Lil’ Wayne rocks a grey Fli Pelican crewneck on the cover of the July/August 2011 issue of XXL. With the anticipation of Lil’ Tunechi’s upcoming album, Tha Carter IV, and the many delays of the project, Weezy sits down with XXL and talks retirement, the success of YMCMB’s Drake and Nicki Minaj, and why he’ll never record a song with Justin Bieber. Writer Shaheem Reid sat down and spoke with Young Money’s CEO, read a few excerpts after the cut.
XXL: “When [do you] know that the album was ready?”
Lil’ Wayne: “You don’t. When they tell you. When [manager Cortez Bryant] call me and tell me and say, ‘You got such and such date is your deadline to stop,’ I be like, ‘Aight.’ ’Cause I never stop recording, obviously. So it’s just on him to say, “Okay, stop. We’re gonna pick these songs, and that’s the album.’ That’s how we do it.”
XXL: “Fans might ask what fills the contents of such songs?”
Wayne: “What is good about me is that I’m an interesting muthafucka. I’m Dwayne Michael Carter period! Whether I’m a rapper or not, I’m interesting. And that’s what my album’s gonna be about: me and how interesting I am.”
Lil’ Wayne on retiring: “I’m bowing out still on top,” he says. “I’ma make y’all want me when I retire. I’ma make y’all be like, ‘Nooo!’ I ain’t leaving out this bitch when y’all be like, ‘Yeah, it’s about time, dawg.’ Carter IV might be my last one. I’ma make y’all be like, ‘Fuck!’ Yeah, nigga, I’m gone… Honestly, this is the real truth,” he says. “I honestly think it’s unfair to my kids. I’m super dedicated into what I do. Like, it’s no questions—it’s hands down, I do this. I live this. I don’t have a day out my week that I do something else. I do this every day of my life, and I’m not about to stop, ’cause that’s the only way you can succeed in this business, is to do it the way I do it. I want to succeed the way I want to succeed. You can succeed. You can put out a hit… But to do it the way I want to do it, to be comfortable to do what the fuck I want to do, you’ve got to work like no other. Like I said, it’s unfair to my kids. So about 30, 31, 32, I gotta get ready.
Lil’ Wayne expectations on Drake & Nicki Minaj’s recent success: “You already know what I expect, I expect to eat, and eat well. I expect [Drake] to be a lot more successful than he has ever been. I mean, this guy’s a superstar. He is the definition. That’s what I told y’all before he was: ‘That’s the definition of a superstar.’ And like Nicki, he’s only breaking ice. He has yet to be who he’s going to be. I’m banking on them.”
Lil’ Wayne on working with Justin Bieber: “That’s my little homie now,” Wayne says of The Biebs. “He texts me every night asking me to do [his] damn song. That’s my nigga, but I can’t do it. Like I said, I don’t want to fuck his shit up. But like I said, I want to work with Justin Timberlake. That boy got a voice; that boy can sing. He needs to come back right there on Tha Carter IV.”
This issue will be on stands July 12th. Pick it up on newsstands soon.
Terrell Johnson is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of SWGRUS.