*Bryan “Birdman” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams of Cash Money Records have partnered with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell to cover rent for the month of June for New Orleans residents living in low-income housing.
According to Black Enterprise, the brothers have donated over $225,000 to Forward Together New Orleans (FTNO), a nonprofit providing resources to the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As natives of New Orleans, the record executives are all about paying it forward, and Slim and Vernon Brown, Cash Money’s longtime attorney and business manager, dished about giving back in a new interview with the outlet.
Check out excerpts from their conversation below.
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“We all need each other right now,” said Williams, with Brown adding “I’ve spoken to people over the last several weeks and the one thing that’s a common theme is that we’re all, in so many different ways in so many of the same ways, affected. There’s no one that’s not touched.”
“The biggest problem that me, Slim, and Baby speak about every day is we don’t have answers,” he added.
On Paying it Forward:
“The mayor and her staff have been great. They knew what we wanted to do and what we had in mind. And they knew we’ve been doing this for a long time,” said Slim.
“For at least 10-plus years now, there has been a focus on three areas that they [Slim and Birdman] feel that if they’re able to make an impact with it can have long-term effects and positively helping people and improving the lives of those in New Orleans and anywhere in general. And that’s in housing, healthcare, and education,” said Brown.
“We added a big component to the turkey giveaway where we have thousands of people who come in here Oschner Health Systems along with Stanford University Medical Center, join us in giving medical exams and screenings to all the people who attend the turkey giveaway. And it’s been an incredible process. Every year, there have been people actually who have had to be taken from that facility straight to a hospital because of conditions that they didn’t even know, Brown added.
Cash Money and FTNO previously announced their effort to help New Orleans in a joint release, saying “funds will be used specifically to pay the June rent for hundreds of subsidized tenants and families who are most at need and live in the former Magnolia, Calliope, and Melpomene projects, now known respectively as the Scattered Sites Harmony Oaks, Marrero Commons, and Guste. Tenants will be notified directly if they are included in the grant, which will go to the landlords.”
Slim added, “We’re able to take the pressure off for one month so that people don’t have the pressure of worrying about their rent.”
In the same statement, Birdman noted their committed to the community.
“The legacy of Cash Money belongs to the city of New Orleans. There’s nothing more important to us than giving back to the brothers and sisters who live on those same streets we grew up on—from musicians to service workers to everyday working families. That’s what this label was always about.”
In the joint statement, Mayor Cantrell shared, “In years to come, when we look back on how our city came together to get through the coronavirus crisis, we will have no better example of leadership than the Williams brothers, these sons of New Orleans who make our city proud today. No one should have to fear losing their home while trying to protect their health. That is why we have been leading the charge in New Orleans to make housing more affordable, and quickly banned evictions in our city during the COVID-19 crisis. This helps us continue that path, demonstrating how we can come together as businesses, government, and non-profits to address our residents’ most pressing needs now.”