Last year was hard for a lot of people around the world, including Lil Wayne. The rap star faced significant backlash when he endorsed Donald Trump’s campaign right before the 2020 presidential election, and he ended the year by pleading guilty in federal district court to illegal possession of a .45-caliber handgun.
Wayne’s sentencing hearing is presently scheduled for January 28, but there have been reports that President Trump is considering pardoning the Young Money co-founder on his way out of the White House. Otherwise, the 38-year-old father of four could be headed back to prison again after serving time for another gun charge from 2007.
Detroit emcee Royce Da 5’9 spoke about that legal situation during an interview with The Message on Apple Music. The Bad Meets Evil member also referred to Wayne’s controversial 2016 comments where the New Orleans-bred entertainer claimed he never experienced racism throughout his life. Additionally, Royce expressed his thoughts on the relationship between Hip Hop culture and major corporations like Universal Music Group.
“Cash Money, they signed their deal in 1997. So from then to now, they’ve walked billions of dollars into the Universal building. You can’t tell me that you feel like Universal has been protecting Lil Wayne. Lil Wayne – I heard come out of his mouth in an interview that racism doesn’t exist,” said Royce Da 5’9. “Being famous early for a Black person is crippling. It cripples you. You’re incapable of seeing things for what they are.”
The rapper/producer continued, “My brother, you’re going to jail for the second time. The first time you went to prison, you went for a gun that wasn’t even on you. It was on your bus. That’s racism, Lil Wayne. If you’re in bed with Universal and they’re not protecting you, it’s because they see some sort of upside in allowing y’all to look like that… that’s racism, Hip Hop. When you look at Hip Hop and our culture and how much of the market share we make up, and then you measure that against how many Black people are in those executive chairs, that’s racism.”
Royce Da 5’9 also spoke about his 2020 project The Allegory receiving a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album, his approach to being an artist, the value of therapy, and other topics. Plus, he explained how “I Gave You Power” by Nas inspired him to create storytelling rap songs.