Bryan “Baby” Williams, a.k.a. the #1 Stunna, made a name for himself by building New Orleans-based Cash Money Records from an upstart label into a small empire alongside his brother Ronald “Godfather” Williams. With a roster including Juvenile, Lil’ Wayne and Baby’s own Big Tymers, Cash Money helped to establish and define the dirty south sound.

Paul Wong
Rating: three stars.

After a decade as a CEO and part-time rapper, Baby finally steps up to the mic for Birdman, his first solo record.

Featuring a small army of producers including Cash Money regular Mannie Fresh, Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz and the Neptunes, Birdman’s beats are the highlight of the album, covering everything from laid back R&B to pounding drum-n-bass.

Baby’s list of guest artists is equally impressive, with Toni Braxton, Lil’ Wayne, Cam’ron, 8ball, the Clipse and fellow CEO P. Diddy all lending a hand.

Despite the plethora of guests, Baby still runs the show with his slick southern delivery. He shines on the Neptunes-produced “What Happened to that Boy” and his first single “Do That …” featuring P. Diddy.

If there’s any problem with Birdman, it’s the subject matter. Considering Baby drives a Bentley and has a set of platinum teeth that cost him a cool $150,000, it’s a bit difficult to take him seriously when he rhymes about livin’ a thug’s life in the ghetto. But nevertheless, Birdman is a strong solo debut for Baby.

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