Earlier this year, she made news for fearlessly cussing out various media outlets when they reported that both Gucci and Nicki Minaj had dismissed her from her managerial duties. Like, on some real street sh*t. Her super thick Queens, NY accents shocked and saddened all the people that thought Waka’s wack azz was a product of the South.
In a new interview with Vibe.com, Debra Antney reveals the trauma in her life that lead her – and her son – to the public eye.
My dad wasn’t that perfect man. He was an addict. At the age of 9 years old, I OD’d. There was no Bureau of Child Welfare to come to protect me. Me, playing with a mountain of heroin, thinking it was baby powder, it absorbed in my body. Those are stories that people don’t tell. Those are stories back then where there weren’t people there to save us. I remember sitting in the car with my father telling me to look out while he robbed a place that my moms was working. And I had to be the lookout. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. My father just told me to watch out, make sure the people ain’t come cause they had did something wrong and I had to look out. I remember going on 150th street strapped with deuces—you know, $2 bags of dope—around my body. I didn’t ask for this. There’s a lot of things I didn’t ask for but it was hand-delivered to me.
On realizing Waka blamed himself for his little brother’s fatal car accident:
My son was killed in 2000 and Waka was like 13 years old, going on 14. And it was hard. Since my son died,that’s when [Waka] flipped. He hated everything dealing with school because my son, his death was a sneak out the house to go help a kid with his homework before his father came home so the kid wouldn’t get a beating. Waka told him to go, he’ll cover for him. So [when he was biking home and killed by a car] Waka blamed hisself. He feels very responsible for my son’s death—that’s what flipped him out.
It wasn’t until recently [that I realized.] One night he just bust into my room and he was crying so hard and I jumped out the bed and I automatically started crying. I thought it was Gucci, ‘cause at that time Gucci was running so wild. I immediately started crying, like “Oh my God, what the hell happened?”—that time of the night somebody coming in the room. He just dropped to his knees and [was] like, “Ma, please forgive me.” I’m like, “What do you mean forgive you? What did you do?” I’m crying and I’m like “Where is Gucci?” Just yelling ‘cause I used to make him go to watch Gooch, like, ”Make sure Gucci’s okay,” ‘cause Gucci was going so wild. I’m still thinking something happened to Gucci and he’s not telling me ‘cause, like, where is he? Them two, you never seen one without [the other]—they were so inseparable it was pathetic. And then that’s when he told me: “I’m the one that told him he could go. I covered for him.” So all this time this kid walked around holding this stuff inside of him.
On her business split with Gucci:
In order for him to have grown up, he had to do things on his own. Every time he do something I’m right to the rescue to clean up, to do whatever. And he’s not gonna learn anything by doing that. We talked and he’s like, “Auntie I wanna create a label and I wanna be able to do this, to see if I can do this, and you just back me on it.” At first I was like “Oh, hell no.” It was so hard to just release and let him go, knowing the kind of person he is. But he’s like, “If I do this would you do that for me?” And he did, he went to rehab and he did what he had to do and I had to keep my word. It wasn’t what the people made it out to be. People took it somewhere that it wasn’t. I think all of us played roles in allowing the people to come in and crush the whole movement, because it had gotten so ugly. But it was to stay to back so he could do whatever he had to do; we had to keep playing the game.
We were feeling Auntie Deb too… until she started talking about how bright Waka was – “Bright as hell. Honors.” – and how he’s still an avid reader to this day.