Rick Ross Threatens Birdman’s Life On A Record That’s Pure Disrespek (Audio)
For the last decade-plus, Rick Ross was widely perceived as a YMCMB affiliate, despite never being an official artist. The Miami, Florida rapper who has released seven albums with Slip-n-Slide/Def Jam Records released hit singles like “Stay Schemin’,” “You A Boss,” and “Maybach Music 2” with Cash Money/Young Money artists featured. Moreover, Rozay was on board for Wayne’s “John,” and DJ Khaled’s Top 10 “I’m On One” singles. On a number of occurrences, Ross collaborated with Cash Money’s co-founder Birdman. Now, as conflicts are running strong between Wayne and Birdman, Ross takes sides—and pulls no punches in his sudden disdain for Birdman.
Today (March 17), Rick Ross released his eighth album, Rather You Than Me. The rapper’s first solo LP with Epic Records (following a decade-long stint at Def Jam) features the song “Idols Become Rivals.” In what may be Ross’ biggest beef since his days feuding with 50 Cent, the MMG kingpin spits, “Rap game, so much fuck shit done / That’s why this .45 in my Trukfit trunks / Fuck a skateboard, I went and got a Wraith, boy / Catholic record labels, niggas gettin’ raped, boy / Birdman’s a priest, moans in his synagogue / Publishin’ is a sin, repent, forgive me, Lord.” At the top of the song, R.R. mentions his affinity for Cash Money while coming up, especially B.G.’s “Bling Bling.” But today, it comes to death threats, as Ross snaps, “Red beam detonators, who the bomb now? / Look you in your eyes, nigga, ‘fore I say goodnight / And pray that Mannie Fresh’ll get to see the light.”
The first lyrical excerpt uses Catholic priest molestation as a metaphor for Cash Money’s (Birdman by name) practices of taking artist royalties. In turn, Ross appears to take a jab at Birdman’s sexuality along the way. In addition to Wayne’s ongoing $51 million lawsuit against his label, many former artists have attacked their former label, legally and vocally about unpaid royalties.
Produced by Black Metaphor, the song features some symbolism. The title comes from a Drake mixtape lyric, while the sample of Camilo Sesto’s “Agua De Dos Rios” was used on Jay Z’s “Where Have You Been.” Ross, who has been vocal about Jay’s influence, may be channeling some direct, personal discussion just as Jay previously did. Chris Rock is on the song’s intro, but appears removed from its controversy.
Ross specifically accuses Birdman of cutting B.G. off after his incarceration, showing no loyalty to another Hot Boy, Turk, and mistreating longtime label hit-maker Mannie Fresh. He sticks up extensively for Khaled (who exited the label) and Wayne. “I pray you find the kindness in your heart for Wayne / His entire life, he gave you what there was to gain / I watched this whole debacle so I’m part to blame / Last request, can all producers please get paid?” and “What hurt me the most, nigga, is how you did my brother Khaled, nigga / Khaled was loyal to you, nigga. The pain I seen in my brother’s eye, nigga, FaceTimin’ my nigga. Nigga, he took that to the chin, nigga. That’s why my nigga blessed. That’s why my nigga Khaled blessed. You put my nigga in the hole, homie.”
The lyrics also accuse Birdman of cocaine use, wearing fake watches, and leasing so many of the cars used in Cash Money’s famed music videos and photo shoots. Ross name-checks other notorious music execs including Jimmy Henchman, Puff Daddy, J. Prince (the Rap-A-Lot founder who also spoke out against Birdman), and Suave House’s Tony Draper (who signed Rick in the early 2000s and released his Rise To Power immediately after mid-2000s success). He claims he fixed a number of South Florida street situations for Birdman, as well as never charging for the litany of guest verses. Rick also condemns Birdman for using withheld royalties of others to buy Scott Storch’s foreclosed home in Florida, apparently preying on the weakness of others. Like many, Storch was a producer for YMCMB. In the record, Ross says he still has love for the target of this table-clearing diss.
While the rapper/executive formerly known as Baby has yet to respond in public, it appears already that Lil Wayne appreciates the high profile alliance:
In the last 19 years, Cash Money has released 21 platinum albums. They last released Drake’s #1 VIEWS in 2016. Presently, their artist Nicki Minaj is engaged in another Rap feud, this one with Terror Squad’s Remy Ma. In that multi-song beef, Rem’ has accused Nicki of cocaine use as well.
#BonusBeat: Genius breaks down “Idols Become Rivals,” lyric for lyric:
Other guests on Rather You Than Me include Nas, Raphael Saadiq, and Meek Mill.