Love My Style

2005/nov/lil_wayne/header.jpgMiami’s a party town by nature; this much is no mystery. Sometimes, though, nature makes its feelings known about such things. On this particular weekend, forces both natural and man made have conspired to make things more chaotic than usual. Hurricane Katrina has come and gone, and now a more metaphorical storm is making landfall in the form of MTV’s Video Music Awards. It’s a weekend of manic energy, high posting and high drama. The kind of weekend during which an eagle-eyed pedestrian might see The Game eating outside in South Beach, then turn the corner and see Sleepy Brown standing shirtless outside a Walgreens. The kind of weekend when a Kanye West party at the Shore Club empties in a stampede after Suge Knight gets shot in the leg.

But just because Miami is poppin’, doesn’t mean the rest of Florida has been forgotten. Places like Orlando need love, too—and as someone from Orlando once told Lil Wayne, while he was visiting from his own native New Orleans, “Next to Mickey Mouse, you the biggest thing here.” So Friday night might have been a Diddy party at the South Beach club Mansion, and Sunday night might be the VMA show, to which Wayne will accompany a certain Baddest Bitch (more on that later), but in between comes Saturday night. Which is exactly when, and exactly why, the man born D’Wayne Carter, a.k.a. Lil Wayne, a.k.a. Weezy F. Baby, is on a tour bus, dipped head to toe in A Bathing Ape, heading north from Miami to bring O-Town some heat.

Not that the heat is reserved exclusively for his live show. An hour or so into the trip, Wayne remembers a long-standing grievance with the very magazine whose representative is sitting on the bus with him. Lukewarm album reviews and what his manager feels was a biased account of a Cash Money concert in New York have him a little salty. “I don’t fuck with XXL,” he says, growing surly. “I just remembered that. Fuck XXL! Straight up. And you can put that in there.”

2005/nov/lil_wayne/1.jpgWhen his manager tries to massage the situation, Wayne explodes: “I’m from the hood! If they say Fuck me, forever it’s, Fuck you! You’re workin’ with a gangsta now! Matter fact, a nigga might wanna get off this bus right now.” Meaning, of course, your friendly XXL correspondent. Wayne calms down soon enough, though, and the interview proceeds.

You’ll have to forgive Wayne if he’s a little on edge. For all the national attention focused on the South over the years, it’s often managed to miss him. At the tender age of 23, he can boast 10 years and four solo albums worth of experience—his debut, Tha Block Is Hot, went platinum when he was just 17—but people outside the region have habitually shoved him to back-burner status. Even when he released the seasoned and assured Tha Carter last year, he was accused of jocking Jay-Z from flow to surname.
Finally, a year and a half later, the tide is turning. First, the slow-burning Carter woke heads up, and a single, “Go DJ,” proved to be Wayne’s biggest solo song to date. Then he dropped the scene-stealing verse on Destiny’s Child’s “Soldier” remix, and Jigga himself nearly stole him away from Cash Money Records. Now, back safe and sound at the label that made him (holding the title of president, no less), and with Tha Carter 2 set to drop in late November—and Trina on his arm—Wayne’s primed to take his down South party countrywide.

While Lil Wayne’s star first rose back in the late ’90s, during Cash Money’s halcyon days, with B.G. and the Hot Boys and cuts like “Bling Bling” and “Back That Azz Up,” the wave that’s cresting right now began with the success of “Go DJ.” The song’s impact could be attributed to a few things: Mannie Fresh’s menacing minimalist track; Wayne’s disjointed braggadocio; and the fact that his voice has developed a croak that adds old-soul heft to his trademark, smart-ass, flyer-than-you flow (“And I move like the coupe through traffic/Rush-hour, GT Bent’, roof is absent/Yo’ bitch present with the music blastin’/And she keep askin’, ‘How it shoot if it’s plastic?’”)

As with any big single, though, much of its staying power is due to a simple and addictive chorus. The hook comes from a line from a 1993 Cash Money song, U.N.L.V.’s “Don’t U Be Greedy,” a fact that might have been lost on most
people outside New Orleans. U.N.L.V.’s Tec-9 and Lil’ Ya, however, were well aware. In fact, the group—down to a duo due to the 1997 murder of MC Yella Boy, and long since departed from the label they helped put on the New Orleans map—had recently put out their own song with the same chorus, also called “Go DJ.” They claimed Wayne and Mannie Fresh had jacked their concept wholesale. “They put out a song dissin’ me because of that,” Wayne says. “But that’s a Cash Money song, brother. I’m the president. I can do what I want.”

That he would tap a vintage Cash Money tune for inspiration should come as no surprise; the company’s history is intertwined with his own. He grew up in the same neighborhood as one of the original Cash Money rappers, Lil Slim, and started listening to the label’s music when he was all of 8 years old. “Back then, I wasn’t fuckin’ with Jay-Z or Biggie or nothin’ like that,” Wayne remembers. “You couldn’t bring that other music to New Orleans. It was Cash Money or nothin’.” When he started writing rhymes as a kid, a rapper named Pimp Daddy was hitting in the streets with a song called “You Gotta Be Real.” Young D’Wayne took to calling himself Shrimp Daddy—“I was short, real short”—and rewrote the lyrics to create “You Gotta Be Lil’.” “I had me a hit with that one,” he says now, laughing. “On the school grounds.”

