Lil Wayne: The Carter
Before Lil Wayne was the biggest thing in Hip Hop since the SP-1200, he was just another emcee looking to make his own way in a clouded Hip Hop setting. Before the locks were long and the ink on his body was present, Lil Wayne was watching the Hot Boyz falling apart, but found himself slowly climbing the mountain of success. Before mixtape DJ rants and Styrofoam cups filled with sizzurp, Lil Wayne didn't mind sitting down with HipHopDX to discuss his first entry to The Carter series. Check out this classic interview straight from DX's vaults. You'll find that Weezy F Baby was every bit as cocky as he is today. They say money doesn't change the man, rather make him more of what he is. For Lil Wayne, that statement couldn't be closer to the truth.
HHDX: Where were you at for The Carter.
Lil Wayne: Lyrically I was on top of Mt. Everest because nobody could touch my lyrics. Lyrically, more mature. No pen and pad, which has been that way for like two or three albums. More thought into it. More creativity. Making the songs stand for more. Production-wise, this time I got the music and did what I wanted to do. I used to let them hear my song and they would make the music. But that was when I was writing and now I hear the music and within 10 minutes Im ready to do it. The Carter is a serious thought process and I hope everybody follows me through it.
DX: Does not using a pen and pad come with maturity?
Lil Wayne: Ive been writing since I was eight. I started my own group when I was eight. There were four of us and I wrote everybodys raps. Ive been writing, so it got played out when I was 15 (or) 16. I stopped writing when I was 18. As far as rap, I accept that its what I do. I can rap at any time about anything. Its almost too easy.
DX: Do you have plans to branch out, be a CEO?
Lil Wayne: I am. I have Young Money Entertainment, Films and Records. Young Money Records is an R&B label. Young Money Entertainment is for people who are trying to get into the business and the industry any way they can. If you have something going on and you want to get a certain celebrity there, you can call Young Money Entertainment to get that celebrity there. Wed set up the contract. And Young Money Films is for actresses and actors, and when I write a movie. I dont want to speak on it. Yeah, rapping has gotten boring.
DX: Is Young Money through Cash Money/Universal?
Lil Wayne: Yes.
DX: How have you been able to maintain such a good relationship with Cash Money when everyone else seems to leave?
Lil Wayne: Baby is my daddy. Aint no secret. I cant leave my daddy. The day my dad died when I was 14, he came and picked me up. Money has never been the issue. I never let it become an issue to make me say I want to leave. I probably had times when I wanted to quit rapping and do something else, but it never been because Cash Money making me do this.
DX: Were you able to keep up your ties with the guys when they left Cash Money?
Lil Wayne: I maintain relationships with them because I maintain me. And they know they didnt have no grudges or problems with me. My dad teaches me to be about yourself and get yourself straight. I felt like I had no position to even try get in the middle of it. So I just let it happen and whatever happens, happens. I still love everybody.
DX: But youre happy Juvies back?
Lil Wayne: Exactly. Yeah, of course. It makes us stronger. It makes me look better, him look better. Everybody look better.
DX: Who handled the production on The Carter?
Lil Wayne: Mostly Mannie Fresh. Also Jazze Pha. T-Mixx. Probably a few joints from Chink Santana. And The Architects from New Orleans. Im kind of working with them right now. I dont know if Im going to sign them or not. If I do Im going to have my own production team. And then I got Smoov. He did a lot of the Sqad Up things for me.
DX: Sqad Up was your crew. What happened between you two?
Lil Wayne: When youre doing something and traveling and people like what you do, people tell you things. People told them they were hot and nice. They believed it and think they can do it themselves.
DX: Did you feel bad when they broke ties with you?
Lil Wayne: Life goes on. They were guys. Me, as a man, I cannot feel bad that a dude dont want to kick it with me no more.
DX: Young Buck was once a member of Cash Money. Were you surprised when he signed with G-Unit?
Lil Wayne: Young Buck was my roommate for a year and a half. That surprised me how he did that. Its nice. Im with it. He got a serious tragic background. He was part of these guys and they all went to jail except him. And so he had nowhere to go. He rolled with Cash Money for a minute then when Juvie left he rolled with Juvie for a minute. Then something happened with them and now he G-Unit. Everything happens for a reason.
DX: Do you think having a daughter has made you more mature, or changed you?
Lil Wayne: My dad passed when I was 14. So I kind of became my moms husband at 14. I took over the house note, car note. Responsibility became real serious to me at 14. Then I had my daughter at 15, 16. It was just another responsibility for me to take care of. And Im all about responsibility. What I am being is what Im trying to be. I wouldnt say it changed me.
DX: How do you feel about the Southern explosion in hip-hop?
Lil Wayne: I dont even care if nobody from the South drop another album as long as Cash Money and Young Money still afloat and me, Im still doing my thing. The South dont have nothing to worry about. I mean, weve been listening to that music for so long. People outside of the South just getting a taste of it. Thats our music. Yeah, its cool. People say how do you feel about that? The South been out.