Through the years, [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] developed as an artist. The onetime neophyte of Cash Money records has grown from a slick-talking corn-rowed kid to the multi-platinum face of the label. Now, 12 years after releasing his 1999 solo debut, Wayne heads his own Young Money label, and as he explained to Sway after taping his [article id="1665476"]"MTV2 Presents: Lil Wayne Unplugged,"[/article] he's serious about the careful artistic development of all of his signees.
"I'm not gonna shove him in your face right now and make him a one-hit wonder," Wayne said of his "6 Foot, 7 Foot" collaborator [artist id="1886999"]Cory Gunz[/artist]Cory Gunz. "He's nowhere near ready. He's gonna do this the way artists should do it, the way Drake did it.
"I'm not gonna make a one-hit wonder," Wayne repeated emphatically. "That's not what I do."
Lil Twist, who is currently finding increasing success with his latest [article id="1660320"]single, "Love Affair,"[/article] will not be a flash in the pan either, according to Weezy. "Twist is ready. Twist is a well-developed artist, and it's about to be Twist's turn."
The 18-year-old Dallas rapper joined the Young Money fold as a minor, but rather than have him go for the usually successful, cutesy route, Wayne chose to wait. "That's why I didn't shove Twist in nobody's face. I could've been like, 'This is our young artist'; the young, cute little artist of the label with all the adults," he said. "I could've did that, but no, we're gonna do this right. I didn't want to put him out and have him as a kid star, and sometimes you don't know what to do after that. So now he's 18, he's a teenager, and I don't even have to look at the kid-star thing."
Young Money plans to release Twist's debut album Don't Get It Twisted later this year.
Wayne expresses a similar amount of confidence in his alternative R&B female artist Shanell.
"Shanell is past ready. Actually she came into the game ready," Wayne said beaming with pride. "That was no developing; that's a superstar, that's a very talented woman. It's just that you have to properly handle her situation the right way, 'cause you don't want nobody to miss the point, and the point is, that is a very talented woman, and that's what I want everybody to see."
Don't miss "MTV2 Presents: Lil Wayne Unplugged," premiering Sunday, June 12, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV2, MTV and MTV.com.