DIMITRI EHRLICH: How are you guys doing? This is Dimitri. You can just let the interview roll if you want, Paris, but I have one question for both of you to start. Paris, you first: When did you first meet Wayne or what was your first thought about him?
PARIS HILTON: I actually met him when he had a Grammy party in L.A. They called me to host it, and I met him there. But I always thought he was such an incredible artist and so talented. He really has this charisma. When he walks into a room, he just has this power that’s exciting to be around.
EHRLICH: And what about you, Wayne? What was your first memory of meeting Paris?
LIL WAYNE: That was the first time-at that same party. I remember meeting her, and then I think it was, like, 10 minutes later, I looked up and she was deejaying. She was at the dance, she had the mic. It was really nice. She has fun, and I like that. I like people that enjoy life, ’cause I do the same.
HILTON: So what do you like to be called, Wayne or Lil Wayne?
WAYNE: Actually, Wayne is better.
HILTON: I know that you grew up in New Orleans. Did you always know you were going to be a rapper?
WAYNE: I starting rapping when I was 8 years old, so I think when you’re into something at such a young age like that . . . I mean, nobody in the world could have told me I wasn’t gonna be a rapper. So, yeah, I always knew I was gonna be one.
EHRLICH: Who did you look up to when you were 8 years old? Who inspired you to want to be a rapper?
WAYNE: The guys I’m with right now, Cash Money Records. They were pretty big locally in New Orleans and so I always just looked up to them. I mean, they were Cash Money Records way before everybody knew their name, and what I mean by that is that the power they have now, they had then, but just locally in the city. So they were always big. I listened to all their music. That’s probably why I wanted to be with them.
HILTON: And now you’re being called the new king of hip-hop. What do you think of that? Is it something that’s hard to live up to? Or is it exciting to have people say that?
WAYNE: It’s very exciting. I love pressure, so I guess if that brings forth pressure, then I’m up for it. But, you know, titles are titles, and names are names. As long as people remember me forever, that will be enough for me.
HILTON: Do you ever read your own press, or google yourself?
WAYNE: Um, never. I don’t think I’ve ever googled myself. [laughs] But I do read some things that . . . I mean, if I know that I was with an interviewer and I kind of figure that he or she got something bad or something good from the interview, then I’ll read the piece when it comes out. But other than that, I’d have to have a reason to read it-and, usually, I don’t have a reason. So, no, I don’t really read too much, because I know you know that they word things the way they want to word them when they put it on paper.
HILTON: What’s the most bizarre thing that you’ve ever read about yourself?
WAYNE: The most bizarre thing I’ve ever read about myself is that I was dead. That was kind of weird to read that I’m dead-mostly because I was reading it. [both laugh]
HILTON: I read that about myself once, too. It’s pretty bizarre. So what about paparazzi? Have they ever tried to get aggressive with you? Has there ever been an incident where one of them just set you off?
WAYNE: Because I don’t live in L.A., there’s not a lot of that. But when I’ve gone to L.A. and been in the hotel or wherever, I’ve seen how serious the paparazzi is out there-like, they park across the street from the hotel and as soon as you walk out the front door, they jump out and start snapping. I live in Miami, so I really don’t have to deal with that on the same level. The only time I ever really witnessed some crazy paparazzi was during my court experiences. Every time I rode up to court, as soon as I jumped out of the truck, they were there to snap, and all in our way to where we couldn’t walk. It’s nowhere near like that around here. But maybe I’m just not that caliber of person that they want to take pictures of me like that. [laughs]
EHRLICH: So you’re saying that you don’t get that hassled by paparazzi in Miami?
WAYNE: Well, obviously sometimes, because I go out. There’s this thing out here that publishes pictures of people out and about. So when I go out, I do see pictures of myself. I don’t know where those pictures come from-I mean, I don’t see the cameras. But I guess I’m just not looking for them.
HILTON: What’s your favorite club in Miami?
WAYNE: My favorite club in Miami is a club called LIV. It’s in the Fontainebleau Hotel.
HILTON: Oh, I love that club.