LOS ANGELES — "I've never been involved in anything like this,"
With a large roster of rappers in the house for the session — including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, LL Cool J, Swizz Beatz, T-Pain, Wyclef Jean, Will.I.Am, Busta Rhymes, Kid Cudi, Drake, Nipsey Hussle, Bizzy Bone, Mann and others — Wayne said he was glad hip-hop could play such a large part in the sessions, which took place 25 years almost to the day since the first recording. "I was like, 'What am I doing here?' " Wayne joked, revealing that he got to sing the part recorded by folk icon Bob Dylan on the original.
"I was like, 'You guys are real good comedians,' " he laughed. "After I did Bob Dylan's part, it kind of hit me that I guess this is way more important than I could ever imagine."
Wayne said the opportunity to be involved in such a major undertaking is something his children can hold onto forever. As for his mother, he chuckled when he said that all she asked was that he get Gladys Knight's photo for her.
"I'm still overwhelmed," Weezy said, looking around the room at the galaxy of stars that ranged from Pink and Carlos Santana to Usher and Barbra Streisand. "I was like, 'Where do I fit in?' I thought my name got mixed up."
Asked how he approached the Dylan part and whether he sang or rapped it, Wayne said that was an embarrassing story, since he's not known as a singer and he just tried to do his best to make it work. "I don't know how to sing. I approached it the best way I know how, brother," he told a reporter with a smile. When another writer asked whether he did a better job than Dylan, Wayne flashed his diamond-studded grill and said humbly, "Hell no."
Because he lives in Miami, Wayne said he learned firsthand about the devastation in Haiti from his Haitian friends who lost their children in the earthquake. "Before I go," the New Orleans native added as he left the press area, "I think it's amazing what's been done for Haiti ... but I also think it's amazing what hasn't been done for New Orleans."