This month's issue of XXL features rap superstar Lil Wayne, who is currently prepping the release his if 12th studio album, Tha Carter V. That LP is arguably the most anticipated hip-hop album in 2014 and Wayne's first single, "Believe Me" featuring Drake, currently sits at the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.

Shot by Atiba Jefferson and interviewed exclusively for XXL by Jeff Weiss at famed skateboarder Paul Rodriguez’s skate park in Cayuga Park, Lil Wayne discusses many topics in the cover story including Tha Carter V and the whole Carter series, his reasons for signing Nicki Minaj and Drake to Young Money Entertainment, his long-term relationships with Cash Money Records honchos Bryan "Baby" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams, his musical influences, being a dad and much more.

Here are a few quotes from the story:


“I was feeling the success of Tha Carter I. I felt like people wanted to hear me. I was amped to do that, but then Tha Carter III? I don’t know what happened. It was amazing. And then Tha Carter IV was just unexplainable, and now this one here, there’s no words. I just hope everyone likes it.”

“I’m always feeling like I ain’t done shit. I’m still nervous about Tha Carter V... I’m confident about what I do, but I’m still nervous about what people think.


“I know I’m authentic because I’m 35 million years in the game. I don’t know where the authenticity is in the game anymore. Today everyone sounds alike, they looking alike, they acting alike, they dressing alike. I came out when everybody was super different. You had an ODB. You had a Busta Rhymes and then you had a 2Pac. You had a Biggie. And everybody was different. Biggie was talking about Mob and Mafia shit. 2Pac was wylin’, talking about West Coast this and that. You had niggas like Meth and Red talking about how high they got and making people laugh. And then now, you got them, them. You got the categories and then everyone falls under it.” 


“It was the way he pronounced words and the way he used his voice. It was like if he was playing with a baby. You know if he was playing with a kid. [Imitates a baby cooing] It was the way that he was exploring it. He wasn’t doing it because it was funny. He was doing it because he could make it sound good and exceptional. I realized that I could do that too. He wasn’t afraid of how he sounded because he knew what he was saying and how he was saying it would always sound good.”


“Call me old-fashioned and country, but with Drake, that was the first time I'd seen someone that knew how to sing and rap. That's all it was. I didn't know nobody who knew how to do that. You had those old school singing niggas, where people would do a little eight-bar verse on their songs. But [Drake] was spitting and singing and killing that too. It took a while though. It wasn't until I heard him spitting on one of my beats when I was like, 'This fool's retarded.' When I hear something that I know I can't do better? That's when I'm like, ‘They need to be on the team.’"

“I wanted a female. Every team needs a female to rep your gang. She was annihilating niggas. I mean males. I was like, ‘I have to beef my shit up on that muthafucka.’ She just knocked it out the park from day one. She's just Nicki. I don't know whose idea it was, but it was a good idea."

Besides the cover story, the new XXL also features stories on Top Dawg Entertainment’s Ab-Soul, the interesting character that is RiFF RAFF, Common, Kid Ink and much more. The magazine is on stands nationally on August 12.

Check out our gallery of photos from our Lil Wayne cover shoot below.

Photos by Atiba Jefferson