Leona Lewis was caught by surprise when she unexpectedly received a call from Lil Wayne asking her to perform with him at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. She reflects back on the memory and her lasting impressions of the Cash Money bad boy.
The “Happy” singer, whose new album Echo was released this week, told Rap-Up.com that their unlikely collaboration on the Nina Simone-sampled “DontGetIt” from Tha Carter III came together at the last minute.
“It was really fun. I just remember him calling up and saying, ‘Uhh, can Leona sing on the song?’ And I was like, ‘That’s so random, like, Lil Wayne. Does he even know who I am?'” she laughed. “What could Lil Wayne and I possibly collaborate on, seriously? They played me the song the day before I was supposed to do it and I was like, ‘Hmm, I’m not going to be able to learn it.’ Then I heard it was a Nina Simone sample and I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is amazing.’ So I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll definitely be involved.'”
Lewis got the chance to chat with Weezy offstage and was impressed by the rapper’s manners. “He’s all about that Southern hospitality and politeness, ‘thank you, ma’am,’ and all that. He’s so sweet.”