Debra Antney On Waka’s Breakdown, Rap Beginnings & Tupac Comparisons [Pg. 2]
On how the death of her youngest son, Caodes, affected Waka:
My son was killed in 2000 and Waka was like 13 years old, going on 14. And it was hard. Since my son died,that’s when [Waka] flipped. He hated everything dealing with school because my son, his death was a sneak out the house to go help a kid with his homework before his father came home so the kid wouldn’t get a beating. Waka told him to go, he’ll cover for him. So [when he was biking home and killed by a car] Waka blamed hisself. He feels very responsible for my son’s death—that’s what flipped him out.
It wasn’t until recently [that I realized.] One night he just bust into my room and he was crying so hard and I jumped out the bed and I automatically started crying. I thought it was Gucci, ‘cause at that time Gucci was running so wild. I immediately started crying, like “Oh my God, what the hell happened?”—that time of the night somebody coming in the room. He just dropped to his knees and [was] like, “Ma, please forgive me.” I’m like, “What do you mean forgive you? What did you do?” I’m crying and I’m like “Where is Gucci?” Just yelling ‘cause I used to make him go to watch Gooch, like, ”Make sure Gucci’s okay,” ‘cause Gucci was going so wild. I’m still thinking something happened to Gucci and he’s not telling me ‘cause, like, where is he? Them two, you never seen one without [the other]—they were so inseparable it was pathetic. And then that’s when he told me: “I’m the one that told him he could go. I covered for him.” So all this time this kid walked around holding this stuff inside of him.
On the Birth of Waka’s Music Career:
That’s the day he also told me: “I promise you, I didn’t give it to you in ball, I’ma give it to you in music.” I automatically started laughing. Like: he’s coming with a joke on top of telling me this stuff, you know. Like, Okay, Wak. I could see him being a comedian, because from a kid, Waka was a little practical joker. But, my girlfriend said to me, “Didn’t Waka used to get on my nerves walking around the house singing? I used to say, ‘Boy would you shut up?’” All them was telling me and I didn’t remember that part of him, like him walking around the house singing. And she said, “Look at this: he turns out to be a damned rapper.”
I didn’t think he was gonna do it. He ain’t know what the heck he was doing and what happened is he learnt a way. I told him, “If you could channel your energy, your anger there on that mic, then do it.” We did it in a way of thinking it would be some rehabilitation shit, like, “go in there and just dump your anger.” When all that stuff was going on with Gucci, he was so angry. Gooch was in jail; he was a gone and [Waka] was mad. He just started going off. People always used to send him like tracks. He’d be out on the shows with Gooch, hyping up and doing stuff for Gooch. Gooch was like, “Man you need to go ahead and rap.” Gooch was just talking to him and training him with different things. Waka was like, “I ain’t getting this.” And he was like “Ma, Gucci want me to go ahead and rap.” I was laughing. I didn’t think Waka was gonna do that. I never in a million years thought that was what that boy was gonna do.
On Her Advice to Waka:
When he gets a little dumbfounded sometimes—not sometimes, all the time—he pisses me off. If I’m not there, I’m pissed. He knows he’s getting that call from me. I’m cursing him out like, “Why did you do this? People are having a field day on you because you wanna be stupid.” I could just tell you books that he goes in the store like when we doing his tour and we in the stores, he’s buying books—investments and political stuff he buys. He’s so into the Nostradamus thing. He read that whole thing. I remember having a conversation and him telling me about so much of this stuff. He’s a reader, he loves to read. If you go to his house, you go to his room, he has books galore. He’s always reading. As a matter of fact, last night we just really, really had a long talk and I’m like, “You know babe, the one thing you have to understand there’s some sacrificing that you have to do. In order for you to get fame, in order for to you to really get this and this to be really given to you, there’s things you have to sacrifice. And that means that you have to sacrifice your pride and being worried about how people look at you. It doesn’t matter. People are gonna look at you any way they wanna look at you. People are gonna have good and bad to say about you. It don’t matter. As long as you know who and what you are, it’s beautiful. But if you up there make yourself look so illiterate and so stupid, of course you leave no choice but for people to say whatever they say.”
On Comparisons Between Waka and Tupac:
When people took [his album title] like he’s comparing hisself to Tupac. Never that. He know he’s not Tupac. You have people that want to be other people, like it’s not that. When people are so limited, they stay stuck. l just told him yesterday. “Why you staying stuck?” He did grow up around guns and drugs but he’s still a fun person. You have to learn how to channel all of that energy into having fun. It doesn’t have to be about shooting and killing. In the hood these are things that you do experience, but he wasn’t raised in the projects or some real hard places. He chose to hang out in stuff like that. Those are the places that he wanted to be at. That’s where he felt comfortable, where he belonged.
On Hooking Up with Gucci:
It was supposed to have been for charity. When he came home [from jail] and he wanted me to do a bunch of stuff for him and he was going through some other stuff and he just asked me to get him out of it like, “Auntie please.” It was hard for me because at that time, I was so full force with [The Ludacris Foundation] and it’s like, “I don’t know.” It was hard for me to leave Luda with the Foundation stuff because that’s what I really love. But Gucci was like, “Auntie please. Please.” And we just went from there.