Benjamin M. Ingram recently posted an interview he did with Lil Wayne back in early 2008 on the new Myspace to celebrate Tha Carter III reaching it’s fifth anniversary. This interview was done for Vibe magazine, but for some reason it was never published.
During the interview, Weezy F Baby spoke about his health, his creative process, planning to retire at 35, being in love, drugs, his family, why he works as hard as he does, playing the guitar, his relationship with Mannie Fresh, Tha Carter III, what motivates him, Cash Money Records, what he would be doing if he was not in the music industry, fans, legacy, if he would rather be Jay-Z or 50 Cent, and plenty more.
You can read the full interview after the jump below. It is a great read for any Tune fan!
Between 2006 and 2008, there was no MC hotter than Lil Wayne. After being written off as little more than a footnote to the late-’90s Southern rap scene, Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Michael Carter, Jr., had emerged from the smoldering ruins of Cash Money Records and its once-explosive Hot Boys crew as not just a resurgent bright spot, but as a straight flamethrower. And for that two-to-three-year stretch, he burned brighter by the day.
The streets were on fire, riding the white-hot waves of his relentless flood of mixtapes, while radio and retail crackled with the fury of his guest verses. By 2007, Lil Wayne had seized control of the South and, in his “best rapper alive, since the best rapper retired” claims, he was making a legitimate push for control of the whole game. But despite the unprecedented productivity and with demand at an all time high, his highly anticipated solo album, Tha Carter III, failed to materialize.
Projected release dates came and went even as more and more songs hit the streets. Speculation around the project ran rampant: Wayne couldn’t make a radio hit to match his mixtape burn; Cash Money couldn’t keep the records they wanted for the album out of bootleggers’ hands; Wayne, who had made his heavy drug use well-known both in songs and otherwise, was too high and too unstable to deliver the project.
By the time early 2008 rolled around, there was a general sense that the album may never come out and that Wayne was burning so bright, and using so heavily, that he might flame out in spectacular fashion before he could cement his legacy with a classic retail release.
I was working at VIBE at the time and we were once again facing a dilemma: Wayne was the hottest MC on the planet and it was in our interest, and our readers’, that we cover him, but without a solid release date on the schedule, how should we plan our coverage? Then, the unbelievable happened. Word started coming out of the Universal building that the release of the Tha Carter III was imminent. There was music to hear. There was an interview to be done.
There was a cover story to produce. And so it was that in mid-February 2008, I headed to New Orleans to catch up with Lil Wayne while he was in his hometown for NBA All-Star Weekend. He had one or two media appearances to make—one was at an Adidas pop-up shop—and a couple of paid appearances and parties on deck, including a Myspace Secret Show, a short set at a party being thrown by Shaquille O’Neal and a party on a boat where he kicked it with Juelz Santana.
I spent most of the weekend standing around outside, smoking cigarettes and waiting for details on the events. I ran into Bun B outside of the Secret Show, watched Bill Walton jump off a parade float to order a beer in the French Quarter, met Wayne’s childhood friend-turned-DJ-turned-manager Cortez Bryant for the first time in a massive parking lot behind the convention center, smoked about a pack and a half of Camels while waiting to be invited onto one of the three tour buses the crew was using to slice through the narrow streets of downtown N.O. (one for Wayne and one each for Cash Money Records co-CEOs, brothers Bryan “Birdman” and Ronald “Slim” Williams).
I got to know his security guard, Big John, who makes a cameo shadowing Wayne in the “A Milli” video. At one event, we squeezed into a club thanks to some strategically parked cars that provided a barrier of glass and steel between us and a rabid crowd of some hundreds if not a thousand fans. Upstairs, I watched Wayne smoke blunt after blunt as a string of artists—including Juelz and Rick Ross—stopped by to kick it. Through it all, Wayne always kept a Styrofoam double cup well within reach.
