Debra Atney speaks on her experiences working with her son Waka Flocka, as well as Gucci Mane, Nicki Minaj, French Montana and more.
Debra ATney has quite the track record. She has managed artists such as Nicki Minaj, French Montana, and Gucci Mane, as well as her son, Waka Flocka. While she has had issues with her artists in the past, Debra continues to have kind words for the artists she's worked with. She talked to the Breakfast Club about her experiences with the industry.
Deabra started things off by setting some things straight. "Just to clarify things, you guys got that picture wrong" said of the misconceptions of beef between her and Nicki Minaj. "That's the daughter that I've never had, I love Nicki to death." she said. Antney is also the person who first told her she could do pop. "[I] let her know she could sing, because that's what she loved to do." she revealed, though apparently the two "never did formal paperwork."
Debra also clarified that she has no issues with Diddy. "I have no problems with Nicki, Puffy did not take Nicki away from me." she said. "Bad Boy and interscope are two of the best labels I've ever worked with, the labels had nothing to do with it."
On her deal with YMCMB, the manager said that Minaj had always planned to go that route. "Nicki always wanted to go to them. That was before me. There was something already lit there. Nicki was already repping them, because she really wanted to go there."
On another artist she's also been rumored to have issues with, Debra spoke of being skeptical of French Montana from the get-go. "French was different because I didn't really want to work with him." she said. "I knew he was gonna be like he is. He's just not loyal. But I still love him."
Debra then spoke of how her son, Waka Flocka got into rap, revealing that it was mainly to help their family in a desperate time. "Waka was not supposed to rap at all. He's not a rapper, and he's real when he says that." she said, continuing, "I'm grateful for him because he came and took my back."
"Gucci kept going to jail. Honestly we was in trouble and we was falling. He had no choice but to jump out there and do what he did." she said of Waka's first attempts to rap.
The early singles he played for her did not impress Antney however, revealing that she "bust[ed] out laughing" the first time Flocka played her his music.
Even after witnessing others get into Waka's songs, she was not convinced. "He took me to the club, and the people there are just going crazy [to his song]," but the manager could not be swayed. "I'm still not feeling this shit," she said.
The eureka moment only came when Waka angrily recorded "O Let's Do It" to prove to his mother that he could make a hit. "This was a record he was pissed about," she said, remembering lying in bed listening to it. "I rolled over, 'god damn... jackpot!'" she exclaimed. "I knew that was the record. That record was out of anger, because that really happened."
Antney then revealed that she would send Waka out with Gucci in order for the two of them to look out for one another. "Gucci would take Waka out with him to keep Waka off the street," she said. "I could take care of Gucci and Waka at the same time. They would watch each other."
One regret the businesswoman had was not offering OJ Da Juiceman enough time. "I neglected Juice," she said. "Juice is such a loyal person. He gave me no trouble," she revealed, but his togetherness hurt him in the end. "Gucci stayed in so much trouble that he got all my attention."
Watch the full interview below.