During Lil Wayne's press run at the Magic Convention in Las Vegas, he asked about last week's performance at Roseland Theater, and responded: “Flat out, I don’t like New York.” Fans who know Wayne’s history can recall his 2010 incarceration at Rikers Island for gun possession, as well as his executive decision to pull Nicki Minaj out of this year’s Summer Jam. His anti-NYC statement went viral quickly.
Earlier this afternoon, State Sen. Malcolm Smith organized a press conference in Times Square to address Wayne’s statement and to demand for an apology. Backed by supporters wearing “I Love New York” T-shirts, Smith spoke highly of his hometown and came down on Weezy for not feeling the same way.
“I love this city. I was born and raised in this city,” Smith said during his speech. “You should also know, anecdotal or not, that he insulted the memory of Frank Sinatra and he has also insulted Jay-Z—who both have made endearing songs about New York.”
He added, “I want to believe that he had a lapse in mental judgment for some strange reason. And I hope he thinks about it.”
Hip-Hop Summit Council founder Charles Fisher also made an appearance at Smith’s press conference and went into detail about Wayne’s impact on the youth and the respect he has in the hip-hop community. “Lil Wayne, I am a fan. I love Lil Wayne. But at the same time, it’s the young people that might get the wrong message.”
Supporters and Weezy fans alike came to the heart of Times Square to show their love for New York City. DeAndre Hutchinson, 14, believed if the turnout were larger, Wayne would apologize. He also understands Wayne’s frustrations with NYC.
“New York is a very nice place,” he said. “Maybe [he dislikes the city] because every time he comes here something bad has happened to him. I would feel the same way, too.”
Smith says he decided to demand an apology from Wayne when one of his staffers called him this morning and said, “We just got the ultimate insult to the city of New York.”
“As soon as I read it, I took personal exception to it as someone who lives here and comes out of Hollis, Queens. Jamaica, Queens,” he told us directly. “I decided I was going to come here and ask Lil Wayne for an apology.”
Although Smith understands the motivation behind Wayne’s dislike for the city, he proposed that the Young Money boss apologize to the 50 million tourists who come every year and the eight million people who live in the city. He believes an apology would settle things and be a great lift for hip-hop and NYC.
“I hope he responds," Smith continued. "I hope that Nicki Minaj, who lives in the area that I represent, will whisper in his ear, ‘You need to make the call and put this to bed.’”