Lil Wayne knows there is no replacing Drake and Nicki Minaj. Ever since the pair took over the rap game after joining Young Money records, there have been talks of who will take over the throne after them, but the No Ceilings rapper believes that can’t be done given the state of the music industry. The rapper sat down for an interview via Instagram Live with Sovereign Brands CEO Brett Berish on Friday (Dec. 18) and talked about his involvement with shaping the careers of some of the world’s biggest rap stars.
Wayne said he gets as much joy from helping other artists succeed as he does from his own success. “Probably better, Brett. Probably better to know that I have a part of what’s going on with Nicki and Drake, and anyone—I’ve had Tyga, anyone. Someone that I know for a fact that we started from the bottom,” he said. “I started from the ground and I helped them get to where they got. It’s like a seed you only have to water once and it never stops growing. That’s what I look at that as. I just sit back and enjoy the view.”
When asked if he looks forward to finding other artists to replace the two hitmakers, Wayne was certain it wasn’t possible. “There’s no such thing, I hate when people ask me that. There’s no such thing as the next Drake or Nicki,” the rapper said. “We do that. What happens is, I guess back then when I did discover Drake and Nicki, the game was different. Music was different. What I mean by that is they came in right before the whole social media popped off, they came when music had everybody’s attention. Meaning it had everybody looking to say, ‘What is next? Who is next?’ You had a choice to say, ‘This is what’s next.’ That’s not what it is these days.”
“Now there are a thousand new things a day,” he added, referring to the amount of new music that surfaces online each day. “Given that fact, unfortunately, you gotta be more than someone to become a Drake or a Nicki these days. Right when you think you’re Drake or you’re Nicki, they are about to post something of a little 6-year-old saying something that’s more popping than one of your songs.”
The rapper also opened up about the ways that he discovers new artists like Jack Harlow and Doja Cat, saying that he doesn’t listen to other artists’ songs but only finds new music in an organic way. Wayne said he learned about the “Tyler Herro” rapper by stumbling upon one of his videos while watching television, and he found out about the “Say So” rapper on SoundCloud.
The New Orleans emcee is credited for helping develop the massive careers of Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Tyga when he signed them to Young Money Records. The artists released multiple projects under the label, and they all recorded a number of hit songs together. The “I Do It” rapper made headlines last week when it was announced that he sold his masters for $100 million in June. New reports from this week claim that he also sold the rights to his protégés music. According to Music Business Worldwide, a pending lawsuit reveals that the rapper’s settlement also sold Young Money’s entire catalog, including Drake and Nicki’s, to Universal Music Group.