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Lil Wayne's Oct/Nov VIBE Cover Story

Lil Wayne doesn’t take compliments too well. That much is apparent when you attempt to congratulate the hip-hop enigma on racking up his fifth top 10 debut on Billboard’s Hot 100 with his current single—the strutting darkly tinted Drake —featured song “She Will.” You then unknowingly add more proverbial fuel to fire by mentioning that the impressive feat puts him ahead of his three biggest peers in the current rap landscape: Eminem, Kanye West and Jay- Z. Wayne is not impressed.

“There’s no competition [with any artists],” he asserts in a perturbed tone after a VIBE cover photo shoot in Miami. “Music isn’t about competition no more. All the gangster rappers are happy. All the skateboard rappers are happy, all the white rappers are happy…Everybody just happy to do music these days. There are no problems,” he adds. “That shit died a long time ago with them old-ass rappers. We are just making music, making money and having fun-feeding our families. Competition is for the old guys.”

Such a hairpin response trigger response is not merely moody—rapper theatrics; it’s the contradictory, if elusive, ramblings of the “best rapper alive.” In late August, tracks for the goblin’s much-anticipated album The Carter IV leaked, drowning the blogosphere in Carter curiosity. One particular cut, “It’s Good,” ignited a frenzy of HOLY SHITS and other Cap-lock catharsis. The song will go down as Wayne’s first official salvo at Mr. Shawn Carter with the brutal line, “I got your baby money/ Kidnap your bitch, get that how- much-you-love-your-lady-money.”

Wayne’s jab comes off as a counter- punch to Jay- Z’s slap at Wayne and/or his mentor, Bryan “Baby” Williams on “H.A.M.,” on which Jigga raps, “Really you got baby money…You ain’t got my lady’ s money.” Of course, the inevitable debate followed: Is Wayne built to go toe-to-toe with the old guy? Was he really going at Mrs. Carter? Does Jay- Z have another “Takeover” left in his rhyme reservoir? Or is he in for another “Ether”?

Despite his blatant on-record diss, the Young Money label head is cryptic when the subject of jay- Z comes up. Wayne is more interested in discussing the inspiration behind his cover shoot: homage to the ultimate guitar god Jimi Hendrix. It’s all there-the badass black hat; a “Purple Haze” era Technicolor military jacket; black leather pants; and Jimi’s signature orange, black and white Fender Stratocaster. “Jimi’s just one of my favorite artists,” says Wayne, who a few years ago decided to pick up the guitar himself. “Everything Jimi stood for, I believe in.”

The irony of Wayne channeling the spirit of the late ax-wielding genius instantly hits you. There was a time when an unstable Lil Wayne was on a watch list for the next in line to join the Hendrix-led “Forever 27 Club,” a crew of deceased musicians (its most recent inductee, Amy Winehouse) who partied way too hard and left behind sad fans and beautiful corpses. An overdose from too much codeine-laced purple drink seemed highly plausible at one point.

However, at 28 years old, Dwayne Michael Carter has sidestepped such a morbid destiny. An eight- month prison stint from a 2007 gun possession charge seemed to have made the relentless MC more focused. At press time, Lil Wayne-who was finishing up his sold-out I Am Still Music tourhas taken in $15 million in 2011, according to Forbes. The music mogul who guided both Drake and Nicki Minaj to platinum stardom is a studio rat that has no interest in fronting the obligatory fashion line or staging a Hollywood takeover. In fact, he shrugs off any Tupac-style big-screen dreams. “I’m wealthy enough,” he says. “I don’t really dip into nothing that really ain’t my field, because that’s when you start looking crazy and doing stupid things.

”For Wayne the choice is clear: music or death. --Keith Murphy

 

VIBE: You say competition is for the “old guys” but it sounds like you’re going at Jay- Z with that line, “I got your baby money/Kidnap your bitch, get that how-much-you-love-your- lady-money.” Are we looking at it in the wrong way?
Lil Wayne: I know for a fact, music is about perception. You can’t do anything but perceive what you hear. If I know that for a fact, I can never be upset abut someone’s reaction to it. I’m not gonna say I don’t know what will happen before I say it [on record]. I do know what will happen. I am aware of it. It is what it is.
 
