Max B: The Caged Byrd Sings

N o stranger to the prison system, Dipset affiliate Max B, (government Charly Wingate), had just returned from doing a seven-year bid when he descended on the rap game in 2005. Fast becoming a fixture on both Jim Jones’ solo albums and Byrdgang mixtapes, the rapper and singer also known as Bigavelli wowed fans with his unorthodox hooks, magnetic presence, and prolific musical output. Unfortunately, just as his career was positioned to take off and with a solo album in the works, fate had it that Max B collided with the authorities once again. Today, he is locked up in the Bergen County Jail Correctional Facility in New Jersey, facing 30 years to life for a case stemming from a September 2006 conspiracy murder and robbery charge. Staunchly maintaining his innocence and optimistic about beating the case, Bigavell is only disappointed that he has not been shown more support from his colleagues in the industry. Given the controversy and confusion surrounding his predicament, Max felt it was best for the people to hear the truth straight from the source. Using two of his 15-minute time allowances, Bigavell called in from the jacks to tell AllHipHop.com his side of the story and enlighten the fans.

AllHipHop.com: How has it been for you in there this time around?

Max B: It’s me. You know me, Bigavell. I do what I do, man. Once I’m in here, I ain’t a superstar no more, I ain’t in the streets, right now, I’m a convict man, I got my oranges on. I’m passing my time gambling, reading, still writing a lot of bars, just waiting to come out, man; it’s nothing. I’m just holding my head, trying to stay strong, man.

AllHipHop.com: Let’s talk about a day in the life there…

Max B: Right now I’m in the box 23 hours in the day. They switch the hours up so sometimes I might be in there for 27 hours. I really, really wanna get out this joint, so for anybody to think I can just sit up in here and do time like it’s easy [and I’m] standing on my head, that’s not true, man. I should be out of here man, the love that n***as displaying for me, I don’t know if n***as calling it tough love or what, man. The only people that’s showing me support now is literally my family and my lawyers. Life in here, this is nasty s**t they got me sitting in, but it’s all love, I’m here with my brother Poohsimc.

AllHipHop.com: Do you think that the case they’re building against you is strong?

Max B: No it’s not a strong case at all, they ain’t got nothing on me, this county real crazy. It’s just a bunch of he say, she say- it’s weak, they ain’t got nothing on the boy. I wasn’t in the state when it occurred, they just trying to put something together, it’s a lot of speculation, man. Like I said, when I beat this- remember how I popped when I came home in ’05? That’s the type of s**t I’m coming home on, the same wave, it’s going to be really crazy.

AllHipHop.com: You seem to be in pretty high spirits, do you feel confident that you’re going to get out?

Max B: I’m always in high spirits, man, that’s the way my moms raised me. I’m a special character, this s**t can’t break me; I’ve been doing this shit since I was a kid. I’m not bragging about it, but that’s just the way God dealt me my cards. It’s like a game of spades: you get a bad hand, you can’t throw your hand in, you gotta keep playing.

AllHipHop.com: So what’s being done right now to help get you out?

Max B: I got my lawyers working, shout out to my lawyer Gerald Saluti, big up to him, we trying to get that bail lowered down. Right now it’s at 1.7 mil, it was lowered from 2, so we trying to get it reduced to about 1 million or something more around our price range, because that thing kinda high you know? But I’m hanging in there, I got a lot of people working right now, shout out to Killa Cam, shout out to the bosses, everybody on stand by ‘cause it’s crazy, it’s out of my price range right now, I ain’t even gonna lie.

AllHipHop.com: So Cam has been showing support?

Max B: You already know, he reached out to me; we talked. Everything was love. Whoever I shouted out, it’s love.

AllHipHop.com: What is the status of your relationship with Jim Jones right now?

Max B: You know, we cool, we spoke a couple of times. I congratulate him on his career, he’s doing good right now. But like I said, I’m here, I’m still here, I’m waiting for someone to save me. My bail got lowered so hopefully I can get up out of here. I need somebody with some wings to come down and come scoop me up out of here. But I’m not here to talk bad about nobody, I’m trying to resurrect myself and let the people know that I apologize for letting them down, and I’m still here and my sound will still live on forever. And when I come home I will single handedly take over the game by storm like Hurricane Katrina. But shout out to the bosses, I see what they doing, I’m happy for everybody and I congratulate them on everything. But I’m still here though, people too busy for me right now, but I’m still waiting.

AllHipHop.com: If you had a choice when you get out, would you stay with Asylum or would you try to get another deal?

Max B: I got to get my business right, man, make sure everything is squared away on the business end man. I love Byrdgang, I love making the music, I love the way the hooks coincide with the music, the way we do everything is perfect. We got a great chemistry and I would love to continue making music, it’s just that the business side got to be right and squared away. Once that happens, then I can continue to do work with the people, if not, we’ll see what happens.

AllHipHop.com: Tru Life made a reference to you and said something along the lines of “Jim if you’re really ballin, why is your ghostwriter still locked up?” What do you think about that statement?

Max B: I don’t know, it sound the way it sound man, there’s people out there talking. I don’t even know Tru Life, that’s the first time I ever even heard of him, but for him to say something like that, that should be something the people are responding to. If Tru Life is saying that and he’s way out there, then imagine what people that are down with us are saying! That’s crazy.

