Lil Wayne offered insights into the journey of hip hop and his own path within it during an intimate conversation with Billboard published today (Aug. 2).
“Hip hop will never be over,” he shared. “But I also think that maybe down the line, I’ll be able to answer that question better because I don’t think I know how much it means to me yet — because it means that much.”
Reflecting on the genre’s evolution, the New Orleans rapper told Billboard, “Right now is the time where I see the most change in our genre because back then, I think it was just progress more than change; progression from what was already set before us and also us honoring what was set before us. But now it’s not that no one’s honoring what was before them — it’s just that the world has changed thanks to social media.”
Watch the video below.
Later in the interview, Gail Mitchell cited Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, Trippie Redd, and Young Thug as artists who Wayne influenced. He mused, “Sometimes people ask me how I feel about everybody looking like me, everybody getting tattoos, etc. That’s like seeing your kid come out of the room and looking just like you; it feels amazing. So the visible influence is kind of obvious because I know for a fact I didn’t get this look from anyone. There was no one that inspired this look. I just ran into looking like this.”
Elsewhere, Mitchell questioned the “A Milli” hitmaker about the rising number of women in hip hop. “My answer would be, honestly, that it just wasn’t as interesting to women, I don’t think, in the way that Nicki [Minaj], [Megan Thee Stallion], and others are,” Wayne responded. He added, “It’s awesome. I don’t think they looked at or viewed it as something that they wanted to do and actually make a living from it.”
Having released scores of albums, singles, and cross-genre collaborations since his 1995 debut, True Story, Wayne’s career is evidently nothing short of phenomenal. The release of Funeral in 2020 marked his fifth No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and he revealed plans to keep going.
“I just try to get better and better and better… I just work. I just keep going. I never stop. It’s just the work ethic, plain and simple. No more, no less. I don’t do nothing but my music,” Wayne expounded.
With numerous singles and collaborations in the pipeline, Lil Wayne is reportedly working on Tha Carter VI. Simultaneously, he’s dedicated to nurturing the next generation of hip hop talent within his Young Money roster.