G-Unit‘s Lloyd Banks recently spoke on his return to the mixtape circuit and how Lil Wayne was largely responsible for sparking his new underground run.
While crediting his team for the overall mixtape formula, Banks said Weezy took promotional and marketing tool to another level these past few years.
“I would lie to say it doesn’t,” Banks said regarding Wayne’s motivation. ‘You need something — it’s right there plain in your face. I always felt like that was the formula, like that was the structure I needed to be successful. It’s just like the record label looks at it like you’re over-saturating. They don’t understand the freestyle. They don’t make any money off of the freestyle. Anything that they don’t make money off of, it doesn’t make sense. That’s why I had to get away from it. You can’t tell me this shit doesn’t make sense when this is what got me sittin’ in your office. We’ve done it! We’ve made it possible for Wayne to understand that formula, and he took it and ran with it!” (Hip Hop DX)
Wayne’s rap work ethic has also caught the attention of Cam’ron.
“Wayne’s my man,” Cam said in a recent interview. “I’m proud of him, he worked hard. You know with a lot of people, Wayne’s been doing this for years. Wayne had a record deal before I had a record deal, you know what I’m saying? Even though Cash Money been out for 12, 13 years so you know, for him to come up for where he came up, it was all them, B.G., Juvie, Turk, everybody. To see him excel from all that and become one of the hottest people in the game, 10, 12 years later, I’m really proud of him. That’s my lil’ man.” (Street Heat)
Eminem has also credited Weezy’s positive impact on the rap game.
“I stayed up on the music,” Em said in an interview about his past absence from rap. “And without naming any name, it just felt like hip-hop was going downhill…But with this new T.I. album, with this new Lil Wayne album of recent, it seems like things are looking a lot better now. You can appreciate Lil Wayne using different words to rhyme and actually rhyming words that you know. Or T.I., where you hear sh*t and you’re like Whoa, ah, I wish I would have thought of that! You know what I mean? Or you hear all the compound-syllable rhyming and all that. It just seems like now the craft is getting cared about more.” (XXL Magazine)
No longer an Interscope solo artist, Banks is currently shopping for a new record deal.
“I’m not a solo artist on Interscope,” he said in an interview. “I’m pretty sure in the next couple of months it will probably be inked out. There are a lot of things on the table right now and this is 50 [Cent‘s] last album requirement for Interscope Records. We’ll be in negotiations at some point with him and as a whole in the very near future…As far as contracts go, I’m not going to be signing no 360, five album deal. I got offers right now for one album and things of that nature. Overall experience and how much time you have to dabble with will determine what you get into…I probably got 80 to 90 records in preparation so when I finish my next mixtape I’m going to only focus on my new album and put the finishing touches on that.” (Hip Hop Game)