(Photo: XXL Magazine, August/September 2014)
"I know I'm authentic because I'm 35 million years in the game," he said. "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," Wayne recalled. "You had an ODB. You had a Busta Rhymes and then you had a Tupac. You had a Biggie. And everybody was different. Biggie was talking about Mob and Mafia s--t. Tupac was wylin', talking about West Coast this and that. You had n----s 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."
Besides his talent, a thread of uniqueness could be what's kept Wayne afloat all these years. With close to a dozen studio albums, successful tours, a clothing line and YMCMB behind him, Wayne is more of a veteran than many of the rappers in his age group. That being said, he's still nervous about Tha Carter V. Past success has him feeling like an underachiever. "I'm always feeling like I ain't done s--t," he said. "I'm still nervous about Tha Carter V… I'm confident about what I do, but I'm still nervous about what people think."
The artist who influenced Wayne as a performer most isn't even another rapper, it's Prince. Believe it or not, he's long been mesmerized by the Purple One. "It was the way he pronounced words and the way he used his voice," explained the New Orleans native. "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."
Weezy's XXL issue hits stands August 12.
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