You think Wayne detracts from Drake’s ability to shine?
It’s impossible to make that guy disappear when his light shines as bright as his does. I think [Lloyd] Banks would have sold 5 mil if I was in jail during the period when his album was released. It was a way for a Wayne fan to be just a Drake fan during that time.
Why do you think he didn’t win the Grammy?
I didn’t get it the year I was supposed to get it, for different reasons. I think the board is not young. They’re not hip. [In my case it was] just the choices to write the harsh reality. I point to that.
Now you’re dealing with the reality of Hollywood. You shed 54 pounds for your latest role. Why?
Things Fall Apart is a passion project for me. I disciplined myself physically more than I had up to this point.
What film performances have you seen that have inspired you?
Christian Bale in The Fighter. That was a performance. I know it was Mark Wahlberg’s baby and wouldn’t have happened without him, but Christian showed up. Let’s say I grew up around people who indulged in drug addiction, and he convinced me he was on crack. [laughs] I’m still not sure he wasn’t on crack.
What films have you connected with emotionally?
I like Aviator. I watched it over and over. Leonardo [DiCaprio] makes really good choices. But that was one of my favorite joints from him. I saw an HBO movie Sunset Limit that was really impressive. It has Samuel Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. Samuel L. Jackson is probably the most underrated actor. Like, he’s trying to go for the world record of underrated.
But he gets all kinds of accolades, and he’s in mad films.
What accolades? Yeah, he works… [But] you have the strongest monologue and awesome performance in Pulp Fiction and it’s overlooked.
He gets props for that one.
Props don’t count. He deserves an Academy look.
Samuel Jackson said you rappers shouldn’t be taking all the movie roles.
Well, yeah. He said something about me earlier. I was a fan of him before and after he said it. You understand, if you are that passionate… That person has disciplined himself and trained himself.
Especially now that you’ve been going through training.
Right. Then you understand the frustration. I’m with Sam: I don’t want to be in no movie with no damn rapper.
→ Pick up the April/May issue to see 50’s thoughts on God, why he’s not that close with Puff & Hov and his thoughts on Detox.