Update: Lil Wayne has apologized for his Nightline comments, according to TMZ. He said that he became agitated after the interviewer asked if he’d have any problem with his daughter being called a “bitch” or hoe while discussing his explicit lyrics. “From there, there was no thought put into her questions and my responses,” he told TMZ.
Update: In the full Nightline segment, Lil Wayne says that he’s “connected to this motherfucking flag right here. I’m a gangbanger, ma’am” as he pulls out a red flag that he was sitting on. He also abruptly ends the interview saying, “I ain’t no fucking politician.”
Last night, Lil Wayne was interviewed on Nightline. During the interview, Wayne was asked about his feelings on Black Lives Matter—a movement he subsequently dismissed as not being worth his time. Interviewer Linsey Davis gave him more than enough room to explain himself, but Lil Wayne doubled down.
Davis: What’s your thought on Black Lives Matter?
Lil Wayne: What is it? What do you mean?
Davis: The idea that there’s this movement called Black Lives Matter thinking that the rest of America didn’t understand that—that black lives matter.
Lil Wayne: That just sounds weird, I don’t know, that you put a name on it. It’s not a name, it’s not ‘whatever, whatever,’ it’s somebody got shot by a policeman for a fucked up reason… I am a young black rich motherfucker. If that don’t let you know that America understand that matter these days, I don’t know what it is. [Points at cameraman] That man white, he’s filming me: I’m a nigga. I don’t know what you mean, man. Don’t come at me with with that dumb ass shit, ma’am. My life matter. [Looks at camera] Especially to my bitches.
Davis: Do you feel, though, connected to…
Lil Wayne: I don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothin’ to do with me. If you do, you crazy as shit. You. Not the camera, you. Feeling connected to something that ain’t got nothing to do with you. If it ain’t got nothin’ to do with me, I ain’t connected to it.
This isn’t the first time he disassociated himself with pro-blackness in an interview. Last September, he told Skip Bayless that he didn’t believe racism exists because he had white fans. He was far less disrespectful in that instance, but the comments elicited the same type of confusion. No, Lil Wayne isn’t the embodiment of Ras Kass in dreads, but he does know better. He made “My Heart Races On” and “Georgia… Bush,” the latter being one of 21st century hip-hop’s most scathing indictments of America’s de-evaluation of black life. Did Lil Wayne simply perform “Georgia… Bush” while Gudda Gudda and Mack Maine did the ghostwriting?
Lil Wayne says he doesn’t feel connected to Black Lives Matter movement. Watch tonight on Nightline at 12:35am ET. pic.twitter.com/28eBGfpSja
— Nightline (@Nightline) November 2, 2016
When a celebrity interviewee gets tossed up a social justice question, it’s often about saying the right thing rather than doing the right thing in order to avoid the pitchforks. Never mind if you’re actually down for the cause. Lil Wayne has been doing interviews half of his life, so you’d assume he’d have enough media training to follow this logic. Instead, he was boyishly perverse, impishly grinning, giving a tone-deaf wink as he said, “Especially to my bitches,” his eyes wide, weary, and watery.
It was a strangely insular perspective from such a popular figure. A little while ago, Lil Wayne tweeted that he felt, “NOW DEFENSELESS AND mentally DEFEATED.” It led many to believe that he was retiring from rap, and the outpouring of support was a reminder that, even after his peak in the aughts, fans still love Weezy. If only he knew.