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Lil Wayne’s Advice To Drake

Submitted by on June 18, 2010 – 9:48 am39 Comments

We all know that while Drake has plenty of mentors in the rap game (such as Jay-Z and Kanye West), his most important hip-hop role model by far is Lil Wayne.

In light of Weezy’s current incarceration, Drake has been seen rocking “Free Wayne” t-shirts and constantly expressing his support for his mentor, frequent collaborator and friend. Drizzy even gave his opinion of Wayne’s arrest and imprisonment on CNN of all places:

In a recent interview with MTV.com, Drake revealed he got some unexpected advice from the self-proclaimed “Best Rapper Alive.” Here’s an excerpt from that interview.

“To him, there’s a whole world moving out there that he hasn’t seen for so long. He was just like, he told me something I never thought I’d hear him say, which was, ‘You’re the ultimate artist. You’re better than me. You don’t have the tattoos, you don’t cause any trouble. People like you.’ He was like, basically, ‘Look at me and look at you.’ He was like, ‘Man, listen. You know what I think you’re about to do? You’re about to do two million.You’re about to do two million the first week. Whatever, man, whatever you do, do not get no tattoos never in your life. They gonna think you got it because you came around me.’ He said the same thing to me [during the Rikers visit]: ‘Don’t change yourself, please. You got it. I’ve never met a young dude that has it figured out, but you got it. Don’t mess it up. Just be you. Sing! Rap! Be you. Don’t stop smiling.’ That’s what he said.” (MTV)

While Wayne spoke specifically about smiles and tattoos, I think his advice has more significance than the exterior. He’s telling Drake not to become influenced by his surroundings and circumstances to the point that he changes who he is and conforms to the norm in the game and the urban community.

This points to a greater issue in the urban community. All too often, we tend to celebrate and glorify our culture’s less than glorious features. We need to realize that even if we have had to learn to endure the worst of our culture, this merely makes that endurance a necessity, not an aspiration. Also, by branding ourselves with the image and attitude that are often associated with our worst, we diminish our self-worth and give those we meet the unfair opportunity to limit and narrow their view of who we are (not that some wouldn’t do it anyway).

Certain words from the man born Dwayne Michael Carter jump out at me. “You don’t cause trouble. People like you.” Those words are in direct conflict with the gangsta image so popular within the culture of hip-hop and that so many attempt to emulate in their daily lives.

What Drake has ‘figured out,’ and what more of us need to learn, is that who he is is quite good enough. It appears Wayne has had a lot of time to think and possibly reconsider his lifestyle while locked up, and almost sounds somewhat regretful of some of his decisions. Because he’s so influential, it will be important to see if he makes corresponding changes upon his release.

Until then, he will certainly remain in the thoughts and prayers of fans worldwide.

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