I talked to Birdman on his bus one afternoon in the parking lot of a motel in the outskirts of New Orleans. And as the weekend wound to a close, I finally got on Wayne’s bus to talk to him a bit about everything going on in his world. The interview that night was brief, cut short by a question about his childhood that set him off and immediately killed the conversation’s vibe. Less than a week later, though, I caught up with him in New Jersey, the day after a show in Newark. Once again, we were on his bus, parked in an empty lot at the Meadowlands. Despite the tension that had arisen between us in New Orleans, the conversation that day flowed fluidly and covered a range of topics. He was in good spirits, and he played some new music, including “A Milli,” which blew me away. He talked about having a photo of him as a child on the album cover. I left that second interview confident that Tha Carter III was coming and that he had heat.
While I was working on the story, “Lollipop” arrived and started what almost immediately felt like its inevitable march to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. On June 10, 2008, Tha Carter III finally arrived. With a hit single dominating the airwaves and a pent up demand in the streets, the album jumped off the shelves. A week later, Tha Carter III was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with one million copies sold, becoming the first album since 50 Cent’s The Massacre in 2005. Lil Wayne was no longer a rap star, he was a pop star. And, despite a few health scares and a one-year jail stint, he still is today.
How was All-Star Weekend?
I ain’t really do too much. I’ve had better All-Star weekends. It was at home for me, so you kinda don’t wanna go out too much. Feel like you know everyone, no one new.
I was surprised you didn’t make it more of the actual NBA events.
I wasn’t invited. I mean, I ain’t gonna buy no tickets or shit like that. So I stayed my ass home.
At the Myspace show, you asked people if they’ve ever been in love. Was that showmanship?
I do it every show. In my life man, I’m always in love dude. Always.
Seems like it.
[laughs] Fortunately, yeah.
You enjoy it?
I mean, that lets me know that I have a heart. A lot of people don’t have a heart like that. It takes a lot for a person to fall in love. I’m glad to know that it really don’t take that much for me ’cause love is a beautiful place to be, to know that I don’t need all those first-class tickets to get there.
You seem generally happy and surprised that it happened. You mentioned that you had pushed her away.
Happy and surprised, yeah. It’s been a minute man. It’s been a long time. Love is wonderful, man. My heart big as fuck. I’m like a leaf, I feel everything.
You’ve been in a lot of high-profile relationships over the last few years. Do you see something sticking?
I’m stuck. You ain’t gotta worry bout nothing. I’m through. Throw in the towel, it’s over.
Can you tell me who she is?
Nah, nah. I ain’t allowed to do all that. She just a friend. I’m just glad I got to talk to her again, I haven’t seen her or I ain’t talked to her in so long. You ever ain’t talk to somebody in so fucking long? It started to be so long that I was like, if I could just talk to her again it would be beautiful. And I did. And it was fireworks, man.
Do you think you push people away?
Sometimes, when I want to. You know, my lifestyle, my job. Well, about my life being my job, that comes into play a lot of times. That kinda pushes people away because they start to see that this nigga’s mega-focused on what I’m doing. But you know, it takes a strong-minded ass willed woman to overcome all of that.
How do you feel about commitment?
I love commitment. Anybody will tell you that. I like to test myself with that type of shit, all day. It’s my way of life.
So once someone is in with you, you’re pretty much down to roll?
Yeah, see I ain’t that easy, but yeah. Once I’m with her, I’m with her.
And that goes across the board with friends?
What kind of feeling do you get as you perform or as you record?
I don’t know. There is no feeling. I just do me. In the booth it’s just, “Here we go again.” Onstage it’s, “Here we go again.” You gotta keep going, repetition is the ‘cause of enlightenment. You keep doing anything you gon’ be good at it. If you keep doing it you gonna get great at it.
Are you sick of interviews?
Yeah, I ain’t a people person. I was an only child a lot of my life. I was in my own room by my fucking self, chillin’. So yeah, I ain’t too fond of the interviews and all that type of stuff, but it ain’t bother me or nothin’ like that. It ain’t no pet peeve, but if I had a choice or an option I’d probably choose no. But it ain’t no problem, I do them all. I make sure I’m chillin’. Like right now, you ain’t doing me no harm. I’d be a lazy motherfucker not to.
