Lil Wayne’s respect and admiration for JAY-Z has been well documented over the years. After a few collaborations and memorable moments, the New Orleans rapper credits a former Hov album for inspiring his music and having the most impact on his career.
During a conversation with Lil Baby for Rolling Stone‘s “Musicians on Musicians” series, when asked about the album that had a huge impact on his early years, he quickly named the Brooklyn native’s 1999 project. “JAY-Z, Life and Times of Shawn Carter, plain and simple,” he said. “It was the first album where I actually [bought] the car that the rapper was talking about. That was my album.”
“Also, JAY talked so crazy,” he continued. “He went bananas on that album. I got lyrics from the album tattooed on me and shit. I have songs that are remakes of spinoffs of songs from that album.”
Lil Wayne has since collaborated with JAY on songs like “Hello Brooklyn” and “Mr. Carter,” but their friendship goes beyond music. Back in 2018, Wayne told a crowd of his fans that The Blueprint emcee showed up for him in a time of need. “There’s people like JAY-Z. He helped me when I was really, really, really down. Really, really, really down,” he said. “JAY don’t want me to tell nobody. That man helped me with my taxes. He’s a real friend, y’all.”
The “Lollipop” star is known to express his appreciation for fellow members of the hip hop industry. He previously told DJ Khaled that Missy Elliott —his favorite rapper — gave him the idea to experiment with different sounds in his music.
“Missy Elliott — that was my favorite rapper because that would be why I was making so many sounds,” Wayne said. “You know, Missy was into the whole ‘Brrrrt’ [sound]. You know what I mean? She’s about to make the ‘hehehehe ha’ [sound],” he said.
His Missy-inspired ad-libs could be heard in his songs “Block Burner” and “The Block is Hot.”