The Big Q&A: Waka Flocka Flame Momager Debra Antney Tells All

The founder of Atlanta’s Mizay Management, Debra Antney has shaped the careers of many of the hottest acts in hip hop, from Gucci Mane to Nicki Minaj, OJ Da Juiceman, producer Lex Luger, and her son Juaquin Malphurs, better known as Waka Flocka Flame. While Nicki has since moved on to other management, and Gucci also left the fold for a few months this year, last week the news broke that Gucci Mane was returning to Mizay. “That’s my nephew,” said Antney in a statement. “I love him. This is beyond the music game.”
But who is this woman behind so many stars of Southern rap? She's the kind of woman who bends but never breaks. Family and education rank high on Deb’s list of values. The oldest of nine children, she’s the mother of five boys and the three adopted girls. "There’s more—because if somebody was to read that in a sentence they would kill me," she says. "But legally I have three." Deb wanted to have 15 children, but never wanted to be married. “I used to watch the women in my family get beat,” she says. “And there was no way to me that that could be love. That just wasn’t love, you know? I’d watch them get beat but they still cooked and cleaned and took care of them and I just vowed I would not be that woman.”
Instead she worked her way through school while on welfare to become a certified acupuncturist, and also gaining various social work accreditations and becoming so accomplished that when she was looking for work in Georgia, a position had to be created for her. But she was also working behind the scenes in the music industry, first in Hollis, Queens; then later in Atlanta with the Ludacris foundation. (It's Ludacris' pronunciation of "Miss A" that lead to her company name.) 
Deb Antney is a woman who has seen the good and the bad of life and the music industry and has given up on neither. She “busted her butt” to provide a good home for her children and she did it on her own. More than a strong woman, more than an accomplished businesswoman, she’s a survivor.

As part of his Waka Flocka Flame feature for VIBE’s December 2011 issue, Kris Ex spoke with Antney at her Georgia home. The conversation was so groundbreaking we couldn’t limit it to just a few quotes in the Waka pece. So here we present highlights from their epic conversation, a VIBE.com exclusive.


On Her Own Childhood:
My dad wasn’t that perfect man. He was an addict. At the age of 9 years old, I OD’d. There was no Bureau of Child Welfare to come to protect me. Me, playing with a mountain of heroin, thinking it was baby powder, it absorbed in my body. Those are stories that people don’t tell. Those are stories back then where there weren’t people there to save us. I remember sitting in the car with my father telling me to look out while he robbed a place that my moms was working. And I had to be the lookout. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. My father just told me to watch out, make sure the people ain’t come cause they had did something wrong and I had to look out. I remember going on 150th street strapped with deuces—you know, $2 bags of dope—around my body. I didn’t ask for this. There’s a lot of things I didn’t ask for but it was hand-delivered to me.
On Waka’s Intelligence; Perception vs Reality
Waka was a bright-ass kid. Bright as hell. Honors. The shit that get me about him is that he does this language shit that he do. He’s from New York. Yeah, he was here since a kid, but he’s different from all the rest of my kids. If you hear the way he talk [compared] to everybody else, you know they come from New York. But [Waka] adapted everything about the South; he really do know here better than he know up there. He was a bright-ass kid. And then he just went astray.
If Waka wasn’t doing this, he was supposed to be doing ball.  He was being scouted for ball. He stopped playing ball, he stopped doing everything. And he became this freaking kid that was from hell. He just went left field, he didn’t care about nothing. Nothing. He didn’t care about nothing and nobody after that happened with my son. He became so angry it was pathetic. You don’t understand: I mean, teachers, principals, coaches—everybody was coming for him to try to get him. Waka was bright. School was everything to him.
Waka goes to the ER three times in one week:
When he was younger he fell so many times—in the emergency room three times in one week he had to get stitches. Always doing something, falling out the tree. I’m crying and screaming like, “Don’t stitch him!” and he just sitting there looking at me like I’m crazy, just taking it. It almost was like he was immune to getting stitches, like he enjoyed it. I was like, “This boy is crazy.” And they had called BCW [the Bureau of Child Welfare], like, “She needs to be investigated” because we was in the emergency room three times in one week. This kid getting stitches; He fell, “oh I cut myself up on the thing.” And me having that background [in social work] because that’s the work that I did, [I knew] that’s suspicious. Three times in one week, the kid coming in the emergency room getting stitches, the kid cut up, leg, hand, his shoulder. Then he ripped his shoulder open. Waka was always doing something and the crazy thing is he’s my Mini-Me. He’s a male version of me. It’s crazy. We bump heads a lot, ‘cause we are so much alike.

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Nicki Minaj Reportedly Splits With Longtime Managers Cortez Bryant, Gee Roberson

Nicki Minaj is reportedly moving on from her longtime managers, Cortez Bryant and Gee Roberson, subsequently severing her relationship with Blueprint/Maverick Management. According to Billboard, the business decision was “mutual” and “amicable” but Minaj doesn’t have a new team yet, sources told the outlet.

Minaj parted ways with the team prior to her surprise appearance on Ariana Grande’s headlining Coachella set last Sunday (April 14), Variety reports. No other details were reported about the reason for the apparent split with Roberson and Bryant who head the Blueprint Group, an Atlanta-based company that formed a conglomerate with Maverick.

The “Barbie Dreams” rapper has been managed by Blueprint for the most of her career and remains on the company’s website under their list of clients which includes Lil Wayne, The Roots, Rich the Kid, CyHi the Prynce, and Jill Scott.

In other Minaj news, the 36-year-old recording artist wrapped up the European leg of her Queen world tour late last month. Minaj has yet to announce the dates for her U.S. installment of the tour.

