Deb Antney is a respected music industry vet. She has helped build up some of the biggest artists in hip-hop, from Gucci Mane to Nicki Minaj and her son Wake Flocka Flame. Antney has also raised 5 boys while managing a music empire. Antney has always been transparent about her struggles growing up, becoming a single parent, and fighting for respect in the music industry. Let’s take a look back at her journey and how she got to where she is now.
To understand her hustle and why she raised her kids the way she did, you have to know where she came from. For those unfamiliar, Deb Antney opened up about her childhood in several interviews. Antney said her parents were dealers and did their business right in plain sight of the kids. This meant that Antney had some bad experiences growing up because of the access she had to things, even ODing at one point after playing in some of their protect. The music executive recalls how tough her parents where on her. This raised Antney to be rough, and at one point, she even declared that she looked up to her parents and their lifestyle. She aspired to be just like them and be one of the best hustlers there ever was.
This rock-hard exterior came in handy for Antney because life came at her fast and hard. The single mother has raised five boys and adopted three girls. She would eventually lose two of her sons under traumatic circumstances. She opened up about her parenting while discussing her stints on reality television. Deb says seeing herself on T.V. helped her identify her dysfunctions. She was able to take accountability for some of the mistakes she made and things she missed. This became even more apparent to her when Waka Flocka Flame revealed he was going to therapy during the series Waka & Tammy. Deb realized at that moment that she had been really hard on her boys because she felt the pressure of raising them in New York City and did not want them to be weak or get taken advantage of. They turned out to be just as tough as their mom, with Waka always getting into lots trouble. She remembers taking him to the emergency room three times in one week because he was always getting into something. It got so bad that at one point, the hospital called The Bureau of Child Welfare because they were worried about Waka’s well-being.
Deb says that her reluctance to show emotion to her boys felt like a good idea at the time but hurt later on when one of her sons took his own life. Kayo Redd was a fellow rapper like his big brother Waka and had just released a mixtape called Red Kisses earlier in the day before taking his own life. Kayo had been struggling with losing his eyesight and online trolls. Deb admits that she never sat down and spoke to him, so she was unaware of what he was going through. After his passing, Deb would find out that Kayo fathered a child right before passing, and the baby was born a few months after his passing. Deb says the baby brought their family some comfort, knowing that they had a little part of him still with them.
At the time of Kayo Redd’s passing, Deb tweeted that she had just lost another son. Prior to his loss, Deb lost son RahRah in 2000. The teen had snuck out of the house to help a friend with some homework and was hit by a car on the way home. Waka blamed himself for years because he encouraged his brother to go. Deb says it took Waka years to come to terms with this, and he eventually broke down crying one night decades later, admitting to his mom that he encouraged his brother to go out that night.
Tragedy would strike for Antney and her boys again in 2019. She and her son Wooh Da Kid were involved in a terrible car accident. While driving their Dodge Durango, Deb and her son’s car reportedly flipped four times, leaving them both badly bruised. Antney took to social media to share a picture of the vehicle and reassure fans that she and her son were alright. She thanked her boys RahRah and Kayo, believing they protected her from heaven. She also thanks her son Wooh for getting them out of the mangled vehicle despite his own injuries. She thanked God for her life and family and reassured fans that she was fine.
She seemed to really have changed, and her response shows how years of hardships and learning have softened her a bit and allowed her to see the positive in something so traumatic. Kudos to Deb on her continued growth.