When he was 11, D’Wayne stopped by a Cash Money in-store appearance, where Lil Slim introduced him to Baby and Slim Williams, the brothers who had started Cash Money Records in 1991. “I did a rap where I spelled out my hood, Hollygrove,” says Wayne, “and they gave me a card. You know, you give a child a card, he ain’t never stop callin’ that number.” So he would call the pager number incessantly. Baby would invite him to the Cash Money offices, and Wayne’s mother, Cynthia, would drive him over like it was after-school football practice. “I wouldn’t do nothin’ sittin’ there all day,” says Wayne, “but some days they’d be like, ‘Let’s take a ride.’ All that escalated into me being part of the clique.”

Soon Wayne was recording as half of the B.G.’z (Baby Gangstaz), a group consisting of him as “Baby D,” and another young Cash Money rapper named Doogie, or “Gangsta D.” But when Wayne’s grades started slipping, his mother pulled him out of the group. (She knew of the Williams bros.’ street rep.) When the B.G.’z album, True Story, was released in 1995, Wayne only appeared on three tracks, and everyone assumed that “B.G.” was Doogie’s name. It stuck, as it turned out, and Wayne had to find a new name. Thus was born Lil Wayne as we know him today.
Two years later, Wayne’s stepfather, Reginald “Rabbit” McDonald, was abducted and murdered, and Baby stepped in to act as a surrogate. After that, the Cash Money fairy tale unrolled with a quickness. Juvenile came around, as did Turk, and the Hot Boys wasformed. The label signed its historic $30 million deal with Universal in 1998, and the parade of hits began. With Mannie Fresh’s patented electrofunk and their distinctive N’awlins slang, the crew sold more than 10 million records from 1998 to 2000. The Cash Money, ahem, Millionaires became the biggest thing in rap.

  • lilwaynewifey

    this is a good article on my baby. he is the person that im doin for my research paper and im using this article as a source. dont worry im doing a work cited page. yall shouldve put the author of this article or cite this article it wouldve helped lol but thanks very much

  • bluerid

    I’m from the hood! If they say Fuck me, forever it’s, Fuck you! You’re workin’ with a gangsta now!

    word. and you are my homeboy cashmoney because my brother been idolizing you guys fo long time but now he is stucked on his dmx records again ”the great depression”and i feel thats my fault because he stopped listening to it and went more into the softer sounds like that song ”soulsurviver”though i think you guys should drop some new shit for my brother to listen to.my brother one straight soldier and he traumatized to but he keeps it all to himself so i hadnt got another choice then to get out there and do an 8 mile of my own the only way i knew how.

  • bluerid

    by the way i told him to get back on his dmx records again because i was scared cuz his g unit loving ”friend” doesnt respect him and keeps stalking him at his house so i didnt want them messing with my brother no more.but peace you got my blessing man.

  • bluerid

    his name is martin if ud just could mention his name in one of your songs i’d lyricly kill for that.then no one will mess with him no more PEACE !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wezzy22

    Big ups to the south or should I say big up to my man Weezy cuz him and the SQ are the only ones bring it. It’s about time XXL showed my man some love. Wezzy do your thing kid and all you haters just remember one thing He’s the ” BEST RAPPER ALIVE”

  • http://stewartwarrenscomcast.com tywootang

    Fuck this article about Weezy,I wanna Hot Boy reunion.Even though weezy,BG,Juvie are still hot,butI need a 400 degrees,ChopperCity,Thablockishot,album holla back.TYWOOTANG THA MUTHAFUCKIN WEEZO.

  • lil`dice

    JEE!!! tää oli iha vitu hyvä!!! Julkaskaa näit enemmän!! jos ällääte mitä äskö kirjotin…
    The Carter II

  • weezysbitch

    DAMN!! wezzy is sexy as hell blud dnt watch dat dis article is sikit wuldn even matta if he was birds real son or not dey both got GAME!
    Bless Weezy B xx

  • bluerid

    WHEEZY KNOWS HOW TO GET RID OF MONEYHUNGRY HOES AND THATS EXCACTLY WHAT MY BROTHER GONNA NEED IF I EVER GET MONEY.IN A WAY WHEEZY TEACHED ME SOME GOOD SHIT TO LOL

  • bluerid

    ok ima shut up.

  • Blakie Baby

    The Best Rapper Alive and The BEST THAT EVER LIVED- WEEZY BABY

  • Cello

    If anybody got anything to say about the boy weezy f baby, come on to the West Side OF CHICAGO AND SAY THAT SHIT, I Bet And Guarantee that you and your whole crew wont make it back from where all you broke ass niggas came from, so if you got any problems with Weezy you are not allowed or welcomed to come to the Chi YA BITCH

  • Sami

    Lil wayne?????????!..damn..he’s da Realest Nigga Fo realer

  • Sami

    I dunno what to say ..but i gotz respect fo dis niggaz wheezy,keep doin’ ya thang boi,u is unbreakable.

  • Southern Soldier

    Weezy Iz Da King…Weezy 4 president

  • YUNG BALTIMORE

    LIL WAYNE that nigga!!!!!!!!!and for all yall clowns talkin bout T.I the KING yall dumb as shit. he the fucking QUEEN of ATL. he aint fucking with LIL WAYNE! what “G” you know skate on the regular?

    WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT……….

  • http://yella1.com dyllan

    every one wants to know the WHOLE story on yella boy mystical his sister what really happen how they died casue yella was real dope

  • MAGIK

    lil wayne be walkin in toilet paper..cuz he the shit.

  • http://www.google.com/ Helene

    Heck yeah this is exaclty what I needed.