Birdman has vision. The Cash Money co-founder, alongside his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams, has guided the careers of some of the biggest names in hip-hop music. With artists like Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Drake carrying the torch for the brand, Bird sought out a couple of other newcomers to build with: Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan.
"I met Thug, flew him to L.A. to come see me and we connected from there, then Quan came to the table. I always believed in unity, that's always been my thing," Birdman told MTV News on September 11, when we traveled to Atlanta to cover a video shoot for an upcoming Rich Gang single.
Baby brought Thug and Quan together on "Lifestyle," the #5 rap single in the country, according to Billboard. Next, Birdman plans to drop a Rich Gang mixtape, which will star Thugger and Rich Homie, and then an upcoming tour for the three of them.
"They were already working on a project, them two, and I said, 'Let's do it together. Let me take it to the next level for y'all, 'cause I see y'all got the potential and the talent,'" Baby told us of his pitch to the rising stars.
Both Thug and Rich Homie had solo success before meeting Birdman. Young Thug's 2013 breakout "Stoner" launched him into a national spotlight, and Quan scored major points with his singles "Type of Way" and "Walk Thru."
"I just thought by them being together, it would be a stronger impact and then they still can do their solo things," Birdman said.
Their solo situations are a bit murky, though. Thug is reportedly signed to the newly formed 300, but when we asked him on the carpet of the 2014 BET Awards, he only confused matters. "It’s not no 300, it’s not no 100, 250, whatever you call it -- it’s a lifetime warranty, you dig? It’s in and out. Blood in, blood out,” Thug told us then.
Quan is reportedly signed to Def Jam, but he denies ever inking with the storied hip-hop label.
There seems to be no dispute about Thug and Quan's Rich Gang affiliation however. "I wanted to come to the A and rock with them and put artists on... I want them to be able to put other acts on like I do," Birdman said. "We gonna make acts, put acts on and it's gonna always be about them two."