Lil Wayne called in to New York’s Hot 97 radio station Tuesday evening (August 3) from Rikers Island to talk about his time behind bars, hopeful collaborations and his upcoming EP, I’m Not a Human Being, due in September.
Wayne started his sentence on gun charges in March and is scheduled for release in November. “I’m calling you from Rikers Island right now, unfortunately,” Lil Wayne said over a crackling phone line to Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex.
When asked about the support he’s received from fans while in jail, he said, “It’s been more than amazing. I promise that I can’t explain the love and support I’ve been getting from my fans. I never knew it was like that, and I’ve been doing this for, what, 16 years? It’s breathtaking.”
Wayne went on to remind listeners and fans how to reach him while he’s locked up.
“All you have to do is go on my website WeezyThanxYou.com, and I think all of my information is on there where you can write to me, and I get my mail every day,” he said. “I read as much as I can and I respond, and if you want to hear me respond, all you have to do is check back on that same website, and I have a great lady named Karen Civil that puts up my responses, she puts up updates, everything is on there. Some people might faint when they see their name on there, and they be like, ‘Oh my God!’ It’s a great thing.”
He also shared what he’s been listening to — and not listening to — during his jail time. “I’ll be very honest, Flex: I don’t listen to no music. All I listen to all day, if I am listening to anything, is sports. And that ain’t because of nothing, just the simple fact that I’ve never listened to anyone else’s music but my own, and since I’m not able to do that up in here, I don’t listen to anything. I don’t listen to nothing but my thoughts.”
Wayne has at least checked out Eminem’s latest album, Relapse, which he’s featured on. “Em is him, and he’s back in a major way,” he said. ” … As far as Eminem the dude, he’s a great dude. He’s been keeping up with me since I’ve been in here, and I appreciate his support.”
The rapper later said he’s “a sports fanatic” who “played football and baseball, and I played football more than baseball, but I never was any good, so it’s nothing to speak about. I just have a great knowledge of the game.”
Wayne had a few thoughts about dream collaborations upon his release. “I’ve been saying to myself that I really want to do a song with either Andre 3000 or I really like my man Tech N9ne from the West Coast,” he said. “Other than that, I’ve been trying to do a song with this little dude Weezy; he’s stupid.”
Wayne said he stays scarce when it comes to keeping up with Young Money stars Drake and Nicki Minaj. “I call Drake at least once a week, but I actually call three or four times a week, but he only picks up for me once a week,” the MC said with a laugh.
As for calls to Minaj, he jokingly said, “That being my future wife, we talk every night. Nah, the same goes for her. I don’t like to bother them in the midst of what they’re doing, because I know they have a whole lot on their plate every single day. That’s my thing with everybody. They be like, ‘Why haven’t you called me?’ But it’s because I don’t want to bother. Put in this position, I just feel like every time I pick up the phone to dial a number, I feel like I’m a bother, because I’m in jail. I don’t have nothing else to do but talk to you, and that might not be what you want to do at the time. I don’t know if that’s just a conscious thing, but … I always feel like I’m bothering. I call Mack Maine every single day, and I know I get on his nerves, but he answers every single time.”
Wayne went on to describe a typical day in Rikers. “I wake up around 12 noon, I jump on the phone, call Mack, call family, call my mother, call my kids — you know I got a lot of kids to call,” he said with a dry laugh. “After that, once I start reading that fan mail, literally, I could read it all day, every day because it’s so much. That fan mail knocks off like four, five hours of the day. And then I do dinner — whatever that may be in here — I jump on the phone again, and after that, I’m through.”
As for what he’s learned from his stint in prison, the MC said he’ll “definitely move more carefully. I’ll definitely take heed to my situation and my status. I mean, when I ask myself … everybody says that you’re here for a reason, and I promise you, Flex, I try to find out that reason every day. I search for it. But I think when I get out, that’ll be the only time I’ll really know the answer. Every day I look for that reason.”
As for Wayne’s upcoming EP, it’s on the way. “Yes, it’s gonna drop beforeCarter IV, only on the Internet,” Wayne said. “This is stuff that I recorded right before I came here.”
As the jail phone beeped its warning that Wayne’s interview was coming to a close, the MC thanked all his fans for their support. “I don’t want the phone to hang up on us, so I want to say thank you to all my fans, and I love you, Flex, for giving me this opportunity,” he said. “I appreciate what you’re doing, Flex. Keep doing it.”