POSITION IF THEY DID THE SAME, LET THERE STAR ARTIST FLOURISH AND LEAD THE WAY.

  • MR. UNDI$PUTED THE MOGUL

    Hip hop journalists must be afraid of the artists they interview because you never really hear or read where they asked what you want to know. I used to like Baby aka Birdman but the reality is they would’ve been out of business had Lil Wayne signed with Roc-A-Fella like he almost did when his contract was up. I’ll buy the mag to see what else is asked, but he needs to man up on what really happened at Cash Money. All of the original artists would not have just left if the business was really being done like a true family. How can he act like Universal Records didn’t pay Lil Wayne millions in back royalties & then suggest they make him the new President of Cash Money which they then let him create “Young Money” records. Someone please answer this question. How the hell can “Birdman” say the Forbes total is wrong? Not only has he done a song called 100 Million dollars, but he has atleast 6 – 8 songs where he says he has that exact number repeatedly. Just be honest & admit you got lucky with Wayne putting in the work to become a Big Star. Baby did say on the song “Bling Bling” by the year 2000 my son weezy gone tear this game up.”

    PEACE & GET MONEY!!!
    MOGUL $$$ GAME ’11!!!

    • DV

      ^^^^^^^ = truth

      this man screwed over his flagship artist (Juve and BG) and producer (Mannie Fresh) at that point in time and they wasnt no artist he picked up off the street they knew each other for a very long time. Wayne is his saving grace and he knows it.

      No matter what Wayne does CMR will forever be the house that Mannie, Juve, and BG built.

      to all you producers out there. make sure the check is cut or cash in hand before you do tracks for them. We dont want to hear you crying because you got screwed over when you should know better based on his history.

      Fool you once, shame on him. Fool you twice, shame on you

  • Uncle Pressed

    Wack. Birdman= bad.

    Wayne: Crackhead-sounding played-out nonsense spittin’ auto-tuned-up spaz who says random shit just to rhyme it.

    Can’t wait for those worthy to jack that limelight.

  • nolaoldskool

    I’m DV. BG put them on the map, Juve & Mannie blew’em right off that b*&ch ya heard me. Everybody knew Wayne had talent & he was nice w/ them words but he was too young at the time. Baby did them dudes down bad being greedy & if it wasn’t for Wayne dude would be broke, real talk.

  • tumi

    so what XXL is saying si that Wayne is bigger than Nas, Em, Jay or even 50, heck even Kanye? lol please tell me how or where?

    • allhiphop>xxlmag

      check the Hot 100 on Billboard and count the songs Wayne has on it, he is statistically the biggest rapper right now

  • Ali-G Slage

    Nigga u got to give respect to the man. Birdman has seen it all, they thot cashmoney wuld fail but luk whr they are. Its true Wayne put a lot of work in tht mafuckr but bigs up to birdman for givin hm th platform

  • http://hitemup.com GBtha G

    I respect this nigga even tho he isn’t my favorite, nevertheless he stayed independent in life so its by no chance to be where he’s @ now .But what the hell do ya mean lil wayne being the Rap’s biggest star?bullshit! is y’all serious,d’ya know what the fuck you talkin’bout? This game aint ‘bout the muthafuckin’ money .suckas!!!!!!!!!

  • http://gmail luzile khumalo

    u rock BABY/WAYNE

  • http://gmail tone

    Man Birdman been getting money way before music, 504 all day

  • R.Mendez

    When is xxl gonna ask these people the real question instead this scripted crap. And quit fillin your pages with rocwear ads and full page spreads on artist’s, or Rims for sale, get back to the old xxl. No more of this nuvo ads and shitty jewelry. Put the hip hop news in the front again, the borrower lender back up front, give just blaze his videogame review column back, And can we get a white hip hop honey. No disrespect but the majority of your readers probably bang white girls. Seriously guy, your slackin and tryin to fill up space instead of put out a decnt magazine, in this last issue of 106 pages not including the cover, 37 full page advertisements, 11 half page ads, 6 pages designed to get us to buy clothes 2 people noone knows wears.

    now those of you keeping track thats54 pages of ads in a 106 page magazine, thats more than 50 percent, now you add in pictures and the writing gets really really low. I can honestly say that I could do a better job than you. Seriously, I could produce a better magazine than you right now. Step your game up XXL or im headin over to THE SOURCE.

  • gene

    To Baby and Slim, please make every attempt to resign B.G. Juve, turk and Mannie fresh. You guys claim how you should have copyrighted Bling Bling. That phrase would have made you even richer. (correct) To enhance your moves, sign these guys. The Hip-hop world loves change. If these see these guys back, think of the money,and happiness you just created. People should swallow their pride,and get money period. Take over the whole industry. The artist you have now are great. In a few years we need change, keep the money flowing and the hits going. SIGN THESE DUDES!!!

  • thuso wabo

    fuck em haters,big up baby u rock! whyane is ur son

  • http://gmail luzile

    u,v been thru hard times thats y u stanky rich now

  • CREEPER SLIM

    Birdbrain is ballin off other niggas hard work.That nigga never made a beat in his life.He got all that bread cause he robbed his artists just like Puffy,Suge,Master P, James prince..all them old niggas did to they people.Baby a homo too.He never got a girl or wife or nuthin.Look up that footage on you tube where Hot boyz is callin up hoes to the stage to dance, and the nigga Baby is callin NIGGAS up to the stage!! He said” I fuck wit niggas too”! “I want this nigga in the blue hat” and mannie says..”we need sum mo chicks up here,what the fuck”!!!