There's no really good way for me to say this, so I'm just gonna come right out and say it. I'm obsessed with Lil' Wayne. I can't say that I'm even a well-seasoned Weezy fan; I only own one album and one mixtape. I love them both, but the boy has put out like eight albums, which means I'm by no means a Wayne connoisseur. But I recently learned, via Rich at Four Four, that someone followed him around for a while and filmed a documentary that went on to show and (I think) win some awards at Sundance.
I've watched the first 30 minutes of the documentary in 10-minute segments on YouTube. After the first segment, I was already obsessed. If you don't have time to watch the whole 10 minutes, just start at 2:58 and watch it for about a minute and a half. It's this amazing clip of him recording in his hotel room in Amsterdam; apparently he just literally brings a mike and a stand and a computer with him everywhere he goes. He rolls it around in a big duffle bag. Yeah, I know. Anyway the first time I watched this my mouth was literally just hanging open. I felt like I was watching a supernova explode or something. Just raw energy, straight from the source of the universe. Yep, channeled through Weezy.
So, in just the first 30 minutes of this amazing doc, I have learned SO much.
1. If Wayne were elected president, he would "legalize weed first and second" and abolish the pre-nup, cuz "she don't get nothin' period."
2. When he raps about "weed and syrup," he means that literally. Weed, OK, yeah, duh. But I always thought - ugh, I sound like such a white girl - that syrup was some colloquial reference to alcohol. Turns out, no, he literally drinks cough syrup. There's plenty of footage of him mixing it into soda, and he carries a plastic cup around with him at all times, presumably - I have to do it - sippin' on that sizzurp. It would be funny if it weren't so disturbing.
3. Despite his constantly, um, medicated state, he is a brilliant lyricist. I'm cheating with this point because I already knew it to be true, but it bears repeating. Because of the next thing I learned.
4. He never writes anything down. Ever. He just comes up with this stuff in his head, spits it and edits as he goes. Like he might be recording a phrase and if he gets to a part in the middle he doesn't like, he rewinds the track and raps it again. But he says that he doesn't keep anything written down, even in journals, because he doesn't want other people selling it after he dies. (When he talks about this, he references "Kurt," since apparently he's on a first-name basis with Mr. Cobain.)
5. He allegedly doesn't have sex. He says in one interview, and I quote, "Nah, I don't have sex. I don't have time for that shit. I work too much. It's just music, music, music and money for me, literally." Now, clearly this could be a total lie, but I would argue that he's way too high and drunk all the time to lie about stuff. And knowing that he carries a recording studio around with him wherever he goes, his words seem somewhat believable. And it makes me look at his music in a whole new light. As a feminist, I've often grappled - though never seriously - with how I can love and respect women and also love music that so clearly degrades them. I still don't have a solution to that dilemma, but knowing that Wayne may not even have sex makes me listen to his raps in a totally new way. It's an overly sexual presentation by someone who may, after all, be mostly non-sexual. He does have some kids, but if he's being honest, he currently doesn't have time for the activity, just plenty of time to rap about it.
6. He wears one of those watches that announces the time every hour. Like, audibly. "It's. 12. P.M."
7. He often listens to his own music. According to him, he listens to himself "all day long." That may sound sort of gross and self-involved, but I also think it's honest. Lots of artists pore over their own work over and over, examining what they did and perhaps trying to figure out ways to make it better next time around. And I mean, honestly, if you were the best rapper alive, wouldn't you wanna bump your own shit too?
On that point, here are a few of my favorite Weezy lyrics, entirely sans syrup.
Like Eli from New Orleans, I'm a giant in this bitch
I shake you pussies up, I'm a vibrator
You are local news, I'm 60 Minutes
Do it for my team, Tim Tebow nigga
My name ain't Bic, but I keep that flame
Like a F350, tank never empty/ Damn, everybody in the bank act friendly/ Used to think my shit didn't stink, boy was I wrong/ Approving million dollar deals from my iPhone
'Cuz bitch we the bomb like tick, tick
Ha, and after we got done/I said lady what's ya numba?/She said 911 (from Mrs. Officer, a song about a lady cop)
To the left, to the left/If you wanna leave, be my guest, you can step/Feelin' irreplaceable, listenin to Beyoncé/Well okay, I'll put you out on yo b'day
It's no sweat, no sweat/I will never 1, 2, 3, 4 get about you
I got game like E.A.
Shit, get on my level, you can't get on my level/You gon need a space shuttle or a ladder that's forever
I'm all over this ice cream beat like sprinkles
So, maybe he's not a poet laureate, but he shares my love for puns and word play. So, yeah, he's got my vote.
INTRODUCING: HARLEM EATUP! 2017
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