Da Block is Hot
You may know who Lil' Wayne is. If not, then you will soon. Whether you are new to him or not you should read this 'guest' interview. By guest, I mean, I took it from somewhere.
Is Tha Block Real?
By Kofi Taha
Last week Lil' Wayne, the youngest of the Cash Money Millionaires crew, saw his first solo project, Tha Block is Hot, move 229,000 copies in its first week and debut at # 3 on the Billboard Pop chart. But that doesn't phase Dwayne Carter, aka Lil' Wheezy, because at 16, the New Orleans native is a veteran in this business. At ten he made his first record appearance with BG, and then, when the two joined Juvenile and Turk in 1997 to form the Hot Boys, became a star within the sizzling hot Southern market the rest of the country only recently discovered. During a break in filming for a direct-to-video project starring the Cash Money Records roster, Lil' Wayne-- a mixture of hardcore adult experiences, adolescent naivete, and entertainer braggadocio-- spoke to Platform in his nonchalant, N'awlins twang about success, rhyming and the future.
P4M: How does it feel to have one of the biggest opening weeks for a rap record in history, and are you worried at all about all the success given the shadiness of this business?
L: It's cool. I feel ready for whatever. I've been ready. And nah, I ain't worried, I'mma solja.
P4M: Is there a particular message in your music that you want people to understand?
L: My message is trying to let niggas know it's real. I'm a young nigga doing my thang, ya feel me? My message is Wayne. That's it. And yo, the block is hot. It's real.
P4M: What do you say to folks that say you are sending a definite message about materialism since your songs usually revolve around diamonds, cars, cash and women?
L: You know we gotta bling bling. It's a must. I'm just showing my hard work, how we earned it. It ain't about what another nigga ain't got. This business ain't as easy as it looks, you on the road, you do the video shoot, movie shoot, perform, so I earned this, and I'm gonna enjoy it while I got it.
P4M: So you don't worry about glorifying a certain lifestyle?
L: Nah, cuz I'm showing that anybody can do whatever it is they put they mind to. I'm doing this without school, but that don't mean that's for everybody. It's hard out here, but I show that you can be something, whatever it is you want to do. That's also my message to my daughter, that she can be something. Her daddy is young and rich, so she can be somebody too. I'mma nigga from the hood and it's real and I'm expressing myself.
P4M: Does your daughter have anything to do with your choice not to curse much on your songs?
L: Well nah, I don't curse cuz I know what kind of crowd I reach. It's a young crowd and I'mma respectful nigga. Niggas can still feel me tho' cuz what I say is real.
P4M: What is real?
L: The block is real. The streets is real. Magnolia and Hollygrove [communities in New Orleans] is real. The coke is flowing, hoes is blowing, niggas is killing niggas. It's Christmas season now, so the block is hot! You come round here and you just get hurt. That's real. A nigga do for dollar. Money makes the world go 'round. Plain and simple. And so I protect myself. I stayed strapped all the time, it's mandatory out here. I gotta protect myself, protect my daughter, protect what I got.
P4M: Do you ever think about why that is? On the cover of your CD you have on some red, white and blue boxers like maybe you are representing America. Do you see a connection between the way America is run and the way things are where you grew up?
L: Yeah, I guess white folks got something to do with that, the government got something to do with that, niggas got something to do with that. On the cover though, yeah, I'm straight up representing with that. It's the US of A...The United Streets of America. Cuz the streets is at war.
P4M: When does that battle stop though, when do you have enough, when are you satisfied?
L: I ain't set yet, I can tell you that. There's too much to get, more money to get, more tapes to sell, more rings, more ice. I ain't promised tomorrow, patna, so I'm gonna enjoy it now.
P4M: Do you think about traveling, leaving out of Magnolia, the South?
L: Nah. I travel too much touring. I don't like traveling too much.
P4M: Ever been overseas?
L: Nah, I ain't never been overseas. If I went somewhere, maybe I would go to Canada or something. But right now I'm here doing my thing, this music.
P4M: You talk about God a bit in your music. How does the hustle fit into that?
L: Without Him none of this would be. I wasn't no church boy or nothing. I went with my grandmother but then stopped when I got older. But I pray every night and I believe in Him. I see that this success, I didn't give it to myself, somebody has got to be responsible.
P4M: So what do you think God has in store for you in the future? Five years, ten years?
L: Well, my second album is already finished, but I ain't got no title for it yet. I'm on Juve's new joint Tha G Code and we're working on BG's new album right now. This here movie is about the Hot Boys, it's called Baller Blockin' and it's like a drama with comedy, plus there is a soundtrack. I play myself. We down here in the Magnolia with the project peoples, the soljas, the crackheads, the dope sellas. In January is the Cash Money/Ruff Riders Tour. In five years? I'll be writing and rhyming. In ten years? I'll be sitting back rich as a fish. I don't know if I'll be rhyming or what, but I'll be in this business somehow. I don't even know, all I can say is that I'm not done by a long shot.