The Efron Scandal
Lil Wayne’s New Project Puts the High in High School Musical
By BEN WESTHOFF
Thursday, December 13, 2007 - 2:00 pm
Lil Wayne contemplates conquering the Disney Channel demographic. Photo courtesy Lil Wayne.
With his long dreadlocks, croaking voice and penchant for zaniness, Lil Wayne is an unpredictable MC. He’s also a prolific one, releasing albums and mixtapes by the handful. In 2007, he recorded guest verses with everyone from Shakira to Little Brother.
But his newest collaboration will have even his most die-hard fans scratching their heads. In an attempt by the not-quite mainstream rapper to reach a wider range of fans, the 24-year-old Wayne has announced that he will rap on the CD remix to the latest installment of the High School Musical franchise, titled High School Musical 2: Non-Stop Dance Party.
“Yup, I had to do that,” Wayne says with his trademark high-voltage smile, shortly after welcoming me into his Miami Beach mansion. “I’m trying to reach those suburban white kids like Kanye did.”
Disney Channel’s High School Musical is a pop-culture phenomenon, having sold millions of DVDs and millions more CD soundtracks. But its clean-cut characters and positive themes don’t seem to jibe with Wayne’s lyrical content, which tends to focus on giant spliffs of marijuana and boasts about receiving sloppy fellatio.
“I’m just being me,” Wayne insists, leading a tour of his recently purchased oceanfront house, which features a faux-bronze statue of his own nude figure, and a Juicy Fruit-dispensing bathroom attendant who lives on the premises full-time. He adds that the project was set in motion after a chance meeting with High School Musical star Zac Efron.
“Zac and me was both in San Francisco a few months ago for a comic book convention or something, and we met at an afterparty at some bar,” he says, pausing to break down pieces of pungent pot to roll into a joint. “To get away from these girls that was chasing him, he ducked into the bathroom and I followed him in there. I was like, ‘What’s crackin’, my brother from another mother?’”
At that very moment—as if on cue—the San Luis Obispo-born Efron himself emerges from Wayne’s den. I’ll later learn that the 20-year-old brunette heartthrob is crashing in Wayne’s guest room while the two work on their High School Musical songs together, but for now it’s like seeing a polar bear in the middle of the Brazilian rain forest.
“What’s up, my nigga?” Efron says, giving Wayne a pound, a hug, and then, to my astonishment, a full-on kiss, reminiscent of the one Wayne famously gave his surrogate father Baby last year. (Obviously, Efron is going to have to work harder to squelch rumors surrounding his sexual orientation.)
“I’ve been a big fan of Wayne for a long time,” says Efron, emerging from the embrace and cueing up a CD player. “These are the cuts we just finished. Dope, right?”
I wish I could share his enthusiasm, but the songs are a bit jarring, to say the least. On “All for One,” Efron sings the chorus—“Everybody all for one, a real summer has just begun! Let’s rock and roll and just let go, feel the rhythm of the drums. We’re gonna have fun in the sun!”—while Wayne raps: “I’m a dog, you’re all a bunch of fleas on my dick. Driving a Jag, er, like my name was Mick. I’m so sour like cream with chives, and my sperm will make your face break out in hives.”
When they ask for my honest opinion about their new songs, I mutter something about them being “outside the box” and “memorable.” Though my answer is clearly insincere, Wayne seems unfazed.
“This isn’t the only thing I got going on right now,” he says, as the two young celebrities walk me out. “I just did songs with Mannheim Steamroller, something for the new Raffi album, and 16 bars in Spanish on Ricky Martin’s new one.”
Does Wayne ever get overwhelmed by the pace of his high-flying lifestyle?
“Hell, no! This is how I live! I get up in the morning, get my dick sucked four times, drink a Molson’s, and then hang out with Zac. What, do you want me to go to Hawaii for a vacation? You got a job, but this is my vacation right here.”
Adds Efron, “Word!”