In light of Lil Wayne’s threats to retire, journalist Jeff Weiss went live with the entirety of an interview he conducted with Wayne in Miami in 2014. Weiss notes that the interview took place before the more recent troubling news surrounding Wayne’s career: namely, the second onslaught of seizures, the $51 million Cash Money lawsuit, and his beef with Young Thug.
Weiss’ interview with Wayne was the cover story for Nylon’s December/January issue, meant as promo for The Carter V, which at that point, was slated for release in December 2014. And what isn’t lost on the reader in either the Nylon or the unabridged version is that Wayne is just plain tired.
In the Passion of the Weiss interview, Weiss remarks on Wayne’s “sense of fatigue and creative future,” adding, “Talking to Wayne was like talking to an ancient alien. It seemed like he had just woken up from a 300 year nap, only to discover that he’d become the most influential person since Ben Franklin (what the F in Weezy F. Baby stands for). He clearly understood his importance and the sacrifices it took to get here but seemed distressed that no one would ever really understand him. He might be right.”
Even then Wayne was exhausted, continually trying—as any legend would—to transcend his own work, to be a better version of himself, making sure Carter V carried on the legacy of its previous installations. And he knew and knows, the mark he’s left on music. “I’m the last of a dying breed. When I say that, I mean that, by it being all about my music. The only people really similar in that way—that I can think of—are Kanye and Beyonce,” he says.
He ends both interviews on the same note, “And this is his life and what he breathes and I want them to know that,” he says. “That’s the shit that I want them to get, if anything. That I live it. This isn’t something that I do. This is who I am.”
Though the interview is almost two years old, we can find a glimmer of hope in Wayne’s thought: even if he does scare us with promises of retirement, the music won’t ever really leave him.