As he gears up for the long-awaited release of Tha Carter V, Lil Wayne graces the cover of Billboard.
For the first time since his settlement with Cash Money, the Young Money chief opens up about his legal battle with Birdman and his suicide attempt.
At the age of 12, his mother told him he couldn’t rap, so he found a gun in her house and shot himself in the chest. He has called the incident an accident in the past, but on a new song off C5, he admits this was a suicide attempt.
The track, which samples Sampha’s 2013 song “Indecision,” serves as the album’s outro. Wayne penned new lyrics, following the suicides of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
“He just told me one day that he was ready to address it now,” says Young Money’s Mack Maine. “Just being an adult, reaching a level of maturity and comfort where it’s like, ‘I want to talk about this because I know a lot of people out here might be going through that.’”
— billboard (@billboard) September 13, 2018
Wayne has made references to the incident on “London Roads” off 2015’s Free Weezy Album (“Ms. Cita, I remember goin’ in your gun drawer / Puttin’ it to my chest and missin’ my heart by centimeters, oh Lord”) and Solange’s “Mad” (“And when I attempted suicide, I didn’t die / I remember how mad I was on that day / Man, you gotta let it go before it get up in the way / Let it go, let it go”).
Elsewhere in the interview, Wayne addresses his legal battle with Birdman. Both parties settled their lawsuit for an undisclosed amount earlier this year. Each side retained their prior stakes in Young Money, and Wayne was paid in full. Young Money now belongs solely to Wayne, and will continue to be distributed by Republic Records.
Tha Carter V will be the first album in Wayne’s career to not have the Cash Money logo on it. “There’s no hard feelings or animosity,” says Ron Sweeney, Wayne’s attorney and manager. “This is business, and we finally got our business straight.”
Wayne and Birdman are back to speaking daily, but Wayne has become less trusting of others. “Not even just with him, but my relationships with a lot of people have become different, just because of how different I work now,” he says. “I’m submerged in everything about myself, trying to be better at who I am. It’s something where you have to cut some things off.”
Tha Carter V is rumored to drop Sept. 21. Wayne is unsure how the album will be received, but he’s prepared. “I don’t know what it’s setting me up for—some big comeback, or maybe some big fall back or whatever—but it’s setting me up for something, and I’m ready.”