Why are you in prison? They allege that I shot a police officer. I’ve been held without bond in Memphis, Tennessee, on attempted murder and possession of a firearm charges. The firearm charge is a federal charge. I go to court on August 1st. The judge gave [the prosecution] til the first to find a material witness. I don’t know if they’re gonna proceed or go forward with the charges. I’ve been in jail for eighteen months, and I’m finally going to get a fair trial. I’ve been waiting from the beginning. They denied all my suppression hearings and bond hearings. The police sued me for $60 million dollars before I got prosecuted. They wasn’t even tryin’ to take me to trial. Do you think you’re being treated unfairly because you’re a rapper? Yeah, that’s basically what it is. There was three of us in the house, and the other two people that was with me went home. They hit me with the charges. I’m not gonna talk about my case, but I know one thing – I’m innocent. Hopefully they’ll dismiss the charges before I even go to court and it’ll get settled like that. If we have to go to trial, the world gonna see the truth. Worst-case scenario, how much time are you looking at? To tell you the truth, I don’t even know what I’m facing because I know I didn’t do anything. I’m not worried about what I’m facing. I know I’m coming home, for a fact.
You were kinda the quietest member of Cash Money. We heard Juvenile and B.G.’s reasons for leaving, but what were your reasons?
was just the thing to do. It was like a fashion statement. All the girls wanted a nigga with the dope dick. That’s the reason why I got on it. I didn’t think I was a junkie, but now that I’m not in denial, I can see it for what it really was. Like I said, since I’ve been through that, now I could go and tell someone who’s in that same predicament that there is a way out. There is a God that can deliver you from it if you put your mind to it.
a fuck about us at all. It was all about [Baby]. When I came home from jail after 7 months, in 2001, I decided to leave and signed a deal with Koch. Have you kept in contact with anyone from Cash Money? B.G.’s been down here twice to see me. I haven’t really talked to Juve. I talked to Baby, Fresh, and Slim. Are any of them helping with your current legal situation? They ain’t fuckin’ with me like that. My court costs and all that, I’m takin’ care of. I’d say B.G. is my main dawg. He keep it real. He ain’t never changed. But when you get in a situation
Where do you think you’d be right now if you weren’t in prison? Three days before the incident [I’m in prison for] on January 26th, 2004, I got on my knees and prayed to God. I told God, “I don’t know when I’m gonna stop using drugs, unless it’s life threatening.” Three days later, I guess God answered my prayers, because right now I’m supposed to be dead. God protected me and shielded me. I know that. I’ve been here for eighteen months. Even though things look bad on the outside, I know it’s a spiritual awakening because it’s something I prayed for. I wanted deliverance from those drugs. I wanted my life back, my career back. I’ve got my own label now and a lot of people want to sign me to their label, so it’s a blessing. If the charges against you are dropped, how do you avoid falling back into the same addiction? Staying focused. Doing what I want to do and not worry about other people. Being in control of my life and accepting the things I can’t change. I can’t change drugs. I can’t change people’s attitudes. I gotta be concerned with
“BACK THEN, [HEROIN] WAS JUST THE THING TO DO. IT WAS LIKE A FASHION STATEMENT. ALL THE GIRLS WANTED A NIGGA WITH THE DOPE DICK. I DIDN’T THINK I WAS A JUNKIE, BUT NOW THAT I’M NOT IN DENIAL, I CAN SEE IT FOR WHAT IT REALLY WAS ... I GUESS GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYERS, BECAUSE RIGHT NOW I’M SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD.” The same - money problems. I wasn’t getting what I was supposed to be getting, and that’s the reason I left. Money problems. It was always supposed to be a family thing. We were young men. We trusted people, and that was our downfall. We trusted Baby to do the right thing and treat us fairly, which he didn’t. [Lil] Wayne was actually the youngest of the Hot Boys, but they raised me. I been with them since I was 15 years old, but when the big money came, Baby just wanted to be greedy. He wanted everything for himself, the money, the spotlight. He was birdfeeding us, basically, just giving us enough. We were young niggas, and he’d just give us enough to be satisfied. He was giving us cars and jewelry, but on the backend, no royalties. We were blinded to it because of all the fancy things he was giving us. When did it come to a breaking point? When did you decide to leave? I went to jail in 2000, when my Young & Thuggin’ CD came out. I kinda had that feeling, like, Damn, man, I’m locked up, I got a whole album and I’m part of the Hot Boys and these boys ain’t answering my phone calls or returning my letters - what’s going on? I went through the whole seven months trying to figure out if they were just showing me tough love cause of my drug habit, or they just sayin’ fuck me. I was confused. When i came home, Juvenile and B.G. had left. To me, that meant they ain’t give
like this here, people just tend to forget about you. [Cash Money] says they’ve got love for me. They get in all these magazines and scream my name, but that shit ain’t real. I still got love for those niggas, because I’ve got “Baby,” “Slim,” and “Mannie” tattooed on my chest. I got loyalty love for them, but it was wrong how they did a nigga. I can’t cry over spilt milk, though. I just have to learn from it and capitalize from it. I’m 24 years old now. I was young then. Now I’ve got my own label, Young & Thuggin’ Music. I’m the leader now, I’m the CEO, so I guess I had to go through that to get to where I’m at now. With this jail situation, it took me coming here to kick my drug habit and get back focused on my career.
me and what I’m doing.
When you were with Cash Money, do you think they encouraged your drug habit to keep your mind off the business? No, I wouldn’t say they condoned us getting high. They’d always tell us, “Y’all don’t want to be doing that.” I ain’t gonna put my habit on Baby. I’d say he’s probably the reason I turned to [drugs], but it’s not his fault I was putting it up my nose or putting it in my arm.
Why did he leave? Same situation. Baby playing games with money. Baby is a selfish, greedy-ass nigga. That’s just what it is. That’s no secret. So if any muthafucker is thinking he’s straight, he’s not.
Do you think that drug abuse is a severe problem in New Orleans? It’s not just in Louisiana. I love my city, so I ain’t gonna say it’s the city’s fault or the state’s fault because drugs are all over. Back then, it
Do you plan on releasing any material while you’re incarcerated? I released Penitentiary Chances last year in April. I got another album called Still A Hot Boy that I plan on releasing later on in August. I haven’t really set a release date because of my trial. I might hold it back or I might release it, it depends on how everything goes. I’ve got 21 cuts with production from DJ Toomp. There’s rumors that Mannie Fresh is also leaving Cash Money. I talked to Mannie the other day. He’s no longer with Baby.
B.G. sued Cash Money. Do you plan on taking legal action against them as well? Yeah, I plan to take legal action. Basically, everybody’s gotta take legal action against Baby because we started Cash Money. He was the CEO, but without us, it wasn’t no Cash Money. We weren’t paying attention to the paperwork like we should’ve, and we were so young. Fifteen, sixteen years old. OZONE AUGUST 2005
Ozone Mag #37 - Aug 2005