Watch: Birdman Asks Prison Inmates If Reading Books Would Help Them


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Bryan "Birdman" Williams left the Internet in shambles after a video of his speech to prison inmates in New Orleans went viral for all the wrong reasons.

In a clip that was posted on Wednesday, June 19, you can see the Cash Money Records co-founder speak to a group of inmates inside the Orleans Parish Prison in his hometown. During the conversation, Birdman said he had the power to get them access to whatever they needed. When one man suggested providing them with more books, Birdman responded with a question.

"You really think books gon — and no disrespect to reading books," he replied.

Birdman meant well, but the out-of-context clip generated numerous opinions and some jokes at his expense. Some people criticized the veteran music executive for scoffing at the notion of reading books. Others cooked up memes that used hilarious clips from movies, viral videos and the famous catchphrase from his interview with The Breakfast Club.

"Somebody said Birdman was trying to give them an escape plan and dude blew it 😂," one X user wrote.

"I bet these inmates was crying after getting advice from Birdman," another person commented.

The Cash Money Millionaire's speech at the jail happened ahead of YouTube's plans to recognize him and his brother Ronald "Slim" Williams for their contributions to the music industry. Earlier this month, the video streaming platform announced Baby and Slim as the honorees for its 2024 Leaders and Legends Gala in celebration of Black Music Month.

“We at YouTube are committed to pushing the culture forward, so leading the charge to celebrate Cash Money’s impact via Birdman and Slim’s leadership is an honor,” Tuma Basa, YouTube’s Director of Black Music and Culture, said in a statement. “As a platform with a global reach and influence, it is our responsibility to acknowledge and elevate the stories of black trailblazers in the industry and remind the world of the immeasurable impact black music has on the culture globally, and that’s what Leaders and Legends is all about.”

The gala will happen on June 27 in Los Angeles. See more fan reactions to Birdman's recent prison visit below.

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