NEW ORLEANS — Lil Wayne knows it's time for his Tha Carter III LP. First he said February, then we heard March, now Weezy has pegged April as his new due date.
Blame it on creativity.
"I make it worse for Universal [Records]," Wayne said Tuesday, sitting on his tour bus. "I keep doing new songs every other day. I don't stop working, so I don't know when they gonna get that. Everything I do be better than the last, like, 'Oh, this gotta make the album!' "With all the shuffling and recording going on, Wayne said he has material to take him all the way up to Carter 10. For his third installment, though, he's worked with Hurricane Chris, Jay-Z, Corey Gunz, his artist Tiger (younger cousin of Gym Class Heroes' Travis McCoy), Lil Mama, Busta Rhymes, Juelz Santana, Fabolous, Baby, Brisco, Dre from Cool & Dre, and Ludacris on a duet called "Eat You Alive." Alchemist, Swizz Beatz, Cool & Dre, Kanye West, Jim Johnson and his own in-house producer Diesel supplied the beats.
The first single, at least for now, is called "A Millie," a hard splatter of relentless wordplay, unnerved style and a down-bottom bass beat. His second single, aimed at the ladies, is called "Lollipop" and features acclaimed songwriter Static (Aaliyah, Timbaland, Missy Elliott).
"That's me. I love music," he said about the new tattoo on his face that reads "I Am Music" in red letters. "I found a love for music. I owe it all to a lot of people in the game. They don't even know." T-Pain and Prince are among those he names.
While Weezy has been inspired by many, he took time on Tuesday to inspire the youth at his old school, Eleanor McMain Secondary School. He sat down and answered questions from an art class filled with juniors and seniors.
He started at the school in seventh grade and was in the band. That's where he met his manager, Cortez Bryant, who was right by his side on Tuesday. Discussion topics ranged from his mother being a pivotal part of his life to how he's hoping one day he and his daughter can be like Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus. He even got a potential date out of the meeting: A young girl named Julie asked him to the school's prom on April 19.
"I'll be out the country then. Sorry," he said with a smile.
"Coming back to speak to them is super-important," he said later that afternoon. "It was my school. I went to that school. I attended that school. It shows them somebody from there made it. It makes them feel like you can do it. That right there was so important. I see it in their eyes, like, 'We can do something.' Not just doing what I'm doing, but, 'We can be successful.' "
The students made Wayne an elaborate fleur-de-lis, which he plans to use as a backdrop for his shows.
Wayne is also involved in a restoration project in Harrell Park, where he played football as a kid. He remembers it as a meeting place where the two 'hoods of Pigeon Town and Hollygrove would meet up, socialize and sometimes rumble. After Hurricane Katrina, FEMA gutted the park to make room for trailers. Weezy's plans include putting up the funds for indoor basketball courts and indoor pools.