Do you ever wake up one day and want do some other shit? Like, climb a mountain or something?
Uh-uh. Gangsters stick to the script.
Yet it seems like you’re rewriting it everyday.
Yeah. Up in here is totally different from here.
What does that mean?
My mind thinks of a trillion things at once, Me, I ain’t no spontaneous nigga. But my mind, he is not who you talking to. That’s why when the music starts and I get on those beats and I’m on the stage, some nigga come out that I don’t even know. He’s crazy. I mean listen to the songs. [laughs] This nigga crazy. I just be chillin’ and like, “What the fuck is wrong with this nigga?” (http://www.lilwaynehq.com)
Do you regret not being able to spend more time with your daughter?
Uh-uh. I’m one of those people who’s optimistic, that believes everything happens for a reason. So, I believe it’s supposed to be how it’s supposed to be.
Do you have any regrets?
Yeah, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.
What would you say some of your biggest are?
That’s the thing about regrets, you regret it and that’s that. You don’t keep bringing them up.
Do you feel like you deserve this?
If I didn’t I wouldn’t have it. ’Cause I only got what I deserve. I don’t take nothing. It ain’t about if I feel like I deserve it, I know I deserve it.
Are you scared of death?
Fuck no. Not coming from this motherfucker. And plus I’ve come so close, how could I be scared? Never been scared ever. You can’t be scared. Shit, I’m more afraid of life than death. ’Cause life, I already know what’s poppin round here. It’s scary out here.
There’s a lot of people who are concerned about you in terms of your health. Are you?
No. ’Cause you can’t help it. You gon’ do what you do regardless. People step out their house and can get hit by a fucking bus. I ain’t worried about that. I ain’t trying to kill myself of course. Nigga aight. I eat, sleep and shit like everyone else man. Blood the same color.
With the syrup and everything… Does that concern you?
No. Because, you go when you’re supposed to go. Ain’t no such thing as before your time. What is your time? [laughs] Who the fuck told you had a time? Ain’t no such thing. You go when you go. I never let that affect me. If that was the case, motherfuckers would be dying on buses, eating poison food from restaurants. If that was the case we would be scared to do any damn thing. Anything that has happened has happened. I ain’t on that. I’ma drink my shit.
Have you ever had a moment where you took a look at yourself and your lifestyle and said, “Man I have to chill the fuck out a little bit and take it easy?”
Uh-uh. ‘Cause I don’t go that hard to have to say I need to chill the fuck out and take it easy. That’s what I have to tell the people that be worrying about my health and that’s the biggest argument I have with them. You could never be a Lil Wayne and nobody else gon’ ever be a Lil Wayne, no matter what Lil Wayne drinks, smokes, whatever I do, you could never be me. And I’ll continue to do it. My ethic is stupid. I’m in my city for All-Star Weekend and I’m
trying to find a studio and that’s why as soon as you cut this motherfucker off, this bus is leaving me at the studio. And this is what I do. I go from the stage to the studio and to the club and I’m only going to the club if you paying me to come. I smoke, drink, and fuck and do what, who, and how and I’ma keep doing and I’m die the way I want. And that’s that.Because that’s me. That’s all I know. You know people are put here for a reason, that’s why I’m here. Until you show me something else, this is why I’m here. I love it, I have a passion for it. I’m me, I can do whatever. I can call any bitch and tell her to do anything. I call that nigga and tell him to do anything. I can do anything. This is what I choose to do.
How does that power make you feel?
I love power.
I mean, I can’t do that.
Yes, you could. It’s all about knowing how to do it. That’s why they made the word “how.” You just gotta know how to do it. I had to be me to do it. I ain’t saying nobody else can do that. No, you can do it too, but it may be harder, it’s gonna be harder, but for me, it’s that easy. This is what I choose to do. I have no power.
There’s a music industry legend that when people burn as bright as you’re burning right now, they burn out quick.
Yeah, I know. I think about that and then I light another smoke and laugh [laughs]. Then forget what I thought about. But, yeah I know.
You try not to think about it?
