You play a bank robber in crime film Den of Thieves. Gerard Butler plays the cop. But who can lift the most in the gym?
Oh, I’m stronger than him. I’m stronger than all of them.
What are you currently benching in the gym?
I haven’t checked, but we trained together. I didn’t know what version of Gerard I was going to get. I don’t know if I was stronger than him when he did 300. He was working out six hours a day. Fuck that!
You’ve been in a few action movies now. Will we ever see you in a rom-com?
They’re cool but just not my personal preference. I don’t usually get up and say, “I’ve got to go and see that love film.” I like the excitement in action. I don’t care about being typecast. And with Den of Thieves, it’s not like a traditional film. It may look like Heat in the trailer, but the plot twists are more like The Usual Suspects.
We’re still waiting for your sixth album, Street King Immortal. Any news?
It feels good. I work on it, take a break and see if it fits like, “Where would this be played?” I joked that Jay-Z’s record 4:44 was golf course music. What I meant was it’s a smart album that I don’t hear a lot of people playing. Hip-hop is changing – it’s merging with R&B culture. Stand a rapper next to a singer, take their shirts off and they’ve both got tattoos [laughs]. So with the record, I have to balance what I want to say with what works now.
Going back to 2003, was there one moment you realised you were a rap superstar?
I was alone on the back of my tour bus, two weeks after the release of [debut album] Get Rich or Die Tryin’. It just hit me, “It’s never going to feel like this again.” The best metaphor for it is growing up a man then, without warning, waking up as attractive as the most attractive woman you’ve ever met. That’s a whole shot in the arm you can’t prepare for.
You were part of a $4.1 billion deal that saw Coca-Cola purchase Vitaminwater. Any tips for budding businessmen?
The only separation between people is passion. It’s what allows you to work hard enough to be successful. And consistency is the key to all success. If you can consistently shoot the basketball, they’re going to need you for the NBA.
I feel richer already. Speaking of which, you’re good pals with Floyd Mayweather. What’s he like outside the ring?
He’s an interesting guy. He’s crazy. Like a nutcase. One time, he wanted me to help him with the boxing stuff, so I put $2 million into fighters while he was in jail. Of course, when he came home, he just forgot that he told me to do it.
Because he changed his mind. But he didn’t say that, he just acted like he never told me to do it [laughs]. He’s crazy, but I have my own flaws. We clash and everybody sees us fighting. But that’s my brother. We’re cooler because we can communicate and get past everything after we’ve had a fight.
What kind of crazy are we talking?
One time he came out of jail and was in a jewellery store in Vegas. He picked up a diamond watch he already had. So I said, “What you doing? Put that shit back, you don’t need that. You’ve got a box full of that shit in the house.” And he said, “Nah, that’s what I’m doing all this for” and he put his hands up like he was boxing. And he bought it for me. He didn’t go in there with intentions of buying me a watch. He bought it so I couldn’t stop him from getting it.
You once tweeted: “Growing up sucks. People aren’t nearly as eager to know what my favourite dinosaur is. It’s a fucking gorgosaurus. You don’t care.”
[Laughs] I don’t remember that one! I guess while I’m entertaining these people I’m entertaining myself.
Are you a fan of dinosaurs?
Yeah, I do like them. Even Jurassic Park, you know that shit. I’m liking it when they bring them back with the CGI and everything.
Another tweet related to your grandmother forcing you to take out the rubbish. Was that true?
Now that was true [laughs]. That wasn’t entertainment. My grandfather’s the boss now. Every now and then he gives me a direction, “Go do this” or “Go and get that”.
And you don’t mind?
Nah, I don’t mind. I have a driver.
Den of Thieves is at cinemas from 2 February