Many know Young Buck from his stint as a member of G-Unit as well as his ensuing solo career after the group’s end, but before the emcee rapped alongside 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, he spent a lot of time with Birdman, who took him under his wing after he wowed him with an impressive freestyle. After a few years of soaking up some knowledge from Baby and artists from Cash Money Records, he stepped away — a decision he recently explained.

According to the “Shorty Wanna Ride” star, he hung out with members of the label for years, but aside from appearances in a few music videos, he had nothing to show for it.

He found himself “getting lost more and more” as he waited for a potential contract from Birdman, but the labelhead was busy helming the blossoming careers of artists like Juvenile and Lil Wayne, and simply couldn’t focus on cultivating another artist.

“I think with all the success that was coming with them, and Baby having to stay—and I understand it now,” Buck told VladTV. “At the time I didn’t understand it, just to be honest, but, like you said, they were dropping all of these different albums, and Baby was basically chasing the success with the artists that was actually winning. I don’t think he was looking to actually take the time to try to get another artist established when he already got a group that’s doing so much, and I made my own decision to say, you know what? Lemme just get up out this loop.”

“I became older, a little more eager for wanting my shot to happen and I left,” he continued. “Came back home and…the independence of me as an artist started…once I left from Cash Money. I came back to ground zero, and I created a name for myself.”

The “Get Buck” rapper went on to sign with UTP Records, and eventually landed a meeting with 50 Cent, who later signed him to G-Unit Records.