WASHINGTON - More than a decade after he first picked up the mic, hip hop star Lil Wayne is giving rap a rest to fully focus on his passion for skateboarding.
"I picked up the skateboard and I thought it'd be a hobby -- and what happened is, it's a lifestyle," the Grammy-winning New Orleans native, who turns 30 next month, told Atlanta hip hop radio station Hot 107.9.
"In order to be fully committed, you have to live that lifestyle. With these young kids now, you have to be about that life. It's kind of putting rap on the back burner. Rap's taken a back seat to skating."
Lil Wayne is the second hip hop artist to announce a significant life change this week, after Snoop Dogg said in New York he is restyling himself as Snoop Lion and pursuing a new musical career in reggae.
Lil Wayne, who counts President Barack Obama among his fans, has been rapping since the age of eight. He's made nine studio albums -- and done time in a New York jail in 2010 for unlawful possession of a firearm.
His latest project, a mixtape titled "Dedication 4," is due out on August 15, but Lil Wayne said his fans at this stage of his career probably "deserve a 'LiL No Wayne'" for a spell.
"I've been everywhere. I've been out on everybody's song, I'm still on everybody's song... (but) I believe the fans deserve some peace from me. I be on my skateboard in the meantime," he said.
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