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Dave East Thinks “Old Town Road” Is “Super Wack”

Don’t expect to see Dave East sporting a cowboy hat and listening to Lil Nas X’s hit, “Old Town Road.” The New Yorker didn’t hold back while offering up his honest opinion of the song.

“This f**king 'Old Town Road' s**t is f**kin’ wack,” the rapper said in a video posted on his Instagram story that began circulating the 'net Wednesday (April 18). “I don’t know what the f**k is going on with hip-hop, with rap. I ain’t no hater man but that s**t is wack with a cape on it. It’s super wack.”

Dave East says “Old Town Road” is “wack”...do y’all agree? 👇🎶🤔 @DaveEast pic.twitter.com/npW1gKmnfe


Despite being removed from Billboard's country charts for not embracing enough country music elements, the Billy Ray Cyrus-assisted remix to “Old Town Road,” pushed its way to No. 1 on the Billboard singles charts. The song also scored 143 million streams in a week, breaking a previous record held by Drake.

As his popularity continues to grow, Lil Nas X wants to move past the country music drama. "I didn't want it to get to that point where it was more popular because of controversy than the song itself," he recently told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In response to East’s comments, the music newcomer reportedly tweeted that he’s “not mad” at the rapper. “Just [an] oh well moment,” he supposedly wrote in a post that was later deleted.

Fans of the song were fare less diplomatic in reacting to the critique, while others defended East for simply sharing his opinion.

Peep some of the reactions below.

Nah Dave East really got on here with ZERO HIT RECORDS OF HIS OWN and tried to hate on a nigga who might fuck around and go diamond on his first swing. Literally some hater shit if I ever saw it. The worst shit about it is that the song not even rap it’s country (on purpose) LOL https://t.co/5jaGpcsiHD

— Little Bro (@DjChubbESwagg) April 18, 2019

We do not listen to dave east in the car. We do not listen to dave east at the bar. We do not listen to him here or there. We do not listen to him anywhere. https://t.co/Ft6T5ko3sB

— Popcorn Playa🦊 (@AuntieMemm) April 18, 2019

Dave East throws a vigil for Nip it’s “awww man Dave East a real one” Dave East says Old Town Road is trash it’s “I can’t even name 5 Dave East songs”...the innanets a weird place

— The Marathon Continues 🏁 (@RT_DeezNutzzz) April 18, 2019

Sooo Dave East a Bad human Being for having an honest opinion?

— Count Rackula aka 2Cup Shakur aka Durt Cobain aka. (@MeechIsDEAD) April 18, 2019

Dave East music fire, but he sounds like a hater rn...

How do you have static with a person for going viral with a country song lmao

— Dontai (@ImDontai) April 18, 2019

Dave East is supposed to dislike “Old Town Road” ..... because HipHop needs him to!! 💪🏾💪🏽

— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) April 19, 2019

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Dee Barnes Talks Dr. Dre. Attack, Goes Silent When Asked If He Sexually Assaulted Her

It’s no secret that pioneering hip-hop journalist Denise “Dee” Barnes was viciously beaten by Dr. Dre in 1991, but there are still details of the harrowing incident that remain a mystery. Barnes, who received an outpouring of support since revealing that she’s homeless, appeared on The Wendy Williams Show Wednesday (April 18) to discuss her living predicament and the night that she was assaulted by Dre, but when asked if the music mogul sexually assaulted her, Barnes went silent.

As Barnes recalled during the interview, Dre attacked her at a Def Jam party in Los Angeles in retaliation for her interview with Ice Cube after he split with N.W.A. According to Barnes, she was standing near a stairway talking to someone when Dre grabbed her by the hair and rammed her head into a brick wall. “Dre approached me out of nowhere [and] grabs me by my hair. He picked me up, lifted me up off the ground [by my hair and] slammed me up against a brick wall several times.

“I didn’t see but he had a bodyguard with him and he kept the crowd from helping [me] by threatening the crowd with a gun,” continued the former Pump It Up host. “The person that was talking to me, was the only person who tried to intervene, he got pistol whipped [and ] lost two teeth.”

Barnes remembers being disoriented as she lay on the ground, unable to walk down the stairs. “I grab the rail, I pull myself back up and run into the women’s restroom. He follows me into the women’s restroom,” she said before taking a pause. “He continued to assault me in the women’s restroom.”

“Were you sexually assaulted?” Williams prodded.

“I’m not comfortable talking about everything right now,” Barnes replied.

“Your silence is speaking volumes,” added Williams.

In a 1991 interview with Rolling Stone, Dre brushed off the incident casaully stating that he threw Barnes “through a door.” The assault came back to light in 2015 after it was noticeably absent from Straight Outta Compton, along with Dre’s abuse of his ex-girlfriend, Michel'le with whom he has a child. Dre later released a public apology, although he didn’t mention Barnes or Michel'le directly. “I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives,” he said in a statement. He also addressed the beating in HBO's The Defiant Ones series in 2017. “I was out of my f**king mind at the time. I f**ked up. I paid for it. I’m sorry for it. And I apologized for it.I have this dark cloud that follows me, and it’s going to be attached to me forever. It’s a major blemish on who I am as a man, and every time it comes up, it just makes me feel f**ked up.”

Dre, whose birth name is Andre Young, pleaded no contest to assaulting Barnes. He was sentenced to probation and community service and went to become a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, Grammy-winning solo artist, and sought after producer. Meanwhile, Barnes was blacklisted from the music industry after she was attacked.

During a much happier moment in her Wendy Williams Show interview, Williams presented Barnes with a $15,000 check to help her get back on her feet, and offered her a book deal.

Watch the full interview below.

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