I don’t try not to ‘cause you can’t try not to think about something that’s not impossible. But that has a lot to do with why I work so hard. I’m not at that point yet, but wherever I’m at, I know that when you get there you’re totally different from everybody, every human. You find that you are one at the top, like Biggie and Pac was. You one now, you not human, niggas don’t even believe you shit the same. And when you that one you got a lot of people with you and a whole lot of people against you. ‘Cause you just one now, it’s just you and everybody. Shit crazy.
Do you feel like you’re pushing towards that point?
Oh yeah, that’s what I wanna be. I’m tryna be that one. Fuck it. One fucking life. That’s how you do it. If you don’t do it to be number one, nigga get the fuck out the game.
Do you think about a time when you won’t have to go this hard or when you won’t be interested in going this hard?
That time will come. I know it sounds corny but that’s why I do it—so I won’t have to. That’s why a nigga work so hard. I got shit for years, I’m good. And I don’t wanna be in my daughter’s way, nah mean, when it’s her turn. I want it to be about her.
So you want her to record?
I dunno if she tryna be in it. She ain’t looking for no nine-to-five. She wanna be in entertainment so whatever she tryna do, I know it’s gonna be somewhere involved in this. If I’m still getting DUI’s and all that type shit, that shit gonna affect what she do.
I’m not sure if I would encourage my kid to be a star.
I encourage my kid to be what she wanna be. If she wanna be a star, I’m gonna encourage her to be a star. If she call me tomorrow and say she wanna be a librarian I’ma make sure she the best fucking librarian, nah mean, so that’s mine and I’ma let her control that destiny like my mom did me. ’Cause if not you a deadbeat motherfucking parent… I don’t hide the world from her. She know when Pimp C died and all that, ‘cause the world ain’t gonna hide itself. I don’t want her to come to a fork in the road and not know which way to go, nah mean? (http://www.lilwaynehq.com)
Sure. Do you ever think about or feel grateful for what would be considered a risk that your mother took with you?
I’m grateful for everything and it wasn’t a risk, ‘cause if it was a risk then… ’cause it’s not a risk. I don’t get what you’re saying? I’m a human, I was born, I was in her stomach nine months just like you was in ya mom, I deserve a chance, a shot at life and I deserve the opportunity to do what the fuck I want ‘cause my fucking ancestors died for that, nah mean, and my great God son did the same too, died for me to do these things. And my momma smart. She ain’t risking, nigga, what the fuck wrong with you? That wasn’t no risk, bitch, that’s just intelligence. She’s a millionaire now. Great fucking risk, you stupid.
I wasn’t tryna…
I was telling you you stupid, next question. That ain’t no risk nigga, that’s a smart fucking mother, “Do what the fuck you want nigga and I’m with you.” If you got a child, I’m sorry for your fucking child, ‘member like ol’ boy used to sing about it, ‘I feel sorry for your momma’ [singing], I feel sorry for ya child. He want five lives [laughs].
She smart, nigga, she saw her son being passionate and had talent and she let him chase it. She smarter than a lot of motherfuckers. She let me chase it at a young age, I ain’t gonna wait. Go get it! That’s the way I look at it. Niggas smoking cigarettes when I smoke the best weed. She do, too. Put that in there [laughs]. Next question, fool.
When you think about 10 years from now, what do you think about doing?
I live for the moment, never the future. I can’t think that far, I get too high to even see 10 years from now.
When you were playing guitar, you said you like to give people something different than what they would expect. In what way do you mean in particular?
I like to give them something different, be different than what they perceive me as. People may have thought coming out to the show the other night that they going to get five niggas on the mic talking about “Yo, yeahhh” after every two words. But then they got singing, then they got some comical parts, some charisma basically… enthusiasm, some shit like that. I say if you coming to see a show, that’s exactly what the fuck I give you.
Do you make a lot of songs that don’t get released?
Yeah. Unfortunately I do, and those reasons why they don’t get released is beyond my power, but we find creative things to do with them. We shop them, we give them to some [other] artist, things like that. We find soundtracks to put them on. My creative process is just simple. I don’t write nothing so it’s simple as my moods. Whatever I feel is what I’ma talk about.
