NORTH HOLLYWOOD, California — On Friday, with the 53rd Grammy Awards less than 48 hours away, Travis Barker invited MTV News up to his studio to play us a handful of tracks from his long-delayed though finally completed solo album, Give the Drummer Some, which hits stores on March 15. Judging from what we heard, there’s no shortage of hard-hitting, genre-blurring jams on the record, though a standout is “Can a Drummer Get Some?” The track, which is the album’s proper first single, features verses from Rick Ross, Game, Swizz Beatz and, of course, Lil Wayne.
The Blink-182 stickman let it slip that he’s planning on filming a video for the song with all the talent present as early as next week. And it’s fitting that, on practically the eve of the Grammys, he’s talking about the song because, in a lot of ways, its roots stretch all the way back to last year’s Grammy telecast, when Barker joined Weezy, Eminem and Drake onstage for a performance of “Forever”
“At the Grammys, we were at soundcheck, we were messing around before we even bust into the song,” Barker recalled. “Freestyling, just busting beats, it’s always a good time.”
And that crackling, live energy is more than present on “Can a Drummer,” a song that Barker is deeply attached to for a lot of reasons.
“I painted that one up in my head — that’s the first song I wrote for my album. I pieced that one together, I knew exactly how I wanted it,” he explained. “I [had] played on something for Young Money — they wanted me to do a remix, and I was like, ‘Cool.’ I had seen Wayne in L.A., and I had talked to him about a verse, so [we were like] ‘let’s just do [an] even trade.’ So, like a month later, I got my verse from Wayne. Man, everything he said, he just killed it. I would get mixtapes and I’d be listening to it in the car, like blaring it, and I’d hear him say my name or something, and I’d be like, ‘Lil Wayne just said my name, this is a trip!’ Because I’m a fan.”
And as a fan, Barker is a lot like the rest of us. He’s eternally marveling at how far Wayne has come — a voyage that started more than 10 years ago, continued though their 2010 Grammy performance and now is featured prominently on “Can a Drummer Get Some?”
“I love what Wayne’s done, how he’s progressed,” Barker laughed. “I remember, it must’ve been 1999 or 2000, and we’re in Las Vegas, at the Joint, and Cash Money is performing, and Blink’s performing — so it’s just a trip because I grew up on him too. I saw him go from that through his whole career, all his albums — it’s just crazy.”
Don’t miss “Snooki & Sway: Live From the Grammys,” a red-carpet live stream kicking off Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And stick with us all Grammy night for coverage of the red carpet, the show, the afterparties and beyond!