20. LIL WAYNE
By: Maurice Garland
An example of Lil Wayne’s brain being extraterrestrial came on December 16, 2010, when his comeback single “6 Foot 7 Foot” left rap heads in a collective stupor with: "Bitch, real Gs move in silence like lasagna." There was confusion, followed by a-ha’s, followed by dictionaries dusted off to confirm if the “g” in “lasagna” is in fact silent (confirmed).
It’s this sharp inventiveness that’s elevated Dwayne Carter from Cash Money minor to lyrical miracle. He’s a real-life rap goblin whose home is the recording booth—a living, breathing, codeine-sipping case study for Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory. Music simply pours from Weezy’s pores, whether punch line jabbing (“Go DJ"), Auto-Tune crooning (“Lollipop”) or rock invading (Rebirth). Meanwhile, Wayne’s Martian eyes and ears have helped him scope out his own young brilliance, seeing Drake’s and Nicki Minaj’s visions perhaps before they’d seen their own. Clearly, the “g” in this genius is not silent.
Bun B, rapper and collaborator says:
“I always thought Lil Wayne had a good approach to rhyme. I was mainly impressed by his vocabulary. Early in his career, his mother didn’t allow him to curse on records, so he had to work very hard to get his point across. That helped contribute to his lyrical dexterity in the long run. When Wayne was younger, Baby would ask how Wayne could have a career with longevity and respect: How do we make him great? My answer was to let him live in the studio. The more time he spends there, the more everything else feels foreign. He’s stuck to that.”