Do you think everything you do in the booth is worthwhile, or do you have songs you record off the top and you’re like, “That’s a piece of shit, erase it now?”
I’ve done that before. I’m not going to seem like I’m not human, so yes of course. I’ve listened to something and been like, “That shit was wack, trash it.” But I could probably count how many times I did that on my hand.
You talk a lot about feeling like you’re in a zone. How does that feel different from what you were doing before?
It doesn’t. That’s the scary part. It don’t feel no different, I still feel like there’s something I have to prove. I still feel like I’m not being respected. I still feel like I don’t have the crown. I still feel like there’s still something I have to do that hasn’t been done. I feel like I haven’t said things that I’m supposed to say to make every motherfucker say that that nigga’s that nigga. I get that shit from a lot of people, but I don’t get the recognition from the people I should be getting recognized from, and that’s my peers in this game.
So you don’t feel more free in the booth than you ever have before?
Uh-uh. There’s still restraints. I don’t feel like I’m that nigga until I walk in that booth and feel everybody outside of this booth know I’m that nigga. I got something to prove every time I step in that motherfucker. Every time.
On Tha Carter II, it seemed like you broke out a bit with “Shooter” and a couple other records, but now it seems like you’re doing completely different, bananas shit now. Was there a moment where you were like, “I don’t have to be the rapper that people think I need to be, I can just get in here and do ‘Pussy Monster’?”
I’ve always said what I wanted. I’ve always stood outside the loop, when I was in the group Hot Boys and everyone cursed, I was the only rapper who didn’t curse. People said, Who tattoos their face as a kid? When [everybody] left Cash Money, who was the nigga that stood and acted like that shit was an imperial place to be? Me. I always did what I wanted to do, not giving a fuck what nobody says. ‘Cause I never had a brother or sister, so I never had nobody criticize me for what I do.
Do you take pride in pushing the limit? Is it something you’re consciously doing?
Everything just comes naturally. I don’t sit around and say, “You know what we should do?” or “I should’ve,” or sit around for a whole year and think of something… That’s not me. If I think of it, we need to execute it right now or at least a day away from now or I’ma forget about it ’cause so much shit be in my head. If I ever sat down and planned something and really wanted to sit down and strategize anything, I’d fuck around and take over the whole world. So rappin’ must be what I’m planned for. (http://www.lilwaynehq.com)
What’s different about the Carter III?
The last album’s called the Carter II.
[laughs] I’m fucking around. Of course maturity, the person is totally different, financially different. I’ve been inside better pussy since the Carter II. Better miles, I’ve kissed better bitches. My daughter grown, I ain’t said she got older, notice I said she grown. There’s a lot of things. I have to take on a lot of responsibilities, a lot of things into consideration. Creatively I’ve grown. That’s a big difference on there. I’m involved in a lot of production on there, I’m mixing my own album this time, mastering my own album. That’s a new challenge for a nigga. That’s going to be a major difference so I get to tell you exactly how I’ma sound.
How does it feel now being free from the Mannie Fresh relationship? You’ve moved on for several years, how have you evolved in terms of that?
At that time I probably walked in the studio with “Let’s make a hit without Mannie,” but now I walk in the studio and I’m like, “Let’s make music… great music.” And I do whatever it takes to make it. If that takes me picking up a guitar and actually learning how to play it, then that’s what it takes. If it takes me getting on these drum sets, then that’s what it takes. If it takes me learning how to sing these notes, then that’s what it takes. And that’s what I’ve been doing and that’s what you get on this album. I am creatively a monster now. Musically—a phenomenon. I’m unbelievable in the studio, it’s crazy. It’s unbelievable to me and everybody around me. And it makes people around me get better in whatever they do, even if they not rappers. Whoever they are it just makes them want to get better because they around greatness. I go in that motherfucker and get in. I love that place, the studio, so nobody can take it from me.
How does it feel?
