Lil Wayne is the cover star of Billboard‘s October 2018 issue and tells the publication about his legal disputes, his relationship with Drake and Nicki Minaj, and whether he will ever hang up the mic.

The 35-year-old rapper has spent the past few years involved in nasty legal battles with Cash Money Records over breach of contract and failure to pay royalties. The lawsuit severely damaged his relationship with longtime friend and mentor Bryan “Birdman” Williams, co-founder of Cash Money.

Photo: Shot by Ramona Rosales exclusively for Billboard
Photo: Shot by Ramona Rosales exclusively for Billboard

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Wayne tells Billboard that his children helped him push through the recent legal drama. “My four jewels — when I FaceTime one of them, man, everything goes away,” he says. “I didn’t let it get to me too much. Just the confidence in knowing that there’s always a tomorrow and I’m going to make sure that tomorrow is bright.”

With the lawsuit now settled, Wayne and Birdman are back on speaking terms, but the “Motto” hitmaker says their relationship has changed and he is no longer so quick to trust. Instead, he chooses to keep focused on his work and bettering himself.

“Not even just with [Birdman], but my relationships with a lot of people have become different, just because of how different I work now,” he explains. “I’m submerged in everything about myself, trying to be better at who I am. It’s something where you have to cut some things off.”

Photo: Ramona Rosales for Billboard
Photo: Ramona Rosales for Billboard

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Wayne also touches on the success of his Young Money associates Drake and Nicki Minaj and how they’re inspiring him to be a better artist. “They all the way — they got it. They know how to make them joints that y’all going to be runnin’ to,” he says.

“I’m coming straight at Drake’s and Nicki’s neck, Lord have mercy,” he laughs. “I’m talkin’ ’bout machetes. I’ma out-sing Drake, I’ma date Nicki. It’s goin’ down.”

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Wayne’s long-awaited Tha Carter V album is rumoured to drop this month and the Grammy-winning rapper shows no signs of slowing down.

“I do think about retirement,” he admits. “I think about how I don’t think I ever will.”

You can read the full interview at The issue hits newsstands September 15.