Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” has been delayed numerous times in the past six months, but in his first interview since his recent arrest on felony drugs and weapons charges in Arizona, the rapper promises the new album will be worth the wait.
“It’s one of those albums people are really waiting on, so I made it so that whatever is on it will stick with you forever,” he tells Billboard of the project, which has been plagued with leaks. “I’m taking my time with it. And I’m giving artists I respect and people I want to do songs with — not songs the label fixed — an opportunity to collaborate.”
“I think this album is going to be one of my best albums,” he continues. “I’m a true perfectionist. I might have to work out a deal with Universal to shoot a video to for all these songs, that’s how crazy they all are. Every one of them is a movie.”
Although Wayne was happy to discuss “Tha Carter III,” which is expected in March or April via Cash Money/Universal, he didn’t want to talk about what went down in Arizona, where he’s been ordered to return for a Feb. 12 hearing. “I’ve got nothing to say about that,” he replied when asked about the arrest.
The new album’s official single, the Deezle-produced “Lollipop,” features Static and will be serviced to radio shortly. A video for it was recently shot in Las Vegas. Other guests on the set include Hurricane Chris, Corey Gunz, Tyga, Jibbs, Shanell, Kidd Kidd, Mack Maine and Lil Mama. Jim Jonsin, the Alchemist and Cool and Dre contributed production.
Wayne has released six albums and made more than 40 guest appearances since 1999 — 17 of those collaborations in the last two years — not to mention the massive amount of mixtapes and leaked tracks that routinely appear online.
“I’ve found out that I love doing music for others,” he says. “You’re making history when you’re making music with somebody else, for somebody else. Plus, I find that when I do that, it doesn’t get leaked. And when it does, it doesn’t do what it does when it’s one of my songs. I get a real joy. And it’s another reason why I was able to wait so long to put another album out — because these features keep me eating and making money.”
For more of Billboard’s exclusive interview with Lil Wayne, see the Feb. 9 issue of the magazine, on newsstands and online today (Feb. 1) at Billboard.biz.