lilwayne_tagfeat2.jpgLil' Wayne, 25, is cutting his wardrobe down to size just like he does his rap peers. "Going back to school gave me an open mind,” he says of his wardrobe change. "I had to get rid of the 18X tees.” A nonconformist, to say the least, Wayne was once a middle-of-the-pack rapper sporting an insipid ensemble of white tees, baggy jeans and excessive ice. Now pushing the biggest album of his career, Tha Carter III, Weezy F. Baby effectively traverses the line between radical hipster and minimalist modern man. He still, however, stunts like his daddy on occasion.

KING Are you the best-dressed rapper alive?
Lil' Wayne Honestly, I could be in this motherfucker naked and I'd still be the hottest.

Whoa,…we'll take your word on that. Style-wise, you've come a long way. To what would you attribute the sartorial upgrade?
An education changes a lot of the things you're interested in. My music and style grew up once I learned not to shut things out.
What are your fashion rules?
Swagger is important to anything you do. If you don't have it, don't even bother. A person can tell a lot about you by the way you're dressed, but swagger sets you apart from everybody else.


You've softened your no-suit policy. What gives?

Maturity. When I was younger, I wouldn't wear a suit unless it was to a funeral. A majority of teenagers wouldn't want to wear a suit, period. I'm 25 and the president of my own company; a suit is required now.


Has your bling softened as well?

A little bit. I could still drop a cold million on you easy, but I don't need 100 chains, 15 rings, 12 bracelets and 35 watches to get dressed up all the time. A bitch already knows I created "bling bling.” A nice watch is enough.


For attracting women, what outfits do you rely on?

Designer jeans that fit and a slick designer sweater with…no loud labels written on your clothes. That's the outfit for when you're with a girl. Be a man.

Let's revisit that first question: Are you the best-dressed rapper alive?
I'm not trying to make fashion statements. I just wear what I like. I'm only concerned with Wayne's world. If you want to be taken serious, you gotta have your own shit. Don't try to be someone you're not. Only person I can really give some credit to is Jay-Z. Listening to dude, you start liking different women, different clothes, different music and different cars.

So where do you draw the fashion line?
I won't wear a dress, a bra, a skirt, panties, a thong. None of that. Ya dig?

For more of Lil Wayne's fashion sense, cop the Dec '07/Jan '08 issue, on newsstands now!