Lil Wayne felt scared when collaborating with Eminem: “That’s a beast”

Wayne first appeared on a track with Em on Drake’s 2009 song “Forever.”

In an interview with The New York Times marking the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Lil Wayne revealed that he was intimidated by the prospect of working with Eminem for the first time.

“I was scared, actually, when I called Eminem for a song,” said Wayne, who first appeared on a track with Em on Drake’s 2009 song “Forever.” They later teamed up the following year for “Drop the World” on Weezy’s Rebirth, and “No Love” from Em’s Recovery.

“That is a monster. He must have the same thing I have with words,” he continued. “Like, we can’t get them out of our heads. Every meaning, every aspect of them. Things that rhyme, we hear it. I already know the gift and the curse that he has. And I love to hear the way he puts it together.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Wayne described Missy Elliott as his favorite artist. “You know when you’re watching a sport and you’re like, this person is just too cold, too damn good and they can do whatever they want? She was that person to me,” he said. “Before there was Drake and people who were rapping and singing, Missy was doing that. That captivated me, and I was moved by that. It made me want to do it. That’s why I loved Drake when I met Drake. If you’re around me, you know for a fact that if you’ve got a little harmony, a little melody in your voice, I’m about to make you sing.”

He also spoke at length about his appreciation for Jay-Z, who he described as “the god of words.” “He could’ve rewritten English books,” he said of Hov.

Wayne’s comments echo what he said on The Pivot Podcast, in which he shared that Jay-Z inspired him to stop writing down his lyrics. “We went in the studio, and we did ‘10,000 Bars,’ and that was the last time I rapped anything off of a paper,” he shared, noting that he stopped after he learned Jay-Z often doesn’t write his lyrics down.

Other rappers who spoke with The New York Times for the extensive feature include 50 Cent, E-40, Gucci Mane, RZA, Kool Keith, ice Cube, Earl Sweatshirt, Ice Spice, Cam’Ron, Eminem, Cardi B, and Lil B.

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