Some would argue that there’s lil’ to understand about Lil Wayne. Others have proved differently, keeping Lil Wayne around longer than many of his counterparts. In either case, Wayne is releasing a benchmark album in his life, and speaking on topics that will raise a few eyebrows. AllHipHop.com caught up with Weezie to clear up some of the buzz, and allow Wayne to straighten some things out as well. Check it, as Wayne sets the stage for his fourth album, The Carter, discusses some turmoil in his label and personal life, and even reveals a new label that dude’s started with WHO? Peep game.
AllHipHop.com: Tell the people about the album. Why did you name it The Carter? What’s it all about? Why do they need to cop it?
Lil Wayne: It’s my fourth solo album; first as a 21 year old. So it’s kinda like my first, as an official adult. I’ve been a man for quite a bit now. The reason I named it The Carter is because everybody knows I’m Lil Wayne. I ain’t dropping the “Lil” because I am a junior, so I can’t drop the [it]. Carter is my last name, so I kinda feel like since it’s my first solo album as an adult, you’re getting the Carter of me. Also, in the movie New Jack City, Nino Brown and the Cash Money Brothers had a building called the Carter, and they did their thing outta there and they had a product that they produced outta there that was very successful. So, I kinda feel like this is “The Carter”. Buy my product. Hopefully you’ll get addicted.
AllHipHop.com: I’m sure you’ve been getting this question like crazy. At the end of the first single, “Bring it Back” with Mannie Fresh, you say, “I’m the best rapper alive, since the best rapper retired”. Should we take that literally?
Lil Wayne: I meant every word I said. So I feel like, you should take it how you want to take it. But I meant it. Yes, I’m the best rapper alive, since the best rapper retired. But now I hear that he didn’t retire, so now I gotta step it up.
AllHipHop.com: What do you base that rank on? What did Jay have that you have that gives you the ability to fill that roll?
Lil Wayne: I have nothing that Jay has, because he’s him. I just felt like, he was the best at him and him as a person, was and is needed in Hip-Hop and needed the most. And I feel like, I’mma do me to the fullest and hopefully, “me” will be needed the most.
AllHipHop.com: I see, I see. At Cash Money, you are definitely needed but there have been a lot of changes since the first platinum selling Hot Boys album. Artists have left and come back, been imprisoned, etc. How has that affected your position over there?
Lil Wayne: The only way I can say that it affected me was that I’m getting more money. A lot more money (laughs). I’m getting a lot more shows. I’m doing a lot more things. It used to be just Juve [Juvenile], and Geezy [B.G.]. Then it used to be all of us. It never was just me. But now it’s always just me, so I’m getting a lot more money. That’s the only way I could say it affected me. I’m a lot more richer, I guess. ‘Cause I’m all about me. I mean, I’ll sacrifice my life on the line for the team, but first, I’m all about me.
AllHipHop.com: So would you say the team is reassembled? I know there were some diss records between you and Juvenile after he left Cash Money. How are things now?
Lil Wayne: Can I clear something up?
AllHipHop.com: Sure, you can always clear things up…
Lil Wayne: Lil Wayne never put out a diss record at Juve. Because if I would have it would have been the biggest record. I never put out sleepers, I’m sorry. A lot of people is like, “Ya’ll was dissin’.” I mean I heard he put out a record. But I never heard it, so I don’t even know if he put out a song at me. I heard he put a song out at me, but I didn’t never put no song at him. I probably said something in a song. But the song wasn’t for him. If I did it would’ve been bananas. I didn’t take the time to do that.
But as far as the team goes, it is still Juvenile, the Big Tymers, me and whoever else on the label. But I mean, I still ride or die for the team and Turk and B.G. They are still a part of my team as a personal thing, you know what I’m sayin’. I still ride or die for them, also. I mean, that’s me.
AllHipHop.com: You have your own team as well. Even though you’re young, you have a family. How does that affect your life as a rapper?
Lil Wayne: I don’t let it do nothing to me as a rapper. I let it do something to me as a person in general. I know what type of person to be. I mean I have a five-year-old daughter, so she kinda know a little about what’s goin’ on. Therefore, I have to watch myself. And it’s not like I don’t want to, it’s that this is the way it has to go, because I have a daughter so that affects me as a rapper.
