The more Lil Wayne’s rock-leaning LP Rebirth is delayed, the more fans wonder if the superstar rapper can really pull off the genre-switching feat he’s attempting.
The project has been pushed back several times already, and producer Dre of Cool & Dre told MTV News back in April that the project wouldn’t necessarily be all rock. But in the November 7 edition of Billboard magazine, the Cash Money lyricist emphatically states he’ll be rocking out on Rebirth.
In the interview, which appears to have taken place before Weezy pleaded guilty to felony gun possession last week, the MC also assured fans that he knows exactly what he’s doing with this foray into rock.
“Yes, the album is still rock,” he explained. “I play guitar on 80 percent of the songs, and there’s a lot of rock influences and rock beats. I also have Travis Barker on the album. But I don’t want people to think I’m trying to do something I can’t do. Don’t think you’re going to put on the album and hear me screaming and singing. … Don’t worry about that. [Laughs.] When people hear me say rock, they may get a little scared like, ‘Oh, God. What is he going to do?’ When I said I was doing a rock album, it was about doing a freedom thing. This album isn’t hip-hop. When I do my Carter albums, I know I’ve got to rap, I know I’ve got to spit. I know the words I’ve got to say and the subjects I’ve got to talk about. I also know the things I shouldn’t say, the things I shouldn’t talk about. There’s none of those limits on this album. I say what I want, how I want. That’s what this album is: a freedom album.”
Wayne repeated that Rebirth and Young Money’s crew album will be released together. The projects are tentatively slated for a December 15 release.
A number of tracks from Rebirth have appeared online prematurely, to Wayne’s chagrin. But he said he’s retooled the album in an effort to keep fans off balance.
“I had to add new cuts, because a lot of things leaked, making people think they had an idea of what I was doing with Rebirth and what it would sound like,” he said. “And I hated that, because I never want anybody to think they know what I’m doing until I present it. So what I did was make it totally different. I flipped it.”
In addition to those projects, Wayne is also overseeing his protégé Drake’s debut, Thank Me Later, expected to drop at the top of 2010. He said the upstart star is hands on with his project, and so far, Wayne hasn’t chimed in. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Toronto MC were already finished.