Like pussy. Good pussy, too. Nah, it feels like, you know how you go into a classroom and say it’s exam day, and you know you didn’t study everything for that test, and the test get in front of you and you see it and you like, “Damn, I know every answer.” You know that feeling? You don’t even worry. Forget the grade. That’s how I feel when I get in the studio. Like, “Damn, I know all the answers.”
Do you think you’d be as happy not making music?
Nowhere near. I love my music. Next to my mom and my daughter, ain’t shit else, and God of course, after that, nothing else. Music is first and last.
Outside of the economic benefits of being an artist, what motivates you?
Can you get better? That’s what motivates me. People like Jay-Z, people like Prince, to see someone that great and to know I’m nowhere near that yet and I know how far I gotta go to get there and to know how much people respect me now for whatever little shit I’ve done, or a lot of shit I’ve done or however you look at it, it’s great to know that I still got a whole lot to do. I can only imagine how beautiful that’s gonna be.
Do you see yourself being 65 and making music, B.B. King style?
Nope. I always said I don’t want to be doing shit after 35, 30. I always said 31, 32 I want to be some type of big exec. It ain’t good to be making music that old. What the fuck am I gon’ talk about? I look at it like Jay said: “What more can I say?” That’s why I work so hard, because I want my future to be beautiful. From 35 to 40 I want to tour the world. I don’t want to have no job, I want to be an exec, I want my money to be making money for itself. I just want to take me and my woman and my kids and go every-fucking-where. I’ma do it and I’ma have an artist paint in one of my walls in my crib a map, a globe of the world and I’ma stand on it. Matter fact, I’ma stand away from it and I’ma throw a dart and my kids are gonna throw a dart. And wherever that dart lands, fuck it, that’s where we gon’ go. I could do it now, I just want to do it then. I just don’t have a map.
So you don’t look at 8 Ball and MJG and Scarface…
Different time, can’t compare that. Different era, different money, different people, different ways, different bitches, different clothes, different year, different President, different everything. They whole career was real rap, they whole career don’t amount to Carter II. I don’t want niggas to be like, damn, some new rapper by the time I’m 30-something be doing something so amazing that his one line is colder than everything, it sums up my whole career. I don’t want that. I don’t know if I’ma be able to still do this. But thank God the style I have right now is so good I can’t imagine myself doing this shit 10 years from now. I’m already out this mug.
What do you think is your advantage over everybody else?
My ethic. You work like I work then it’s gon’ be hard for motherfuckers to say anything. I don’t care if the shit you was doing was wack. Remember Master P put out like a zillion albums? I’d be the first to say all of that shit was WACK, but he did it. And we know Master P for that. We don’t know not one of them groups he put out and he put out 30 albums, and we don’t know not one of them if it ain’t true. I don’t know ’em, and I’m from New Orleans.
How much do you think being raised in the game has given you an advantage?
Oh my gosh, that’s so perfect for me ’cause I know everything. You might get me in a fucking grocery store and see how dumb I am to the real world, but you in this music shit, ain’t nothing you could tell me. I walk this bitch with my eyes closed. I know this shit. I’ve been in this shit since I was 11. I wrote my first rap when I was eight. Got signed when I was 12 and had my first album when I was 12 with B.G. I’m 25 now.
I feel like even then on top of that you also weren’t Bow Wow.
Nahhh, not at all. I was from the streets for real. My momma wasn’t gon’ let me get on there talking about no “A,B,C 1,2,3, my girlfriend love me, I love you.” [My mother was like] “Tell them bitches boy, how we do.” My momma a G.
What have you learned from watching Cash Money evolve?
Loyalty. I learned that loyalty is the closest thing to magic. Meaning you don’t know too many people with magic, you don’t know too many loyal people either. A lot of niggas like to say they loyal. They making people think they loyal, but they only loyal to themselves when they doing that. But I ain’t gon’ out you for it, because I know loyalty is like magic and I’m not expecting you to know magic. I’m just expecting a good album out of you. So that’s how I look at that. Friendship—all that type of shit. As you grow older you start to realize that all that shit is dead, it’s like magic. There’s no such thing. (http://www.lilwaynehq.com)
Nah, there’s no such thing as friendship when you get to a certain age. Unless you know a nigga with magic, then you might know a real friend.
