Well, I never thought I’d see this day.
The story behind Lil Wayne‘s Tha Carter V is about a long and arduous as ever, dating back before the $51 million lawsuit Wayne filed against Birdman in 2016. Things were reportedly so tense that during several occasions Birdman appeared to deliberately make things difficult for his protege/son, ceasing negotiations and forcing other artists to remove Wayne verses from their albums. It got to the point where Rick Ross even chimed in on the matter.
To all my fans, I want u to know that my album won't and hasn't been released bekuz Baby & Cash Money Rec. refuse to release it.
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) December 4, 2014
It did, however, lead to one of the best hip hop interviews in the past five years.
Somehow, Wayne was able to break free from his contractual restraints, but now a bit worse for wear. “My relationships with a lot of people have become different, just because of how different I work now,” he said in a recent Billboard interview. “I’m submerged in everything about myself, trying to be better at who I am. It’s something where you have to cut some things off.”
Now, eight years after Tha Carter IV, and six years after announcing it, Wayne has finally released its fifth installment to a hip hop scene that has drastically changed since 2011. No longer the hungry young buck who dared to call himself the “Best Rapper Alive,” Wayne has now settled into an elder statesman’s role whose influence permeates throughout today’s top-selling acts.
“I always give y’all all of me, but with this album, I’m giving you more than me,” Wayne said earlier this week. “You gotta always remember that this is years of work. This is four, five, six years of work that you’ll be listening to. I hope you enjoy it. You don’t have to love it, you don’t even have to like it, just hope you enjoy it.”
A 23-track album, the project is loaded with features from Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, and even the late XXXTentacion.
After nearly ten years, a very public legal battle, several mixtapes and roughly 300 words here, this writer can finally say “Enough said. Listen to the album below.”