Lil Wayne is the rare rapper who, when he claims to be the "best rapper alive" might actually be right. In its first week on the shelves, his album The Carter III sold over a million copies. The reviews were good, too: everyone from TIME Magazine to the New Yorker started calling him the greatest rapper around. Wayne's a big sports fan (would you believe it: Packers and Red Sox), so we got together to talk about the popularity of his music as MLB at-bat songs and who he'd like to write an original tune for.
MAG.COM: What does it feel like to hear your music in stadiums?
LIL WAYNE: Unexplainable. I'm just so grateful. The feeling is like—wow, man.
When you're writing, do you think about what the songs will sound like at a sporting event?
Put it this way, I don't write anything that I don't expect to hear in a stadium, so yeah.
How much time do you spend a week watching sports?
I don't watch anything else. It's kind of like, football, basketball, baseball, in that order—all day long when I'm not writing.
Do you have any friends in Major League Baseball?
I haven't met anyone yet. I'd like to meet Delmon Young or Prince Fielder. Those are my two favorite players. I love Delmon 'cause he's an energetic young guy, an ambitious player. And Prince, s--t, with his size and what he can accomplish, man I think the sky's the limit for him. My other favorite player is this kid Price on the Rays—David Price. He's something, man. I'm excited to see him pitch. If he was gonna use a song of mine I'd say it should be "I'm Me." I like that song. That's a confident song. That s--t is motivational. That's where he should go with his music. Either that or the song Charlie Sheen used in that movie, "Wild Thing."
Would you ever write an at-bat song for a player if he asked?
Of course. Hell, yes, I would. I'd do it right now.
Off the top of your head, what would you write for Prince Fielder?
When I make music I gather all my thoughts…hmm. It probably go something like: Coming up to the plate young Prince/ swinging for the fence. Something like that, but it'd be better 'cause I'd work real hard on it.
What would your at-bat song be?
"Purple Rain," no doubt. I've been trying to sing like Prince. I listen to him a lot. But with that song, you know, it's so complex that I'd start it out with the guitar solo right when I stepped into the batter's box.
"Lollipop" is one of the most popular at-bat songs. How long did it take you to write it?
It came very quickly. It's one of my chant songs. Like, you kind of make it up as you go like, Hell no, we won't go. That's what I mean by chant. I make a lot of those types of songs, and I guess it makes sense for them in stadiums.
What games are you looking to go to down the stretch?
You know what? I've never actually been to a Major League game. I've heard my songs at NBA games, but not baseball. I can't really believe it. I was gonna go see the Marlins when they had Dontrelle 'cause I loved that dude. Now I think I may go see the Rays when they call up Price (he played his first game on Sept. 14th).
Are the Rays your favorite story of the year?
No. Manny Ramirez going to the Dodgers is. That was some unexpected s--t. ManRam in LA. Damn. He's actually my favorite player, overall. It's a tie between him and Ortiz. I'll go 50/50. I used to like Pedro, but I don't like his swagger no more. I'm actually a huge Red Sox fan, but I'm torn. My man's on the Dodgers now, so I'll be rooting for them, too. It's close with them and the Diamondbacks, man, but Manny's gonna push 'em over the top.
What about your favorite athletes from other sports?
Kobe Bryant is my favorite of all-time. I got that jersey before anyone else. I've been a Brett Favre fan since like 1995. I love the Green Back Packers. It's crazy bein' a Packers fan and a Red Sox fan and your two favorite players get traded. It's rough, like, now I'm a Red Sox and Dodger fan. What? Now I'm a Packers and Jets fan. Seriously. The Packers are ranked high without him though. I'm really torn about that.
Do you play fantasy sports?
Sure do. Got a team on ESPN right now. I joined up in a ten person league and got the No. 1 overall pick. They don't know it's me, 'cause on there I'm the South Beach Sloths.
And you went with LT, right?
Hell, no. A.P. over LT. Are you serious? You gotta make that pick 'cause he's the best and he's gonna prove it this year. I'm pretty happy with my team. I got Ben Roethlisberger, too. I got Chris Johnson from the Titans—you ESPN people oughta like that move. I watched Michael Smith's draft on ESPN and then I had my draft the next day. I'm always prepared. S--t, it's all I watch.
Who do you like to win the World Series?
I like the Rays but I'm gonna take a shot in the dark here and say the Cubs. This could really be the year after all they been through. I'd pick a song for them, or write one, about triumph. But it's gotta be big for this. It's gotta be a good song.
Got any Super Bowl picks?
Yes I do. The Packers. Or the Jets.