Lil Wayne once said he was the "best rapper alive since the best rapper retired."
Well, with Jay-Z — the man Weezy once called his favorite MC — out of retirement (see "Jay-Z's 'Retirement' Is Finally Over: New Album Due In November"), Wayne said his stance has changed a bit. Lil Wayne has declared he's still the best — even if Hov is officially back on the playing field (see "The Making Of The Best: Lil Wayne Plots His Path To The Top").
"I'm better than him," Wayne said in the new issue of Complex magazine, which features the Cash Money Millionaire on the cover with Travis Barker. "I'm 24 years old. ... I'm 13 years deep with five albums and 10 million records sold."
In the article, Wayne also had some disparaging words for the Clipse, Pharrell Williams and and Young Buck, and said he took issue with Jay rapping about being "hip-hop's savior."
"I don't like what he's saying about how he had to come back because hip-hop's dead and we need him," Wayne said. "What the f--- do you mean? If anything it's reborn, so he's probably having a problem with that. You left on a good note, and all of the artists were saying, 'Yo, this is Jay's house. He's the best.' Now he comes back and still thinks it's his house. ... It's not your house anymore, and I'm better than you."
Jay recently clarified stamping himself "hip-hop's savior" on Kingdom Come as a play on words. "When I say 'saving hip-hop,' I don't mean like I'm standing on a mountain saving hip-hop," he said. "I mean, hip-hop needs events, it needs certain things to happen at certain times, like a spark of energy. Like a [Dr.] Dre album or those moments in time that you look back on when Snoop Dogg first came out, it was like 800,000 [albums sold] in the first week. Those events are needed in hip-hop, and it just felt like it was too far in between.
"My album, I believe, is just going to do its part," he continued. "It's not single-handedly going to save hip-hop. No one can do that. I don't have those delusions of grandeur."
Looking at sales of Hova's latest opus, it looks like he's close to accomplishing his mission. He sold close to 700,000 copies in his first week, easily taking the #1 position (see "Jay-Z Scores Seventh #1 With Kingdom Come").
On Monday (December 4), a video for the album's second single, "Lost One," debuted on "TRL." "I feel like a rock star," he said when MTV recently asked him what it feels like to be Jay-Z. "I'm happy to be back. I'm happy to be embraced by the people the way I am already. I'm anxious for people to hear the music I've got. I think you're going to enjoy it, and I'm feeling like a rock star right now. I'm feeling like I'm in the best shape of my life. Muhammad Hovie!"
Jay obviously felt especially great on Monday: He was celebrating his 37th birthday.