The past year was a banner one for Cash Money, and 2011 is poised to be another. With the recent release of Young Money general Lil Wayne from prison and the much talked about November debut of Nicki Minaj (Pink Friday), as well as a forthcoming sophomore album from platinum boy wonder Drake, the powerful clique is set to once again rule the hip-hop landscape. Leading the charge is Cash Money CEO Brian “Baby” Williams. As usual, the outspoken Birdman has plenty to say about his crew’s current state of affairs and future from Weezy’s upcoming Carter IV album to Nicki’s beef with Lil’ Kim. —Keith Murphy
VIBE: Can you describe the emotions of having Wayne back home?
Birdman: It feels good for my son to be back home. Shit, we're all happy.
What was the first thing Wayne did after being released from Rikers?
He spent time with his family. It was important for Wayne to see his children because they didn’t get to visit him while he was away. So his first priority was to see his kids. I would go see him every two weeks, but being out that cage is different. When he finally met with the team he told us, “I love you.” That’s my son. I’ll give my life for my family.
Will we see The Carter IV in February as some of the news reports have suggested?
Well, we have the Young Money/Cash Money tour starting in February so we have a lot of new music coming out. Carter IV is coming out at the top of next year.
There's been some talk of a Drake/Lil Wayne collaboration album. Will that project ever see the light of day?
That’s very possible. Because Wayne works a lot and Drake is out there with us too. They're gonna do a lot of recording together so I don’t see why not. And I have a solo album coming out at the top of the year called Bigger Than Life. Then we have a Father Like Son album that we'll drop around Father’s Day. But I’m more into them. I want to see our artists be as successful as possible. They're young. The bigger they are, the bigger we are. That’s my whole motivation now.
We hear Drake is already working on a follow-up.
Drake will probably come out March or April. Then we have DJ Khaled’s album, Bow Wow’s album and then my own album. So we're looking to start at the top of the year with a lot of releases. Cash Money never got a chance to do that throughout our whole career. So we're looking forward to starting at the top of the year. In 2011 we're set to put out 15 to 20 releases.
The buzz surrounding Nicki Minaj seems to be at its highest point. But the song that everyone's talking about is “Roman’s Revenge,” with Eminem. Were you shocked to hear Nicki go toe-to-toe with Em?