Do you feel like you’re alone?
Nah. I have a nine-year-old. I could never be alone.
Family being much different than friendship.
Yeah, family ain’t on the same level. Friendship is magic and family is obvious.
Do you distrust people?
I put myself in a mental position where I don’t have to. I don’t have to trust you or distrust you. I don’t give a fuck about you. I don’t give a fuck what you do. You could never harm me and take what I got going on. You could never take this down. I’m too good. You gotta kill me, and I worked too hard already so even if you kill me I won’t die. So, tough. You got no magic.
You talk a lot about not giving a shit about what other people are think.
Mmm-hmm. You ever read the definition of “insane”? It’s a person that cares a lot about what people think about them. Caring about another person’s thoughts of your actions. When you think about it, it’s insane. How the fuck I’m gon’ worry about it? I wake up every morning by my fucking self.
And yet, in your show you say to fans, “Without you guys I ain’t shit.”
At all. And that’s real. Without ’em I ain’t shit. I don’t care about what nobody think. That’s just me and I think that’s what they love about me. If you gon’ come to my concert, I care about that. I care about you being here, for me. And I acknowledge that and I let you know I ain’t shit. This ain’t even a show without y’all being here. Same shit get said every night when I step onstage. Same shit I say when I get on my knees to pray. That’s how it be.
Where would you be without the fans?
In New Orleans, on the corner some-fucking-where. Nah, I’m smart as shit. I’d probably be in school somewhere doing something tryin’ be a lawyer to something. I always wanted to be a lawyer.
What do you like about law?
Um, I like that it controls the world. I like to get into something that controls the world. I guess either that [or] a teacher or a doctor. I can’t be a doctor ‘cause I’m not healthy. Meaning I smoke and drink, so, I can’t be no doctor. A teacher, I feel like I’m already accomplishing that by what I do.
What are you teaching?
How I live. I feel that that’s enough. I ain’t saying I’m set out to teach spelling and science, history. I’m teaching about me. And about the lifestyle of people like me.
What’s the lesson to take away from that?
I can’t give it to ya. I just need to teach. I just gotta do shows.
Do you ever think you need to stop doing drugs?
Well, yeah. I will. I will. Shit gon’ get played out. I know myself. But the shit ain’t easy man, that shit be fucking up my stomach.
That’s what I hear.
Yeah, man, the shit ain’t right. That shit like dope. I know you ain’t probably never feel dope. But when you on dope, that shit is stupid. That shit is, whooooo. You will literally feel it going nigga. Like the Pepto Bismol commercial, when the pink shit go down across the red part. You can feel this shit really doing that.
Did it freak you out?
Yeah, it pissed me off just ’cause I couldn’t get off of it. That pissed me the fuck off. ’Cause I can take pain good. I kinda think you need pain every once in a while. But that wasn’t the pain I could take. Sorry, I ain’t that strong. I even shot myself, that shit ain’t feel nowhere near that. I was like, Lord. [starts breathing heavy] Breathe, nigga. I’m ’bout to go do yoga classes, nigga. The standing dog. [laughs] You know what I mean.
So it’s got to be hard imagining actually kicking it then.
Yeah, I will. My doctor, a long time ago, he gave me these pills. I lost them, but it was these pills and he told me this is what you take to get off them. I’ma see. I never tried ’em. So if them bitches work, then I probably gotta start. Other than that, it’s gon’ be hard. What a nigga told me to do is start lessening my amount. So what I do, I tell niggas to pour it for me, instead of me pouring it. ’Cause if I pour it, I just be like, well yeah.
How much do you think you take?
Who knows? I don’t even know. But now that I tell them to pour it, I be patient. I be having to put Jolly Ranchers in the thing. ’Cause they don’t put shit in there. I be thinking niggas is just fucking with my head to tell you the truth. But nah, I’ma be aight. I’ma get off that shit ‘cause I got sleep apnea. You know that shit Pimp C had? I got that. My doctor been told me I had that when you stop breathing when you sleep for ’bout 10 seconds. My whole [crew] stay getting scared. But I got that shit. But you know, maybe I’ll slow down.
