Weezy Week: The Rays' David Price talks about getting love from Lil Wayne
(All week, Soundcheck is paying tribute to the unusual life and career of Lil Wayne with a series of features we’re calling Weezy Week.)
Millions of people know what it’s like to be a fan of Lil Wayne. But what happens when Lil Wayne becomes a fan of you?
David Price knows.
The Rays’ resident ace has received a ton of love over the years from Lil Wayne, who’s such a big sports fan that ESPN once hired him to write a blog and interview athletes. And in 2008 — Price’s rookie year — the rapper went out of his way to praise him.
“My other favorite player is this kid Price on the Rays — David Price,” Wayne told ESPN the Magazine. “He’s something, man. I’m excited to see him pitch.”
“I remember it clear as day,” Price said recently. “I had only been in the big leagues for two weeks, maybe. And they asked him, 'If he was to come out to one of your songs, what song would you tell him to come out to?’ He said I’m Me, and that’s my No. 1 Lil Wayne song. If I had picked a song to come out to from Lil Wayne, it would definitely be I’m Me. I just thought that was unbelievable.
“I remember that entire day, just being on cloud nine, sending that article to all my friends and family. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.”
The mutual admiration between the rapper and player has blossomed ever since. In 2009, Wayne wrote about Price for ESPN the Magazine’s NEXT Issue.
“He has so much talent, but he also seems like he has more determination than anybody — and he’s only 23,” Wayne wrote. “He has it in his mind that he belongs on that mound, period.Successful people know where they belong in life, and in his mind he is meant to be there.”
For Price, who grew up listening to Lil Wayne and the Hot Boys, it was surreal. He still hasn’t met Lil Wayne, but he has talked to Wayne’s mentor Bryan “Birdman” Williams, a.k.a. Baby.
“It was the offseason before last year,” he recalled. “I just sent a tweet out, talking about somebody making me a walk-out song or something. And one of my buddies, I guess he knows all their managers, and he sent it to them. And by the time I drove to the Trop, did all my work and was driving back, I already had a phone call from Birdman. I couldn’t believe it. I got back home and their manager texted me and said, 'Hey, Baby and them are about to give you a call if you’re free.’ ... They called and talked to me for a couple of minutes. They knew my stats! They knew everything that was going on! It really blew me away.”
Price said he sent the Cash Money crew a bunch of All-Star jerseys, and in return, the label sent him a box of hats, sweatshirts and apparel. “I brought that stuff in here and let the guys take what they wanted, and I’ve still got a whole bunch of stuff for myself,” he said.
Surprisingly, Price has never seen Lil Wayne in concert — though that might change this weekend. The Rays play the Houston Astros at 4:10 p.m. Saturday, and Lil Wayne’s concert in Tampa starts at 7.
“You oughta tweet at @LilTunechi,” I told Price. “I’m sure he’ll hook you up.”
“I’m gonna do it right now!” Price said, pulling out his phone. A few minutes later, a tweet aimed at Lil Wayne pops up from @DAVIDprice14:
@LilTunechi I hear you’ll be in Tampa next Saturday!! Gotta whip my schedule clean!!
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*