Bronald Oil Update: Birdman Covers Up Tattoo, Stokes Skepticism
Rapper-turned-oil magnate Birdman (a.k.a Bryan “Baby” Williams) may have reneged on his and brother Slim’s (a.k.a. Ronald Williams) plans to start an oil company. The Cash Money Records founder was sighted with a new star tattoo on his skull that all but completely blocks out the inked-on “Bronald” logo taken as a symbol of his devotion to the endeavor. Dubbed Bronald Oil and Gas as a synthesis of the brothers’ first names, the company generated a lot of buzz in the entertainment and hip hop worlds when a website went up in January and seemed to represent a serious business endeavor. An interview in Ozone Magazine February 12 added to speculation when it fanned a rumor that the business had already turned $100 million.
Birdman: I’ve been in the oil business about 4 or 5 years now. That’s something me and my brother decided to do outside of music. I read about oil a lot and I was able to get in business. [My company] is called Browner Oil [sic] and I’m making good money off that; that’s something for my kids and my kids’ kids. They can live off that money forever.
Ozone: Not to get in your pockets too much, but I heard you’ve made over $100 million off oil.
Birdman: I did a few different deals. That was just one of them. When you’re dealing with oil, you buy in different areas. Right now I’m active; I got pumps and sh** that are getting money monthly. I like that oil sh**. I’m gonna put some more time into it. (Ozone Magazine, February 12)
According to Bloomberg, the Williams brothers’ publicist Kia Selby declined to comment on the oil company and a search for other signs of credibility turned up dry: no listed phone number, no business address (only a beachfront residence in Florida, and a residence in New Orleans), and no record in permit or Secretary of State offices in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.
That and the tattoo cover-up can mean only one of two things: the company is totally fake, or the “King of Bling” is re-tooling his approach. The verdict will have to wait until someone interviews him next. With another album coming out (Precious 2, spring 2010) that chance will soon be upon us.