The essential trait you must have in the entertainment business is respect. Birdman’s tagline “Put some respect on my name!” almost broke the internet after he demanded The Breakfast Club, a N.Y. morning radio program, show respect when they bring his name up. He elaborated on his feelings and reaction to the situation.
“I just think, I’m a man, and you are going to respect a man period. I was just grateful I was able to control myself. The words he was saying, I think, he was discrediting my name. So if you want to be a disrespectful man, just deal with the accountability. So if you play that lot, you better be able to deal with it. I’m not gonna let no man disrespect me period. I’m fittin’ to die for my life, for what I built. I don’t even know this man. You gonna have to find somewhere else to put it, I ain’t the one.”
The crowd went wild to hear the backstory of this legendary event shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media. There are now hats, shirts, and songs all about the situation.
“I took it, and I did T-shirts, and we sold like 500,000. I took all of the profits and donated it to boys homes all over the world” said Birdman after being asked about capitalizing on the situation.
These moments can catch fire and turn into phenomena through the power of social media; A universal constant these days and very influential in the music business. Snoop had an alternative initial perspective before becoming the social guru he is now.
“I had a team of people that was telling me to get on social media, and I was like I ain’t doing that shit. I don’t want niggers following me.” Snoop has changed his tune since then.
Birdman utilizes the potential of social media to find young talent.
“How we came up, we didn’t have that. We did that shit the hard way. With social media now there’s a hot list. Somebody said they want to send me a demo, man you got too many ways that I could find out about you. That’s the new way. Niggas need to stop making excuses and just go for it.”
Snoop has come a long way from a west coast gang member.
“My biggest mistake was not being a leader, being a follower. In the midst of the east coast west coast rivalry, I was like dead in the center. Now as a full grown man I know how to play defense instead of offense. Back then I was offensive when I should have been defensive. And being a bigger and smarter man and I lived to learn and capitalize on my mistakes and be a bigger person. Now when there are beefs in the Hip-Hop industry I’m the one to get the call to end those beefs. I’m a peacemaker.”
When in dispute, call Snoop. Or should we say Uncle Snoop?
“They call me Uncle Snoop now because of the way I treat everybody. It makes me feel good. Because one thing about a family you always got a cool ass uncle that lets you sit on his lap and drive the car, let you hit the cigarette, lets you drink a lil something. That’s what I’ve become; I’ve become the cool uncle.”
Snoop Dogg elaborated on the mindset an upcoming artist should have.
“I learned how to be a businessman. You know, it’s called show business and a lot of times we so concerned with the show, and we don’t focus on the business. I was able to do a little bit of both.”
Birdman has a quiet inner wisdom that put the entire audience in awe. His story is truly inspiring as you see the diamond coated billionaire speak about his early days in prison and then in the music business. Birdman was on his own at five years old after his parents died.
“I grew up as an orphan. In boys homes.Then I went to jail. I wanted to change my life and came out with a different mind set. I was born a hustler, so I always had to make money. Then I got to the mindset of using my mind more than the physical. So I when I went into business I went for it, I went for it all. I went after the big bag, not the lil one.” Birdman told a riveted audience.
It was clear that all three men think very highly of each other. They watched each other rise in this industry, and each was inspired by the others. Both Snoop Dogg and Jermaine Dupri are big fans of Birdman.
“I have liked Birdman from day one. From a businessman to having fun in your life, he allows artists to grow as well as have fun. I see how he masterminded this business, capitalized and made a way to become a millionaire, possibly a billionaire.That’s not easy to do. He is OG, and I’m proud of you.” Snoop told the crowd before embracing his fellow mogul.
Jermaine Dupri talked about his fun history with Birdman.
“I was at the Cash Money tour, and they had a helicopter come down on the stage. I had all this jewelry on and he (Birdman) seen me from the stage, and he called me out like “Hey you with all that jewelry on, come up on the stage.” That’s the first day, and we have been kicking it ever since.”
The two southern rappers stayed close.
“I sit at home, and I watch their videos and at the time, and I had a song “Money in the Penthouse” and we were throwing money. But Birdman, they started putting wheels on helicopters. I was just watching him and we both from the south. We would have these conversations because we felt like we were in a different struggle. The Super Bowl was in Atlanta, and they rode up from New Orleans. They brought all they cars and I had like 20 cars parked in the front of my house. We just supported each other.” Dupri told this captivated audience.
Though a very friendly duo, Birdman makes Jermaine Dupri look like Steve Urkel when he sits next to him.He may not look the part; Jermaine Dupri has been a mogul for a long time.
“My first big check was for a million dollars when I was 19. People ask me “Did you ever think you would be dating Janet Jackson?” and I was like “Yeah!” I believe I can do anything.”
All three moguls spoke to the importance of giving back to their community.
Birdman is a mentor to many. “My passion is anything I get into. If I get involved with it, I dedicate everything to it.”I think it’s a great outlet for us, to help. I don’t need to do it at all. Honestly, I don’t care to, but, I care for my little homies and help them and let it be an outlet for them.”
His family did come up as Snoop attributed much of his successful spirit to his grandfather.
“My grandfather, he owned a landscaping business back in Mississippi when black folks didn’t have ownership. So for him to have that business and it being handed down to my father and just to have that blood running through me, that is the hustle mentality that I feel like all us moguls have.”
Snoop Dogg was also able to learn from the biggest rappers who came before him.
“Great people like Dr.Dre, Suge Knight, and Master P. showed me the right way. They didn’t really pressure me when I was trying to learn. They were very accepting of my question asking. There is no dumb question when you are trying to learn this business.”
Jermaine Dupri also has a special relationship with Snoop.
“Snoop actually brought me Bow Wow so you know me and him relationship is like this,” Dupri said holding his fingers as close as possible.
Birdman also encouraged young black men and women to go beyond rapping and enter the corporate world of music.
“We need more CEOs because we don’t have that. Everybody rapping but when I came up there was a lot of competition brands, and now all that shit is gone. It’s just us. We need to get back in the CEO business because we don’t have that. And once we lose that, game over they gonna run it and I’ve been battling this shit for a long time, and we need more CEOs to keep it going.”
Corporate or artist, anyone entering the music game has big shoes to fill following the likes of Dupri, Snoop Dogg, and Birdman. These men embody the word mogul in an unconventional way, but no one can contest their top brass status. These are the faces of the coolest members of the 1%.