Described as both ornery and as a genius, Lil Wayne is profiled in the November issue of GQ. The interview runs the gamut of topics, from both his outward appearance, to the resentment he holds inside against his father. Writer Claire Hoffman catches up with Weezy in a haze of weed and eccentrics, where at 1 a.m. he finally opens up. Check out some choice excerpts below and head to GQ to read the piece in its entirety.
I hear you plan to retire when you turn 35?
Basically, I have been doing this for eighteen years. That’s reason number one. I have accomplished all that I have set out to accomplish and more. Also, I have a label, and I’ve only put out two artists [Drake and Nicki Minaj]. I have a lot more work to do, and it’d be selfish to not focus on being the boss and focus on their projects.
But the main reason is my kids, my children. Now, if I thought I’d be selfish to my artists, imagine what I think I would be doing to my kids. I have enough money that they don’t have to ever do anything—which, they will do everything, ’cause they ain’t getting shit. [cackles wildly] Six [more] years, I can do this Lil Wayne thing, and my boys will be about 7 and 8 years old. And man, it’s all about them then. You know, whatever they’re doing. Sports. Whatever they’re into. That’s where I am. I’m at every game. I’m the dad with the hat on. The jersey. That’s me.
You’re sober now? No more syrup?
I’m good. I ain’t tripping. I’m used to it now. But I was never on heroin or cocaine or Ecstasy or nothing like that. I drank syrup and smoked a lotta weed. I wish I could be back on it. That’s how it fucking feels. [cracking himself up]“How does it feel to be sober?” I’ll be like, “It feels fucked-up.” What you want me to say? “It feels great”? No. I was on something that the doctor prescribed. I was ill, and that was helping me.
What’s up with all the skateboarding?
You know, I don’t know. Everybody asks me that question, like, “What made you start skating?” Yeah, well, um…I don’t know. I’m still like a kid, because unfortunately my childhood was raped away from me because I became a star, a rapper, or whatever you want to call it, and you can’t be a kid and a rapper at the same time. So I watch television and I get real amped. Like, people watch commercials, and they’re like, “Who’s gonna buy that?” I’m the person they make the commercials for. I watch them, and I’m like, “Oh God, that’s awesome.” So I was just watching TV, and I was like, “Yeah. I want to do that!” And I called a guy and I said, “I want a ramp on my roof.” I have a pretty big roof at home. So I put a ramp on the roof about five months ago, and man, I’ve been skating ever since.
How does life look right now through Lil Wayne’s glasses?
I can describe it like this: Today I was riding up to the venue. I had just woken up, and I looked out the window, and there was like a billion cars in the parking lot. I turned to my girl, and I said, “Isn’t it crazy how all those cars and all those people are there to see me?” And the craziest part was I still could get that feeling. All this time, after all those albums, videos, all those awards and money and groupies and homeys and gangbanging and friends and no-longer friends. That I can still get that feeling, like, “Wow. This is amazing.” That’s what it is to be me. Yeah.
Photography: Mark Seliger/GQ