Birdman has opened up about the missed opportunity that could’ve linked his Cash Money Records empire to J. Prince forever.
Earlier this week, Stunna (real name Bryan Williams) hopped in a Clubhouse room where retraced an important time in the history of his now historic imprint.
The New Orleans native explained that the Houston music mogul was a mentor figure to him and he tried to hammer out a distribution deal through J. Prince’s Rap-A-Lot Records before pivoting to a lucrative partnership with Universal for $30million in 1998.
“I fuck with old head. I respect old head,” Birdman said of J. Prince. “He very respectable and I learned a lot from him. He taught me so much early on in the game. I have no ill feelings with the old man. I respect him… He taught me so much in my early stages.
“If n-ggas don’t know, I tried to sign with the old man before I went to Universal. I tried to sign with the old man. I respect the old man. He’s a great man, a respectable man, an honorable man. I have no ill feelings with the old man because he taught me so much and he taught me the game.
“I wanted to sign with J. Prince but he didn’t have the structure to sign me. What I respect about it, he said, ‘Y’all go do y’all because I can’t do it.’ That’s what I honored about it. He told me go ‘head man, I can’t do it.”
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) October 12, 2023
The 1998 distribution deal with Universal proved to be a seminal moment for Cash Money and a life-change agreement for Birdman.
This led to the tarmac being laid out for stars to take off with proper backing like Juvenile, Hot Boys and the solo careers of Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj.
Now, 25 years later, Birdman still believes the South will continue to reign supreme as the center of the Hip Hop world.
“The East and the West was the last two places that would embrace our music if you were from the South,” Birdman said last month on the 85 South Show. “It’s always been a competitive thing for us with them — ’cause they felt like they was better than us and we felt like we was better than them, especially in our neck of the woods, the South.”
He continued: “You’ll have a hit in the South and it’ll take a long time to hit in the East and the West. But once they caught onto us like it is now, I don’t think they’ll ever get it back. We here forever, ’cause they had it forever. The East and the West, they had it forever.
“It was challenging for us coming up. Very, very challenging because they wouldn’t play our music in no kinda way.”