A couple of weeks ago, Birdman walked out of an interview with The Breakfast Club after briefly addressing Charlamagne and the other hosts: “All three of y’all stop playing with my name. Stop playing with my f*ckin’ name… When my name comes up, respect it.”
The interview went viral, and soon after, Birdman was selling “Respek” T-shirts and shooting a video for a song called “Respek.” He was quick to capitalize off of the attention, but that initial reaction he had wasn’t a joke or a publicity stunt. He invited Hot 97’s Ebro Darden to his house in Miami to explain.
“I feed thousands of people in this game, man,” Birdman says to Ebro. “I go and sign youngsters and turn them into millionaires, and that trickles down to feeding a lot of people. And I’ve been doing this for years. And I have probably done sold more records than any company ever, since hip-hop started. So I could understand a man with his opinion, and that’s respectable. But when you’re going off the record and saying taunting sh*t for years… I’m going to make sure that man respects me as a man. There’s no other way about that.”
On all the memes, Birdman says he got a laugh out of it. “I’m with it. It’s funny. It gave a n***a a laugh, and I don’t like to laugh. I don’t even like to smile, but it’s cool. A lot of that sh*t is real funny they got on the internet… I was thinking they were being funny on the way I talk. You know, I come from New Orleans, and everything is slang. When we first got in the business, nobody understood nothing we said… That’s how I say respect.”
Birdman also addresses his complicated relationship with Lil Wayne. “I always wanted to be a part of my son’s life, in any kind of way possible,” he says about Wayne. “That’s important to me, because I’m a family man. I’m not going to let this music or this money ever interfere with how I feel about my son. I love him, and we gonna figure it out, guaranteed.”