What do you like about getting fucked up?
I don’t get fucked up. If I got fucked up, then I’d be messed up. This what my nigga Mac told me one time—he said, “That nigga, he so high all day that when he sober, that’s his high ’cause he’s never sober.” So if a nigga sober, he high as a motherfucker. He ain’t used to being sober. That’s how a nigga feel.
You’re definitely one of the most lucid dudes I’ve met smoking this much trees.
I am unusual. I do have a lot thoughts when I get up there. Like, do I have superpowers? [laughs] I wish I knew.
Last time we talked, you talked about getting to the place that you thought 2Pac got to when he was here. How far away do you think you are from that?
I think you have to ask the world that question. I think I could never answer that. ’Cause how could I ever put myself anywhere? That’s y’all’s job. But I told you man, I know it’s gon’ come because that’s where I aim. And that’s greatness when you get like that. Shit, I may change history. I may be the one great nigga that don’t go when it’s time. I wanna be a Bob Marley. I wanna be a 2Pac. Their lives mean so much after they gone. I wanna be like a Biggie. I wanna mean so much after I’m gone. I want a motherfucker to rap like me. How I was like, “I wanna be the next Jay,” I want motherfuckers to be like, “I wanna be the next Wayne.” I want that shit. But I can never say if I’m gon’ get there, when I’m there, if I’m ever there. That’s y’all. (http://www.lilwaynehq.com)
What would you like for yourself to mean to everybody else, whether you’re gone or here?
Just great. That worries me so much, ’cause that’s what I set out to be. I try to be great in everything I do. Great father, great fucker, great lover, great fighter, great kisser, great laugher, great singer, great guitarist, great producer.
Do you still want to be the next Jay?
I wouldn’t mind. You know what, I been thinking, I’d probably rather be the next 50, this nigga is richer than shit ain’t he! I wanna be you, Curtis! Nah, I’m just fucking around, I’d love to be either one of them niggas. I’m respectful, I ain’t one of those niggas who be like “I’m gonna be the next me!” No, nigga, them niggas is somebodies. I would love to be the next Jay or the next 50.
What’s different about them?
I will tell you exactly. I was told this in the Lamborghini store. I told the nigga, “Give me something powerful.” He said a Ferrari shows, “Hey, that’s a rich guy.” A Lamborghini says, “Hey, that’s a wealthy guy.” And I’m like, “What’s the difference?” Rich guy, he got that Ferrari this week and don’t have that bitch next month. Wealthy guy, he got that Lamborghini, and he got a house he’s pulling up next to that muthafucker, and probably two more of them, a family car… the difference between me and them is: I’m rich, they’re wealthy.
So it’s a money thing?
Wealthy mean you straight, you settled in every situation, you good. That mean you so rich, everybody’s mind is at ease. Rich nigga want you to know they got. I know I want you to know, I show it all the time. There’s a difference, man, between rich and wealthy.
But it is an economic thing opposed to how they move, how they rap?
Yeah, of course. I take from their styles though, a lot, because they’re great! And not just them, shit, everybody. You put a dab of this and a dab of that, and you say it your way. You put what you thought about it, how you’d think about it. I don’t really take a nigga’s style, what I do is I think what they rapped about, and think about how I would’ve said it, what I would’ve said in that situation. I think about what they’re actually rapping about instead of how they saying it and how they flow with it.
How much time do you spend thinking about rap and music during the day?
I don’t think it ’til I’m doing it. People probably think I be all day rapping, but I ain’t gonna lie. I don’t think about it until we talking about it. Other than that, we are so sports-ed out. We are little newscasters in this motherfucker.
What do you want everyone to take away from the album?
Great! Great classic. Listen to that bitch everyday, every year. One of them albums.
That doesn’t seem to happen much anymore.
[If it doesn’t happen] Then I’ll try again. Go chill, go on a little break, relax, think about what I’m gonna think about, then come back and eat your ass up again, if I didn’t do it the first time.
Shouts to Adam for the find!