Few artists garner as strong a reaction as Lil Wayne does. Love him or loathe him, there’s no doubting that Lil Wayne is one of the most influential rappers of the modern era. He’s popularised a whole new style of delivering bars which have helped re-shape hip hop, and the five artists that Wayne calls his favourite are an eclectic mix.
Wayne’s been a rapper for as long as he can remember and was only 13-years old when his first studio album was released in 1995, back when he was in the duo, the B.G.’z. It took a while longer before he established himself as a solo artist, but, after releasing albums and mixtapes at a prolific rate, his fifth album, The Carter II, would break him into the mainstream in 2005.
It’s always been his dream to be in the position he is today, but he had to fight for his place. As a 12-year-old, Wayne was told by his mother that he needed to end his dreams of rap stardom. In response to this heartbreaking news, Carter found a gun and attempted to take his own life because, without rapping, it wasn’t worth living.
Thankfully, Carter lived through the incident and has gone on to prove to his mother why he was so intent to go down the road he’s chosen to head down. Wayne has made himself one of the most recognisable rappers on the planet, who, although he could be criticised for going through hot and cold patches, his impact on hip hop has been a revolutionary one.
Speaking in 2019 about the five rappers who had the most significant impact on him and developing his style during an episode of DJ Khaled’s Amazon-exclusive podcast, The First One. It’s an intriguing list with Wayne picking out names from the left field. “I was the hugest N.O.R.E. fan,” he said while naming Noreaga, AKA N.O.R.E. “He had this thing about him where he could be from anywhere and you fucked with him.”
Elsewhere on his list, Wayne names the big hitters Jay-Z, and Biggie Smalls, two artists that are essential on any selection of this kind. Interestingly, he also added, the not-so-widely-loved Cam’ron to his list, noting, “I was the biggest Cam fan.
Weezy also gave props to Missy Elliot, revealing, “Missy was into the who, brrrrr, the whole heeheeheeHA. And so when Mannie Fresh would get you in the studio, he gon’ remind you ‘hey, you need to throw that ha ha in there.’ I was like ‘man, he want me to do a sound for every damn line!'”
He then discussed his time in the studio with Mannie Fresh, who encouraged him to start integrating ad-libs into his raps. Adding, “I was like, ‘Man, he wants me to do a sound for every damn line!’ And so the ‘Block Burner’ song was my best favourite song because my favourite artist was Missy Elliott.”
In response to Wayne’s admission, Missy took to social media to say, “You never know who you may inspire in life or in what way…This is a list of those who must have impacted Lil Wayne in some way for different reasons Creating his own Masterpieces & becoming LEGENDARY. I’m so HUMBLED.”
Check out his full list below.
Lil Wayne’s favourite rappers of all time
- Biggie Smalls
- Missy Elliott