The Rock Band That Inspired Lil Wayne to Become a Musician

Lil Wayne is a rapper but he’s not afraid to take influence from other genres — even unexpected ones. When he was young, he felt he had to enjoy a certain rock band because they were so ubiquitous on television. In fact, he came to like this band because they created one of the few rock songs he could tolerate when he was a child.

Lil Wayne wearing a baseball cap
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The rock song Lil Wayne related to as a child

Lil Wayne explained he initially got into Nirvana because he felt he had to do so. “When I was young there was a show called The Box,” he said, according to Complex. “And you used to call the station and order a video. And the ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ video would always be on. You had no choice but to get into it.” It’s amazing Nirvana became as popular as they did, considering they weren’t trying to be a mainstream rock band.

According to MTV News, Lil Wayne revealed “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the only rock song he could “deal with” when he was child. “I was young and I actually listened to the lyrics, I probably felt at that time, I was rebelling and I can associate myself with that. [I could] relate to the things [Kurt Cobain] was talking about in the songs. I probably couldn’t, but I thought I could.” 

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

RELATED: Kurt Cobain: Why Aaron Paul of ‘Breaking Bad’ Wants to Play Him

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a famously oblique song. Due to its title, many people understand it as an expression of teenage angst. It’s certainly interesting how Weezy was able to connect to this music at such a young age. Perhaps this speaks to Cobain’s musical prowess — or children’s ability to project themselves onto things.

How Nirvana changed Lil Wayne’s life

According to Spin, Nirvana’s most famous album, Nevermind, inspired Lil Wayne to pursue a career in music. Weezy even photoshopped himself onto the famous (and controversial) cover of the album. Many critics have discussed how Nevermind influenced subsequent rock acts but Weezy might be one of the most famous artists who owes his career to Nevermind.

The Nirvana-inspired Lil Wayne album that never got made

Lil Wayne wearing sunglasses
Lil Wayne | Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for BACARDI

RELATED: Nirvana: Why Kurt Cobain Didn’t Like to Play ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

Lil Wayne released an album called Rebirth several years ago. It was a rap-rock album, proving Lil Wayne wasn’t afraid to leave his comfort zone. MTV News reports there was once a plan for a Nirvana/Pink Floyd -inspired record called Rebirth II

Rebirth II was never released. It’s sad Rebirth II was never made because it certainly would have been an interesting experiment. The fact that Rebirth II was even considered shows how genre lines are blurring more and more.

Nirvana’s influence remains enormous. It’s amazing we might not have Lil Wayne without Cobain — even if Weezy felt forced to like Nirvana.

RELATED: Nirvana: The Band Kurt Cobain Tried to ‘Rip Off’ With ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’