Katina Bynum, Universal Records Vice President of Marketing: "[Wayne's success] was a grassroots thing that no one's really responsible for. He was working four and five nights a week for the last year and a half, the guest appearances, writing for people—just a whole Wayne phenomenon took hold… Our whole strategy and Wayne's strategy was to keep him out there. He did mixtapes and he was just constantly honing his skills.”

Robert Christgau, music critic: "I really find it hard to believe that his label would have preferred that he put out, what was it, 100 tracks? They accepted it. They understood it was a new world and they hoped that, eventually, they'd profit.”

Jim Jonsin, producer, "Lollipop”: "He just needed that one hot song. The track [for "Lollipop”] was supposed to be for Danity Kane, but they passed on it, so I brought it to Static Major and Pleasure P from Pretty Ricky. Static loved it and wrote the top line to it—the "lick you like a lollipop”—and the melody. Pleasure really wasn't digging it for himself. He thought it'd be a great idea to give it to Wayne.”

Baby, Cash Money Records CEO/cofounder: "'Lollipop' really brought us there.”

Bynum: "'Lollipop' broke all kinds of records—the fastest single to number one. A lot of people expected him to come back just spitting, and "Lollipop” was so different. I was hoping that radio would give him a chance and play the record. [But] I knew that out of all artists, Wayne would get that chance because he was just so hot they couldn't not play a Lil' Wayne single.”

Chuck Eddy, music critic: "His visibility had almost certainly crossed over not only to pop and R&B fans, but to rock and indie fans who actually still spend money on albums—the same thing that seems to kelp Kanye, in other words.”

Cortez Bryant, co-manager: "It was crazy. I knew it was gonna do big numbers. But we just didn't know [how big] because of the market. I was predicting, like, 600 or 700,000.”

Bynum: "I must tell you, I was expecting a million because Wayne was so hot at the time. Everything he touched was just fire, and I thought, if anybody could do it, he could. And if you keep the ball at a million, then everybody works toward a million—there's no other choice.”

Gee Roberson, co-manager: "Our expectation as a team was being confident in the fact that people would support the project, and he would do a million records the first week. Like the Right Guard commercial, ‘Anything less would be uncivilized'.”

Jonsin: "Wayne's like Kurt Cobain. He's troubled; he's not your normal rapper. He's just a bad boy, and chicks love bad boys, so they go buy [his] records."

Bryant: "He's chill. He just been doing the same thing. He hasn't really changed. He just records—he's just still working. You don't understand how much crazy stuff we have now just since we put out the album."

Baby: "What Lil' Wayne's tryin' to accomplish is some different shit. The kinda year he's had is great, terrific, but there's still a lot to go in the young boy. It's just the beginning of a new beginning."--Clover Hope