Rick Ross, when at the top of his game, was a regular collaborator with the stars of Cash Money Records—Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj. He even recorded a collaborative mixtape with Birdman, the head of the label, back in 2008. Relations have been sour between the two for some time, however. Ross has previously been vocal in his support of Lil Wayne, who claims to be stuck in his Cash Money contract and, in 2015, moved to sue Birdman to the tune of $51 million for unpaid fees surrounding his unreleased album Tha Carter V. (That suit was put on hold sometime last year). When Birdman made his stormy, well-memed appearance on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club last April, Ross apparently sent six cases of rosé to the station.
Now, Ross has addressed his relationship with Birdman very explicitly on a new song, “Idols Become Rivals,” included on his new album Rather You Than Me. The song is, nearly front to back, all about Birdman, both a elegy to Ross’ former friendship with the Cash Money honcho and as clear an indictment of his notoriously shady business practices as we’ve seen from an artist who wasn’t directly screwed over by him.
Here are some of the relevant passages from the track, which was made available internationally today. First, Ross recalls the moment he first realized Birdman wasn’t as flush he always purported to be:
I used to see you niggas on my TV screen
And wondered what was life like, was it all a dream?
And then I met you out on LiveNation dates
Came to the realization that your watch was fake
Damn… you nearly broke my heart
I really thought you niggas really owned them cars
Then, Ross volunteers a deeply unfortunate metaphor regarding Birdman’s unfair treatment of artists:
Catholic record labels, niggas gettin’ raped, boy
Birdman’s a priest, moans in his synagogue
Publishing is a sin, repent, forgive me, Lord
There are a lot more specifics in the song–“You stole them boys pub and bought a foreclosure / Scott Storch demons in it, which is more poison”–as well as accusations that Birdman didn’t look after his first-wave Cash Money artists and collaborators BG and Turk when they were incarcerated and suffering from drug addiction.
There is a section in which Ross criticizes, without entering into specifics, the way in which Birdman treated DJ Khaled, whose We the Best imprint was formerly part of Cash Money up until 2005. “Khaled was loyal to you, nigga / The pain I seen in my brother’s eye, nigga,” Ross raps. “FaceTimin’ my nigga, nigga, he took that to the chin, nigga.”
Still, the most powerful sections of the song relate specifically to Wayne:
You would give us self esteem and motivate our drive
But was in our pockets by the time we count to five
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?
Today, Weezy expressed his gratefulness for Ross’ support on Twitter:
dam big bro that msg hit me in the heart and put the motivation on automatik start. I needed that. 1 boss 2 another pic.twitter.com/3AIaHMuAmn
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) March 16, 2017
Rather You Than Me is out tomorrow via MMG.
Update (3/17/17): Rather You That Me is out today. Listen to “Idols Become Rivals” below.