"I'm thinking about getting '#1 Stunna' tattooed right here," a smiling Brian "Baby" Williams said Tuesday, pointing to the right side of his bald dome.
If he were a regular dude, you might look at him and the multitude of tats that already adorn his body and think he's crazy. But since Baby is the millionaire co-CEO of Cash Money records and half of the Big Tymers, whose Hood Rich debuted at #1 recently, you have to write him off as being eccentric.
"I wasn't surprised at all," Baby's partner and Cash Money's longtime main producer Mannie Fresh said Tuesday about the duo hitting numero uno with their fourth album. "If I put my heart into it, that's the kind of rewards that come back. So here I am."
"We felt it was time to do our thing," Baby added. "We got the hottest song in the country; perfect timing fell in place."
The scorching track he's talking about, "Still Fly," in which they rhyme about ghetto fabulousness, is based on reality. Although a lot of Cash Money's prominence has come from the strength of braggadocio party records, the Big Tymers haven't forgotten their leaner times.
"Believe that, dog," Baby affirmed, flashing a mouthful of platinum teeth with every word. "It's been times when me and Fresh and my brother shared the same car. We've been doing this 13 years. We've been independent seven years. Being an independent is like stock — everything goes up and down. We gave everything up for the game. It ain't always been sweet. It's been sour before it's been sweet."
There's been nothing bitter about their Hood Rich tour. With a Lil' Wayne album coming in July and Baby's solo project following soon after, the two say they'll be performing arenas before the year is over. But for now, the group is content playing smaller venues.
"We went backward," Fresh explained. "We're doing club dates around the world. That's our celebration to make it affordable for everybody to check us out. That's the celebration. That's the way we gonna give back on this album."
"It's crazy," Baby chimed in. "You doing hole in the walls with a thousand people inside. We already superstars. You got five thousand people outside."
If that's not love, what is? They say receiving adoration from the fans is how they came up with the album's concept.
"We wanted to go back to what we came from," Fresh said. "We analyzed some of our old albums and came out with this. Besides that, [the title] Hood Rich itself is telling you what's important. If you've got love from your 'hood and the people that's around you, its always better. If you can walk on your block and get treated like ain't nothing changed, that's 'hood rich."