Rapper Lil Wayne has explained what it takes to become an international hip-hop hero - an unrelenting work ethic.
The Lollipop hitmaker has enjoyed a string of career highs throughout 2008; his Tha Carter III LP achieved America's highest first-week sales of the year, and he is primed to be the main man at February's (09) Grammy Awards after hauling in an astounding eight nominations - more than any other artist at the ceremony.
But the star has warned any wannabe rap icons that it doesn't come easy - admitting he has hardly had time to reflect on his stellar career because he's constantly battling a gruelling schedule.
He tells MTV.com, "Of course it was the biggest year of my life. Obviously.
"The payoff was sweet, of course, but the whole year has been mostly consumed with hard work. I work every single day. I work every single hour. That's what my year has been like. Work."