A showman in his own right, Lil Wayne graces the cover of XXL’s May issue with a special live photo and an interview discussing his touring domination, favorite show moments, personal rituals before hitting the stage and tips he gives his Young Money artists.

The enigmatic lyricist, who spent 2011 touring across three continents and earning nearly $50 million in United States ticket sales alone, also chats about his recent endeavors, such as the TrukFit clothing line and DEWeezy advertising partnership with Mountain Dew.

The cover story is part of a special Hip-Hop Live package, which includes a piece on the 2012 SXSW Music Festival. The annual indie-rock showcase in Austin, Texas, underwent a hip-hop takeover this year with a week’s worth of great performances from some of rap’s biggest stars, including Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Kanye West and many, many more.

XXL also caught up with the California rap collective Odd Future, as MC Earl Sweatshirt made his return to the group. The story, which features images from famed photographer Terry Richardson, offers some inside secrets and observations about the crew.

Also featured in the May 2012 issue are profiles of B.o.B and Diggy Simmons, who both recently dropped albums. And in honor of celebrated photographer Johnny Nunez’s 15th anniversary covering hip-hop, his buddy Swizz Beatz took a few flicks of him for a joint interview.

The XXL May 2012 issue hits stands nationwide on April 24. —XXL Staff