Unquestionably Cash Money/Universal Motown Records recording artist, Lil Wayne will go down in history as the best rapper of his generation. Indeed he may go down as one of the best artists in hip-hop period. One look at Lil Wayne’s impeccable track record will convince even the most ardent skeptic that the New Orleans born lyricist is a strong contender for the crown of “Greatest of All Times.”
In the span of his 13-year career, Lil Wayne has sold over six million units, including his magnum opus, The Carter II (2005) which sold over 2.5 million units. He has been featured on numerous high profile singles including Fat Joe’s Grammy nominated single “Make It Rain,” and in the past two years, Lil Wayne has recorded over 1,000 songs and freestyles. According to MTV, Lil Wayne has released more music in the last two years than the legendary Tupac Shakur.
Now with his highly anticipated sixth and arguably his best album The Carter III, Lil Wayne’s career and legacy is set to climb to even greater heights. "I made The Carter III so that whatever song is on, it will stick with you forever,” says Wayne. “That’s why I took my time with it. I wanted it to be a classic.”
A classic it will truly be. With production by Alchemist, Cool & Dre, David Banner, Kanye West, and Jim Jonsin, to name a few, and guest appearances by some of today’s premiere recording artists including T-Pain (Got Money), Bobby Valentino (Mr. Officer), Babyface (Comfortable), Juelz Santana & Fabolous (Ain’t Got Nuthin) and a special guest appearance by the legendary R&B singer Ms. Betty Wright (Play With Fire), Tha Carter III is an eclectic collection of 15 songs that range from simply brilliant to sheer genius.
The first single from the Tha Carter III, “Lollipop,” featuring Static Major is the bubbling lead single that has Wayne delivering his clever lyrics laced with racy double entendres over a funky slow burning beat. Lil Wayne’s second single, “A Milli”which was produced by Bangladesh (Ciara & Ludacris), is a booming 808 laced track augmented by a tight rhythmic snare, accented by handclaps and a sample that matches Wayne’s staccato flow perfectly. In “Mr. Carter” featuring Jay-Z, we find the two trading introspective lyrics about their lives and legacy in the rap game with Wayne at his lyrical best dropping stream of conscious gems like: “I got the flo’, I’m tryin’ to see the roof/Didn’t wear a bulletproof so I got shot, you can see the proof/Blind eyes can look at me and see the truth/Wonder if Stevie do?”
Born DeWayne Michael Carter, Jr. and raised in New Orleans infamously poor Hollygrove neighborhood, Lil Wayne was discovered by Cash Money CEO Brian “Birdman” Williams
when a mutual friend introduced him to the pre-teen rapper. The Birdman immediately saw a spark in the youngster’s eyes and took him under his wing. In 1993, Lil Wayne and fellow Cash Money rapper B.G. came together as a duo called The BGs and released their debut EP True Stories. In 1997, a 15 year old Wayne joined forces with BG, Juvenile and Turk to form The Hot Boys for their debut album Get It How U Live. The record sold over 400,000 copies independently. The Hot Boys sophomore LP Guerilla Warfare (1999) went platinum and earned Wayne critical acclaim. That set the stage for his platinum selling 1999 solo debut Tha Block Is Hot. The album yielded a number one single with the title tune and was certified double platinum.
The following year Wayne released his sophomore LP Lights Out, which reached gold status and in 2002, Lil Wayne dropped his third solo LP 500 Degrees. It too went gold. Two years later Wayne released The Carter, the first album in the trilogy that would elevate Wayne to superstar status. The Carter (2004) was a commercial success selling over one million copies and reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts and #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart. In 2005, Wayne released The Carter II, which sold over 1.8 million records. 2006 saw the release of Like Father, Like Son, a collaboration between Lil Wayne and Birdman which has sold over 750,000 units.
GQ Magazine named Lil Wayne as its “Man Of The Year” for 2007. Rolling Stone Magazine tagged him as “Best MC of 2008” while Blender Magazine (2008) named him the “Best Rock Star Alive.” So it should come as no surprise that his latest solo outing finds the hip-hop super star at the top of his game. With Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne proves to the world why he is indeed considered “the best rapper alive” and one of the great recording artists of his generation.