New York Senator demands apology from rapper Lil Wayne
New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith of Queens is “angry,” “taken aback” and “shocked” at rapper Lil Wayne after he said, “I don’t like New York.”
According to reports, 29-year-old Lil Wayne was asked about a concert in New York City and responded by saying, “Flat out: I don’t like New York.”
Such statement from the rapper clearly angered NYC Senator Smith.
“I take strong exception to the words ‘I don’t like New York,’ ” said Senator Smith, a Democrat. On Wednesday, he called a news conference in Father Duffy Square, the island between West 46th and West 47th Streets, to demand an apology from Lil Wayne.
The rapper — whose real name is Dwayne M. Carter Jr. — made the comment to MTV News in Las Vegas on Monday night. Lil Wayne made it clear that New York City, which is known as the city that never sleeps, is not high on his “to-do list.” Previous reports have stated that Wayne was arrested in New York after his first show in Manhattan back in 2007. He entered a guilty plea to a weapons charge and spent eight months on the Rikers Island.
Senator Malcolm A. Smith — whose 19-year-old daughter, Amanda, is a fan of Lil Wayne — said that it was wrong to be disrespectful of New York. Smith said he believes the remarks made by the rapper resulted from “a lapse in mental judgment” on Wayne’s part.
“If you don’t like New York, you don’t have to come to New York. You don’t have to sell your products here. And perhaps we won’t come to your concerts,” Malcolm A. Smith said.
“He’s insulting people like Jay-Z … Frank Sinatra.”
The New York Senator went on, saying, “Quite frankly. we’re not gonna let someone come here and make a living off all the New Yorkers and tourists here and then basically say ‘I don’t like New York.’”
Malcolm A. Smith said that he took on Lil Wayne because his legislative district was “a little small place in New York City called Hollis, Queens, which is essentially the home and the origin of hip-hop.” Smith even offered to meet Wayne “anyplace, anytime,” adding that he hopes the agenda would be expanded to include the discussion of “how to stop gun violence in our cities.”
The comments made by Lil Wayne came two days after more than 500 guns were turned in under a police gun-buyback program in Queens, New York. Malcolm A. Smith was one of the officials who sponsored the exchange, which promised $200 back cards in exchange for illegal guns.
“New Yorkers are forgiving people,” Smith said. “We’re prepared to forgive Lil Wayne if in fact he makes a sincere apology.”
A spokeswoman for Lil Wayne had no comment on the issue.
The rapper is said to be writing a book about his experience at Rikers Island.