After five years of anticipation, including the everlasting feud with his label Cash Money Records and numerous health scares, Lil Wayne successfully completes Tha Carter series with one of his most monumental albums to date. Tha Carter V, originally set for release back in 2013, then in 2014 and again in 2015, met numerous delays due to legal battles with Birdman, who violated the terms of the contract which stated Tha Carter V would release Lil Wayne from the label; a story so often heard, yet rare of an artist of his stature. As months turned to years with the occasional overdose, fans questioned if they would ever hear the series-completion. Weezy ultimately won the case with a $10 million settlement on June 6, 2018, freeing him of his ties to Cash Money Records with his new label UMG promising to release the highly anticipated project. While the news excited fans and critics, the landscape of hip-hop drastically changed since the “Love Me” rapper released his I Am Not A Human Being II in 2013. Would Lil Wayne successfully complete the trendsetting Carter V series with one of his most important projects up to date? Of course, he would. He is “the greatest rapper alive”.
On September 28, 2018, Lil Wayne stepped back into the scene like he never left. While Tha Carter V’s standout is “Uproar,” the Swizz Beats collaboration that currently has America Harlem-shaking once again, there are a handful of hits including the Sound Cloud rap-esque “Don’t Cry” featuring XXXtentancion and the Travis Scott floor-filler “Let It Fly”. No matter what’s trending in hip-hop, Lil Wayne always creates a sound of his own; the multi-layered rapper has always been a true artist mastering everything from rap, hip-hop, R&B, and rock. Tha Carter V serves enough hits to unfold once, twice and three times over. It’s definitely an album that will age well amongst its predecessors Tha Carter II and Tha Carter III.
Supporting his successful return to music, Tha Carter V showcases Lil Wayne’s legacy. When it comes to the current state of hip-hop, you can’t deny his influence on mentioned collaborators XXXtentacion and Travis Scott amongst almost every rapper that’s topping the charts. However, the level of lyricism Weezy provides sets him apart from his influenced. Tracks like “Dedicate,” which states, ‘if it wasn’t for Wayne, it wouldn’t be,’ and the storytelling “Mona Lisa” featuring Kendrick Lamar further exemplify Weezy’s role in hip-hop. With a track record spanning more than 20 years of influence, Lil Wayne is one of the greatest artists that hip-hop has ever seen.
Finally, Tha Carter V opens with “Don’t Cry,” a heartfelt message from his mother with support and anticipation leading up to the release of the album; a sentimental piece that sets the pace of this album. Not only did Weezy successfully provide music that would influence hip-hop but he also provided his most vulnerable record to date. Following five years of unanswered questions, Weezy spits his truth on tracks like “Open Letter,” a track that finds the rapper questioning his existence and “Let It All Work Out,” the album’s closing – finding the rapper speaking his truths. Tha Carter V showcases a Lil Wayne that we’ve never seen; in all his vulnerability, Lil Wayne is human, making this album’s influence that much more impactful.
Tha Carter V proves successful in all its glory. Not only does Lil Wayne return to the scene like he never left but the level of truth that we received with this project makes it that much more influential. Although Lil Wayne stated that this would be his last album, he also denies retirement “I do think about retirement. I think about how I don’t think I ever will,” he told Billboard. If this is true, Tha Carter V serves as the perfect transition between the Lil Wayne we’ve known and a rap elder similar to Jay Z with 4:44. Either way, we’re extremely happy with Tha Carter V and the impact it will make for the year to come! Check out Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V and sound off with your opinions in the comments below!
Favorite Tracks: “Dedicate,” “Uproar,” “Mona Lisa,” “Hittas,” and “Used 2”
Stream Tha Carter V
Lil Wayne – “Uproar” featuring Swizz Beats