It has become a tradition for Birdman to celebrate his wins at the end of the year. At one point at the brink of extinction, Cash Money Records resurged and went on to dominate the rap game. Each year, Birdman has the opportunity to sit back and celebrate successful platinum album sales and a new, high-profile signing. The year of 2011 was not any different, as Birdman celebrated the successful releases from Lil Wayne and Drake and celebrated finally signing Mystikal.
Earlier this week, Mystikal confirmed the rumors of him signing with Cash Money. Many were a little upset about the deal. Early in his career, Mystikal was signed to No Limit Records, the former rival of Cash Money, and he was working with Mannie Fresh. Six years ago, Mannie Fresh was a member of Cash Money Records, but he left to expand his career. While both sides have denied there being tension and have even made public appearances, rumors still persist.
Birdman cleared the air about Mystikal during an interview with XXL. While the deal took place earlier this month, Birdman has been trying to sign Mystikal since 2004. In 2004, Mystikal was sent to prison, but the two had been working together three years before Birdman tried to sign Mystikal. Finally working with Mystikal, Birdman said it was an honor to work with someone from his hometown and as talented as he is. Birdman said 2012 will feature a lot of great music from Mystikal, who is already working on his Cash Money debut.
For nearly two decades, Birdman and Mystikal have known of each other. Birdman said Mystikal being signed to No Limit and him being the CEO of Cash Money stopped them from working together. During the 1990s and early 2000s, there was strong competition between the New Orleans record labels. Even though many of the artists were personal friends, the labels did not allow much contact with the other side. There was always a mutual respect between Birdman and Mystikal, but being young businessmen, they were not allowed to work together. Now, older and wiser, they are finally joining forces.
Yesterday, Mannie Fresh announced he would still be a part of Mystikal’s album, despite signing with Cash Money Records. Birdman, however, told XXL he does not care to work with Mannie Fresh or to use any of his beats. Cash Money Records’ roster is not only full of rappers and singers, there are also a number of producers on the label. Birdman said he would rather have Mystikal record over some in-house Cash Money beats from Cool & Dre, DJ Khaled, Detail, or Mr. Beats. However, he went on to say if Mystikal does want to continue working with Mannie Fresh, it is completely up to him.
Birdman said May is when Mystikal and Busta Rhymes will release their Cash Money Records debut albums.