MIC/LINE is HYPEBEAST Radio‘s music-centric show that looks to deliver in-depth conversations with your favorite artists, digging into their origin stories and asking the questions you want answered. For this week’s episode, we sit down with Lil Wayne at his debut of the American Eagle x Young Money collaboration.
Showcasing the 25-piece capsule collection and a custom built skate deck on the rooftop of Manhattan’s New Design High School, American Eagle transformed the space into an immersive experience for celebrities and Weezy fans, alike. The collaboration may come as a surprise for many, but Lil Wayne’s influence as a trendsetter and American Eagle’s future-focused mindset on the youth drew the two together.
Rapping since the age of 11, he holds an impressive portfolio of music that expands across multiple generations. Today’s current rap game could not exist without the influence of Lil Wayne’s archive of mixtapes and award-winning albums, to his signature diamond grill and his iconic record label Young Money, which raised current legends like Drake and Nicki Minaj. The rapper tells us that since the beginning, all his choices have always come natural to him.
Lil Wayne’s mixtapes discography is one of the best collection of music in hip-hop. With the onset of streaming, the rapper tells us that in today’s landscape mixtapes are not a necessity. Because hip-hop has become the mainstream genre of music, artists have become more accepting of collaborations.
“I don’t think it’s important that mixtapes be back. I’m not sure if we need them. I wouldn’t want them to disappear, but I wouldn’t want them to go away completely. These days, it’s a new game. You have cooler artists and everyone [is] more accepting these days. What happens is if you go out there and do a version of someone song that’s already out, 9/10 these days they gon’ get at you, pay you and make that the real single. That’s the new remix joint.”
With Lil Wayne’s forthcoming solo LP, Funeral, in the works, he tells us that he’ll still continue making mixtapes and compilation albums. He stresses the importance of these projects as a way for the Young Money label to come together as a family to create music and introduce new artists. Finally, to last as long as Lil Wayne has in this industry, he reminds us that you have to “accept failure, but get back up.”
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