So you knew the repercussions of going after Jay before anything even happened?
Well, I’m a man. I believe as a man you should know that. Every man should know the repercussion and consequences behind whatever they do before they do it. And of course, I know there wont be any repercussion behind what I did.
 
With the release of Jay- Z-Kanye West collaboration Watch the Throne, fans have already started discussing a similar project featuring you and Drake. Is that really going to happen?
Yeah, we still plan on doing it. We just gotta find the right time.
 
I know you mentioned that you don’t view your peers as competition. But is there any part if you that believes you and Drake can trump The Throne?

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Grammy-nominated singer H.E.R. appeared on NPR's "Tiny Desk" set on Dec. 12, to deliver a 4-piece-medley from her last four projects.

Tucked neatly behind her dark sunglasses, the songstress began her set strapped to a mustard yellow guitar with a host of back-up musicians accompanying the 21-year-old on her first solo journey with "Tiny Desk." She previously appeared on the performance series in June 2018 alongside collaborator Daniel Caesar to bring their single "Best Part" to life.

The singer began with "Going (Interlude)," a low-tempo song ushering a heavy-hearted feel into the 18-minute-performance. Keeping with the melancholy vibes planted by the first single, Gabriella Wilson – best known by her three-letter-moniker –  delivered a stunning rendition of "Feel A Way." With two-final transitions, the singer-songwriter concluded her act with "Focus," a throw back from the 2017 EP that gained her worldwide recognition, H.E.R. Volume 1.

Switching from strings to keys, Wilson sat peacefully before a keyboard playing the melody she crafted for the crowd favorite. Chaperoning the performance to a close, Wilson and her background singers played a vocal game of tag as the band jazzed up the slow beats until the set officially wrapped.

Watch as H.E.R. rocks the "Tiny Desk" set in the video above.

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Cardi B To Join James Corden On A Forthcoming "Carpool Karaoke" Segment

Your rapper’s favorite rapper Cardi B is slated to make her debut on “Car Pool Karaoke” with James Corden, Billboard reports. The Late Late Show host teased the upcoming episode, which airs Monday (Dec.17) via Instagram along with a small schedule of the show’s upcoming guests.

 

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Here’s what the next two weeks look like on the @latelateshow! Seeing the year out with a bang x x x

A post shared by James Corden (@j_corden) on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:17pm PST

In addition to the “Money” rapper, Amber Heard and Armie Hammer will also appear on the same episode. Corden is closing out the last leg of 2018 strong by having a slew of other prominent stars on the show on the last week before the program goes on break for the holidays. The likes of Gwen Stefani, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Leah Remini, Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others will be featured on the show after Bardi’s Monday episode.

To say the least, we're sure the British talk show host and the newly minted Grammy-nominated rapper are going to have the time of their lives.

The 26-year-old's now estranged husband Offset, along with the other members of Migos were guests on the beloved show. Joining Corden as he drove through the streets of Los Angeles, the trio performed a slew of hits including "Walk It Talk It"  while also giving a nod of praise to past hits, including Whitney Houston's "Wanna Dance With Somebody."

With all the fun Migos had with Corden, we can only imagine what shenanigans James and Belcalis are going to get into.

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Usher Releases "Peace Sign" Video Off Of 'A' Project

Given Monday's (Dec. 10) debate about who's the king of R&B, one of the names that steadily popped up in the conversation has stepped onto the scene. In a visual promotion for his A soundscape, Usher released the video for "Peace Sign" alongside producer Zaytoven.

Previously, the pair hit the studio for an eight-track project that pays respect to their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. It was surprise-released in October and effortlessly fuses ATL's aura on the soundscape. Now, the "Peace Sign" video puts that decision into cinematic motion.

"Atlanta offers a certain attitude and a sauce that I can't explain, and it is a little bit in 'No Limit,' it is a little bit in 'TNT.' I'm literally talking sh*t, man," he said in an interview with The Fader. "I'm popping sh*t that I haven't popped, like really ever. And that's what being in the moment creates. When you have months and months to think about it and you begin to analyze all the people who you need to think of and what you want this entire project to work out, you'll lose certain elements of your spontaneity an incredible culture that just happens in the moment. I didn't give that space. I really was honest with the feelings, I was honest with the conversation and I was really in the moment. And I thank Zay for that."

Watch the video up top.

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