Lil Wayne graces the front cover of XXL magazine’s new issue, which will be available on newsstands on August 12th.
During the cover story, Weezy spoke on his forthcoming Tha Carter V project, his Tha Carter album series, authenticity in hip-hop, Prince being his musical influence, signing Drake and Nicki Minaj to his Young Money Entertainment record label, and more.
You can read a few excerpts from the interview below, as well as view eight pictures from the photo shoot that were captured by Atiba Jefferson!
ON THA CARTER V:
“I was feeling the success of Tha Carter I. I felt like people wanted to hear me. I was amped to do that, but then Tha Carter III? I don’t know what happened. It was amazing. And then Tha Carter IV was just unexplainable, and now this one here, there’s no words. I just hope everyone likes it.”
“I’m always feeling like I ain’t done shit. I’m still nervous about Tha Carter V… I’m confident about what I do, but I’m still nervous about what people think.
ON AUTHENTCITY IN HIP-HOP:
“I know I’m authentic because I’m 35 million years in the game. I don’t know where the authenticity is in the game anymore. Today everyone sounds alike, they looking alike, they acting alike, they dressing alike. I came out when everybody was super different. You had an ODB. You had a Busta Rhymes and then you had a 2Pac. You had a Biggie. And everybody was different. Biggie was talking about Mob and Mafia shit. 2Pac was wylin’, talking about West Coast this and that. You had niggas like Meth and Red talking about how high they got and making people laugh. And then now, you got them, them. You got the categories and then everyone falls under it.”
ON PRINCE BEING HIS MAJOR MUSICAL INFLUENCE:
“It was the way he pronounced words and the way he used his voice. It was like if he was playing with a baby. You know if he was playing with a kid. [Imitates a baby cooing] It was the way that he was exploring it. He wasn’t doing it because it was funny. He was doing it because he could make it sound good and exceptional. I realized that I could do that too. He wasn’t afraid of how he sounded because he knew what he was saying and how he was saying it would always sound good.”
ON SIGNING DRAKE AND NICKI MINAJ:
“Call me old-fashioned and country, but with Drake, that was the first time I’d seen someone that knew how to sing and rap. That’s all it was. I didn’t know nobody who knew how to do that. You had those old school singing niggas, where people would do a little eight-bar verse on their songs. But [Drake] was spitting and singing and killing that too. It took a while though. It wasn’t until I heard him spitting on one of my beats when I was like, ‘This fool’s retarded.’ When I hear something that I know I can’t do better? That’s when I’m like, ‘They need to be on the team.’”
“I wanted a female. Every team needs a female to rep your gang. She was annihilating niggas. I mean males. I was like, ‘I have to beef my shit up on that muthafucka.’ She just knocked it out the park from day one. She’s just Nicki. I don’t know whose idea it was, but it was a good idea.”
Photo credit: Atiba Jefferson