Hayley Williams Names The Rapper Inspired Her Paramore Career

Zehra Kabak

In the middle of promoting Paramore’s ‘This Is Why‘ through a world tour that will last until late 2024, Hayley Williams appeared on a new episode of the ‘Black People Love Paramore’ podcast. When asked about her love for Lil Wayne and her favorite song from his catalog, she explained:

“So, my intro to hip-hop as a kid was like ‘Cash Money.’ You know what I mean? Like, Southern hip-hop in that time period was so cool. I mean, I feel like I got lucky with what I was introduced to. So, it’s not even just so much Lil Wayne, but it’s like Hot Boys and his verse on like ‘#1 Stunna.’ ‘#1 Stunna’ was probably my favorite song when I played basketball.”

The vocalist revealed how the rapper inspired her career:

“But it’s crazy, too, because Lil Wayne was so young, and I was like a kid from Mississippi that knew in the back of my head that I wanted to do music someday. I was like, ‘He’s tiny, and he’s doing this s**t. So, it’s gotta be possible.’ Even though I knew that was not gonna look like my career at all, it gave me some sense of hope. I feel like that’s why I probably have brought him up before. But anyway. ‘#1 Stunna,’ though. I mean, again, I know it’s not a Lil Wayne song but the feature.”

While discussing her debut album in a chat with Okay Player in 2020, Williams admitted some Black artists’ influence on her work. As she went for a different style with Paramore, the singer mentioned that her early inspirations affected her music more and more as time passed. Then, giving a few names, she said:

“‘Petals For Armor‘ — the first two references I gave to Taylor [Yorke] and to Joey [Howard] while we were writing was Solange and Sade. I really would’ve thought those influences would’ve come through even more than they did, but my love for Björk and Thom Yorke was more evident.”

She went on to include Lil Wayne in the list again:

“I think being from the south, too, there are things that just aren’t gonna show through. Like, I was obsessed with Juvenile, Outkast, and Lil Wayne in the sixth grade. That’s what I was listening to with my girlfriends on the basketball team. The same with TLC and Aaliyah.”

You can listen to the new episode of ‘Black People Love Paramore’ with Hayley Williams below.

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