Who are you working with for your new album? Swizz Beatz, Cool & Dre from the Terror Squad, Havoc from Mobb Deep, X-Files, Howard M from Baton Rouge, and my man from the Dipset. I heard you and Camron are real cool. Yeah, that’s my big brother. When I come to the city, I don’t have to stay in the hotel. That type of shit. I’m on Juelz Santana’s second single, and me and Boo hopped on their mixtape. Juelz and Young Jeezy got a mixtape coming out and I jumped on that too. When you get calls from artists like Destiny’s Child and Bobby Valentino for appearances, do you feel like you’re getting more respect as a lyricist on a mainstream level? I think the Destiny’s Child thing was just because they from the South and they keeping it real. That’s how we all looked at it. T.I. and Wayne, that’s the South, so I felt like that’s what that was about. As far as Bobby, we just real cool. To tell you the truth, I sent the song back to him with one verse and they sent it right back like, “Yo, you need to do two verses.” I mean, I appreciate it. Do you think you don’t get the same type of respect as a lyricist from New York? Of course I don’t get that type of respect, but you can’t blame that on the South. You can’t
blame that on where you’re from. If you’re talented, you’re talented. Some of the greatest muthafuckers come from places you ain’t never heard of. It ain’t really about that. I just don’t get the exposure everybody gets. I stay low, I stay in the cut. My lights always dim. You see people like 50 Cent and them on TV all day so you have no choice but to see them. There’s been plenty of 50 songs I hated just cause I heard it so much.
What is Slim’s role in Cash Money? Slim owns it. Baby is the mouth. Slim’s the brains, though. He makes all the final decisions. Everything we’ve ever said, everything Baby’s ever done is what Slim told him to do. Slim sits back and watches. On the tour bus back in the days as the Hot Boys, that’s what I did. B.G. and all them rode Baby’s bus, but I always rode on Slim’s bus. I’ve got that same attitude. I guess I didn’t see what they saw.
Do you think that’s because of the machine that’s behind you? It ain’t about the machine that’s behind me, it’s the machine that’s behind them.
What artists do you have on Young Money? First up is my man Currency, he used to be in No Limit. That’s my first solo artist, then I got a roster full after that.
So if you were on Interscope, you’d be more commercially successful? Probably so. But I love my situation; I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I’m President of a selfmade company. I never have to make another rap in my life. Every day I wake up wondering if I still want to be a rapper, and that’s kinda scary. I really do wake up thinking, man, I got so much stuff to do now. I don’t even have time to go to the studio, and when I do go to the studio, I’m trying to get my artist to record.
Are most of the artists you’ve signed based in New Orleans? Well, Boo – from Boo & Gotti – is from Chicago. He said when it’s time for his album to come out he’s gonna flip a coin to decide if it’ll come out through Cash Money or Young Money. Boo’s in this group I got comin’ out called the Paperboys. It’s gonna be crazy – it’s me, Boo, Kurupt, and Juelz. East coast, West coast, down South, Midwest. We haven’t recorded any songs yet, but we’re anxious right now. We’re just excited that everybody’s been approved. Everybody’s situation is straight; we got all the paperwork done.
So you’re literally in the office every day, doing paperwork and sitting behind a desk? Yeah. I’m the CEO of my label, Young Money, and the President of Cash Money. The Young Money office is located in Miami, and the Cash Money office of course will always be located in New Orleans.
Are you working on a new solo album? The Carter 2 is coming in October. They keep leakin’ it, but it’s cool. I assure you that no songs that get leaked will be on The Carter 2. They’re making me work harder. - Julia Beverly
OZONE AUGUST 2005
Ozone Mag #37 - Aug 2005