2 Chainz and Lil Wayne‘s joint project ColleGrove begins with the sentimental opener “Dedication” — not only a nod to Weezy’s successful mixtape series, but a salute from Tity Boi to Tunechi. “If it wasn’t for Wayne, it wouldn’t be a lot of dudes in the game including me,” raps 2 Chainz on the Mike Dean and Southside-produced track.
“I didn’t know he was doing it. It just came from nowhere,” Lil Wayne explains to Genius backstage at Atlanta’s Tabernacle, where both ColleGrove rappers hosted an exclusive concert for Jay Z‘s streaming service TIDAL. He then recalls how he was in the car (a location he’s rarely in) with his security detail, a lady companion and his driver. Wayne asked them to park the car and exit the vehicle as he listened to “Dedication.”
He continues, “After I started listening to what the lyrics was about, obviously I already tattooed some on my face, but that song made a few more drops. I had to text him right then and there… I don’t even know where this came from. This is amazing.”
Chainz then recalls how a prior conversation between the two rappers made the intro of the record. During his stint on the road for the I Am Music tour in 2007-08 (following their 2007 collaboration “Duffle Bag Boy”), “I remember him calling me one day basically saying if I don’t come out there, he gon’ do my verse for me ’cause he couldn’t just start with the hook type of shit.”
The Atlanta MC recalled being a member of Playaz Circle on Ludacris‘ DTP label at the time. “I didn’t want to seem like I was clique-hopping, but I wanted to take the opportunity and make the best out of it.” Chainz then details how Wayne’s work ethic shaped his own and that time they were at Kid Rock‘s crib.
Watch the first installment of Genius’ five-part video series with 2 Chainz and Wayne below.