With the success of Drake and Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne has proven that he knows how to acquire and groom potential stars for his label, Young Money. And while the rest of his artists on Young Money await their chance to prove that they too have the same star power, Wayne is proclaiming that there are no “one-hit wonders” on his Young Money roster.
In an interview with MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway, following the taping of “MTV2 Presents: Lil Wayne Unplugged,” on June 12, Wayne discussed his strategies for grooming Cory Gunz, Lil Twist and Shanelle.
“I’m not gonna shove him in your face right now and make him a one-hit wonder,” Wayne said of Cory Gunz, the star of MTV’s Son of A Gun and guest on Wayne’s single “6 Foot 7 Foot.” “He’s nowhere near ready. He’s gonna do this the way artists should do it, the way Drake did it. I’m not gonna make a one-hit wonder. That’s not what I do.”
Wayne explains that he used the same approach for fellow rapper, Lil Twist, who after being signed as a minor, is now gearing up to release his debut album, Don’t Get It Twisted, later this year.
“Twist is ready. Twist is a well-developed artist, and it’s about to be Twist’s turn,” said Wayne. “That’s why I didn’t shove Twist in nobody’s face. I could’ve been like, ‘This is our young artist; the young, cute little artist of the label with all the adults,’ ” he said. “I could’ve did that, but no, we’re gonna do this right. I didn’t want to put him out and have him as a kid star, and sometimes you don’t know what to do after that. So now he’s 18, he’s a teenager, and I don’t even have to look at the kid-star thing.”
And while the boys of Young Money have needed proper grooming from Wayne, the Young Money CEO explains that singer Shanelle was simply born to be a star.
“Shanell is past ready. Actually she came into the game ready,” said a proud Wayne. “That was no developing; that’s a superstar, that’s a very talented woman. It’s just that you have to properly handle her situation the right way, ’cause you don’t want nobody to miss the point, and the point is, that is a very talented woman, and that’s what I want everybody to see.”
We’ll have to wait and see whether or not Wayne’s “no one-hit wonder” declaration will hold true, but with a co-sign from one of rap’s biggest stars, each of these artists at least has a leg up against most of their competitors. –nicholas robinson