AllHipHop.com: For a minute, you weren’t cursing on records. Not until you were 18. You’ve mentioned a couple times, the significance of you being 21 now, are their any changes or transitions you’re making now that you’re what you called, “an official adult”?
Lil Wayne: I’m just makin’ better music: more deeper, more serious. A lot more people can relate. What I mean by that is when I was younger I used to be able to cut my album on and it would have to be in a room full of hood people. Or, in a room full of girls that liked me or [with] n*ggas that feel me. And now I can put my album on and it can be in anybody’s room. No matter the race or anything, you can understand what I’m saying. The words mean something. I’m not using slang, I’m talking.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of stepping it up and talking to different audiences, there are a lot of Hip-hop summits taking place to educate and motivate the hip-hop community in regards to the upcoming presidential election. Do you concern yourself with politics? Do you think that it’s something that needs to be discussed in hip-hop?
Lil Wayne: I feel like Hip-Hop should be Hip-Hop. I think it’s something that can be discussed in Hip-Hop, but I’m not the one to determine if it should or shouldn’t be. But if you want to, it’s cool. I mean, I may something about it in a rap or something but I ain’t gonna write no whole song about no damn presidential election or nothing like that. I mean, I play my part. I know my voice is important. But, Hip-Hop is Hip-Hop. We’re not asking the basketball players at half time to stop and be like, “And ya’ll should vote for this person’, because c’mon let us do our sport.”
AllHipHop.com: Are you gonna vote?
Lil Wayne: Yeah. John Kerry.
AllHipHop.com: You ain’t playin’ games! You’re naming the candidate! Changing the subject, a lot of people see how close you and Baby [of the Big Tymers] are, they hear you refer to Baby as your “daddy” and they want to know, how you came to be so close? What is it that makes you call him your “daddy”? He’s not your biological father right?
Lil Wayne: The day my real father died-the exact day-like the day we got the call, ‘Like ok, he’s in the hospital.” Then we got the call back like, ‘Okay, he died’, Baby came and picked me up like an hour after that, and I was in the passenger seat of his car and I was crying and he looked at me and was like, “N*gga, what you cryin’ for? You act like you lost your father”. And from that day on I never lost my father.
AAH: Awww, that’s what’s up. Baby’s a cool dude. Well, the South is doing big things right now. ATL is getting a lotta shine, what’s up with New Orleans? Whatchya’ll got in the bag? What’re you bringin’ to the table?
Lil Wayne: We got The Carter June 29th, Mannie Fresh is comin’ out with his solo album, that’s gonna be so crazy. You got Juve, I mean everybody tryin’ to “Slow Motion” with it! We back. We here. I mean, we really never left. You know what I’m sayin’? I mean, “SHAKE WHATCHYA GOT IN DEM JEANS!” (laughs) Ya feel me?! But we doin’ our thing, New Orleans. Atlanta though, yeah they doin’ it big, but we doin’ us. You know, New Orleans is very small. Atlanta is big. You can have diverse styles that come from Atlanta. You got TLC, then you got Lil’ Jon, then you got Usher, you know what I’m sayin’? New Orleans, you got No Limit and us. And we similar ‘cause it’s so small [that] we all from the same thing. So that’s a problem, you know so, Atlanta is doin’ their thing and they gonna be doin’ it for a while, it’s always gonna look like they’re doin’ their thing.
AllHipHop.com: You doin’ ya thing on this album but are there any collabos with any other artists?
Lil Wayne: If it happens it happens. If I do anything it’ll probably be with somebody like Cam, or something like that.
AllHipHop.com: Oh word? Harlem?
Lil Wayne: Yeah, me and Cam gotta record label together.
AllHipHop.com: Speak on that.
Lil Wayne: I really can’t do too much speakin’ on it right now. But when I can, I will do a whole lotta speakin’ on it. But it is official.
AllHipHop.com: Anything else you think the people need to know?
Lil Wayne: The Carter, June 29th, fourth solo album, you need to cop it!