AllHipHop.com: Can you address the ghostwriting rumors?

Max B: You know I wouldn’t say… I mean y’all can look at the credits man, C. Wingate on everything, you smell me, baby? That’s all I can say right there, when you look at the C. Wingate you see. Like I said, Jim is a talented individual, he was talented before he met me, when I was in the system, he was already on projects. I just bring a lot of hooks and I bring a lot of energy. I’m like Jason Kidd on the NBA courts, when I play, everybody gets better; when I come bring my game, everybody steps up. I’m just an energy battery, when you put me in the studio everybody revolves around what I got going on.

AllHipHop.com: Did you expect more loyalty from people in the game?

Max B: Yeah, I expect more loyalty, ‘cause I’m a loyal person and when it’s time for me to work, I do my job description. And I don’t think anybody in a different situation with my talent would be sitting in the joint as long, you feel me? And let’s just say for instance I had half of the money, would I be out? That is still a question. It’s just scary that nobody really supporting me right now man. My wife literally is nine months pregnant; nobody sent a stroller my way or nothing, man. I’m on my real s**t right now, but it’s all good, man, God with me, I’m with my family, it’s all good- you cut the grass low, you see the snakes.

AllHipHop.com: What has this whole experience taught you about the rap game and what would you advise people to do?

Max B: I would just advise people to get your money right- everything that glitters ain’t gold, you can’t trust nobody’s work. If you go in this industry unprotected, it’s like going in, excuse my French, into some p***y raw- you gambling, you might come out with something you don’t like. You gotta protect yourself and get your business squared away, word.

AllHipHop.com: There’s a new Byrdgang album coming out, will you be heavily featured on that album, even though you are incarcerated?

Max B: Oh, certainly. If the Byrdgang album is coming, for sure I’ma be on there. You know Bigavell riding down with that wave real prolific, man. I sure hope that I have quite a few features on there. There wasn’t too many Byrdgang songs done without me, so if it is a Byrdgang album and I ain’t on it, then I can’t call it. There’s really gonna be something wrong with the league if Bigavell ain’t involved on that one.

AllHipHop.com: You worked on your music a lot during your first bid, are you doing a lot of that this time?

Max B: Yeah, a little bit. You gotta understand that when I did the seven years and I was working on the music, I didn’t use none of that music when I came home. That was a training bid; I had come home and did some whole other s**t. I had never even been in the studio before my previous bid. But I’m focused on my new sound and just getting back out there before the game gets lost away and I gotta flush it back out. The way the game is now, I don’t even want to say it, man, but you know what I’m talking about, it’s despicable.

AllHipHop.com: Do you want to elaborate on that?

Max B: There’s a lot of disgraceful music out there I’m hearing, and it ain’t even the artists, man, it’s the politics. The way the game is, the way the music gotta sound to get the radio spins, and they pushing on you 15, 20 times a day you hear the record. Now that I’m incarcerated I can hear the radio more, I can hear what’s being played. Shout out to the DJs – Green Lantern, Kay Slay, especially Kay Slay for keeping my name alive, I appreciate what y’all are doing. I’m here, Bigavell, I’ll be out real shortly, real shortly.

AllHipHop.com: What kind of other stuff did you have about to pop off before you got locked up?

Max B: Aw man, it was crazy. I had the album already done, I recorded so many songs while I was with Jim over the previous year, I would say 100-something songs, just me alone. And then I did the Byrdgang thing on the side, we had about 70/80 songs on that end, then I worked on various mixtapes; I had the Public Domain trilogy popping off, I let one of those out before I came in, shout out to Big Mike. I’m about to let out another one, The Prequel, shout out to Big Mike on that one as well, so you’ll hear that. I got a lot of things out there, and a lot of to come, and a lot of things for the future. So I’m just waiting for the opportunity to get back and shut the game down and put my sound back out there, and rid the game of all this disgraceful music that’s out there.

AllHipHop.com: What do you think about the whole situation with Cam and 50, you were on the first Jay-Z diss, so do you think you would have been involved in this beef at all?

Max B: Oh you know me personally man, right about now I probably would have been involved some way. With all this publicity and name-calling going around, if it wasn’t 50, it would’ve been one of them other dudes. I’d a been coming at dudes literally, I’d a been putting all kind of hooks together, choruses, it would’ve been the Dipset, G-Unit, Byrdgang frenzy cause I would be riding on whoever. You already know when I ride on you, it ain’t good. It’s like a hound, when I start putting that musical wave on you it ain’t just verses, I’m coming with whole records-I know how to do this. I know when all the rappers go back to their musical mixtape stash and they really listening to they favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, Max Bigavell, they will say, “Damn, I wish I wouldn’t have had beef with this kid, this kid go hard.”

AllHipHop.com: How do you approach your music in the studio, how do you go in?

Max B: That’s so ill, ‘cause I’m right here now, right now with a mess hall tray in front of me and I might do a joint called “Farina and Waffles” you know what I’m saying? I might do a joint called “Chicken and Rice” and just go in there, but my hooks [are] so strong that they super cede my all-around package. N***as be so caught up in the hooks that they don’t even know that my 16’s is ferocious, my all around flow. When you hear me solo, you’ll hear the whole package, you’ll hear Bigavell in pure form.

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