The track originally appeared on the mixtape No Ceilings, but quickly earned its spot on I Am Not A Human Being. The slower warped beat was an updated, unusual take for the rapper, but telling of Wayne’s growth by 2010.
With the help of the ever-smooth Bobby Valentino, Wayne delivers a slow jam for the ladies, all while emasculating all the cops who have ever done him wrong. Complete with a cultural reference to Rodney King, Wayne lays back on this one, making it one of his smoothest songs, and another testament to his witty metaphor skills.
After the catastrophic 2005 Hurricane Katrina swept the south, the rapper took aim at President George W. Bush, who was criticized for slow response to the natural disaster, and as Wayne puts, “let em kill all of our troops.” Long before the lawsuits, the accusations, and the deteriorating label, Bird man and Wayne ruled the south.
After Lil Wayne proved himself as the best out, he started working on an emcee worthy enough to pass the torch. By “Believe Me,” Drake was fairly established, but the Weezy affiliation still seemed connected to his name, and parts of his flow still seemed a little borrowed from his predecessor.
The first thirty seconds of “I’m Me” are basically a killer compilation of all the best Cash Money affiliates’ adults and assertions, from the Bird man bird call to the “it’s Cash Money Records man, a lawless gang.” Then what ensues is the closest a rap song can get to a power ballad -- a song with Wayne showing off as hard as he can go on a laid-back flow. He put it best when he said, “This is They Carter III, the New Testament.” The song spans a full five minutes, with Wayne not backing down once, trading in a faster flow for tact and lyrics, and flexing his iconic use of double entendres more than once.
The cut came from the first-ever Cash Money Records joint album, marking a time when the label was at its peak, before the lawsuits and online back-and-forths. Catching up on a beat that’s a bit more melodic than Weezy’s usual portfolio picks, “Hustler Music” is the rapper's own version of a more classic New York sound.
The combination makes for a Weezy track that delivers life advice and lessons in a way that’s a little softer than some others. In a showcase of a slightly more sentimental side, Wayne delivers one of the most relatable songs of his catalog -- a somber, cutting, and simple ode to lost friends and family, and fading friendships and relationships.
On any streaming platform, the comments below “I Miss My Dawgs” are flooded with messages to lost connections and relatives, a testament to the way the track hit with listeners. For a generation of fans, this debut solo single was the first track they heard from the scrappy 17-year-old Atlanta rapper.
No longer just a hype man for the older guys on the label, a much-younger Lil Wayne proved his prowess with this classic track. Wayne’s voice is as raspy as ever, and the video shows him baby-faced, still surrounded by the big kids on the label.
In the same vein of the iconic “Walk It Out” freestyle, Wayne flips the switch on something that seemed to need no additives. Over the iconic “Swag Surf” beat, Wayne begins with a flow similar to the original, but adds the exclamation points we expect from him at this point: clever wordplay (“watch me shooting to the bank, I’m a money pistol”), nearly four different flows on one track, and a consistency that lasts for the entirety of the five-minute song.
At the height of the Auto-Tune movement arose the ultimate Auto-Tune masterpiece: “Lollipop,” an iconic Lil Wayne track based around an incredibly unsubtle innuendo. The song and video immediately became a major mainstay on the spin cycle at TRL -- at a time when that meant a lot -- with cameos from R. Kelly and a very young Toga.
Adding to its early 2000s glory, the track also became the #1 selling ringtone of 2008, bumping out of millions of flip-phone speakers across the nation. Switching effortlessly between at least two different flows, Wayne saunters over the DJ Khaled beat, adding “fucking” to the list of words the F in Weezy F Baby stands for.
“Young money militia, and I am the commissioner, you don’t want to start Weezy causes the F is for finisher.” Wayne absolutely destroys the militaristic beat, pulling back on speed at points, only to emphasize absolute speed and dominance in his bars moments later. At one point, he spits “Ain't nobody fucking' with me, man /He-man, ski mask, spending' next week's cash, he fast, and I don't even need a G pass,” a play on words so casually brilliant only “the best rapper alive” could pull it off.
“Let The Beat Build” is a concept track at its core, a swaggering soulful rap ballad that takes one of the most recognizable samples of all time and pairs it with the then best rapper alive.” Its brilliance is -- as almost always -- in the way that Wayne can match, and then add, to a beat. Then, with only about a minute left, he dances off of it, quickly and cunningly dropping some of his most explosive bars, almost as if to prove it’s not just the Deeply and Kanye West produced beat that’s leading this track.
A rapper so big appearing on a track with Fat Joe was another sign that hip-hop was rapidly changing throughout the 00s. While not an example of his best lyrics, the song has become a staple of every celebration in black America and an early signifier that Wayne would be a star.
15: ‘Tie My Hands’ (featuring Robin Thick) Wayne rapped a lot about the impact of Hurricane Katrina and the Bush Administration. His voice is restrained but hopeful, and a great counterpart to Wayne’s (at times frantic) grief.
He was at his most convincing in this mode on They Carter II, on which his fame and power were in perfect balance. 13: ‘This Is The Carter’ Because the collaborations between Wayne and Annie Fresh were ultimately fewer than a lot of people hoped for, the highlights have come to age like fine wine.
Wayne’s mumble of “finally perfect” wasn’t true yet, but the way he said it, you knew it would be. In some ways, he did, though the song would more or less mark the end of his professional involvement with Many Fresh for years to come.
But the fact that it works and is inherently charming is a testament to the charisma that found Wayne living up to the best rapper alive” boast when They Carter III was released. For others, it was a moment of Wayne’s noticeable transformation into a more diverse, freely associative rapper.
9: ‘We Takin’ Over’ (DJ Khaled, featuring Akin, TI, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Bird man and Fat Joe) Another DJ Khaled song ranks higher than this one, but the original “We Takin’ Over,” and Wayne’s subsequent freestyle over the instrumental, was indisputable proof that, when he said he was the best, he was right. 8: ‘Right Above It’ (featuring Drake) “Right Above It” came at a specific moment in time in Wayne’s career: his unopposed run as the king of random was drawing to a close, and he was about to start his infamous imprisonment at River’s Island.
Kanye was poised to release My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Drake was getting bigger by the day. The “DJ Khaled!” drop is almost chilling, and it would be hard to top a beat featuring these three artists at that time.
“Stunting’ Like My Father” is so big, its reputation will probably outlive the feud that eventually undid their collaborative partnership. It opens up with the bombastic and melodramatic “3 Peat’,” as Wayne runs his victory lap throughout the rest of the album.
‘Mr Carter’ isn’t just two titans trading bars over a classically-chipmunked soul sample, however, it’s one greatest all-time baton passes and endorsements. It’s lyrically sparser than a lot of what Wayne was known for at the time, but the trade-off was one of his most earworm-y hooks and biggest crossover singles ever.
‘Fireman’ and the majority of the singles off They Carter were smash hits, but for a few months you couldn’t go anywhere in America without hearing “Lollipop.” 2: ‘Hustler Music’ For those among Wayne’s fans who consider Carter II to be his crowning achievement, “Hustler Music” is perhaps most representative of a “they don’t make ‘em like this anymore” beat that showcases the confidence of Wayne’s flow.
1: ‘A Mill’ With “Lollipop,” Wayne crafted one of the biggest crossover singles ever, establishing the complete hip-hop domination he’d been talking about for years. The beat is an instant classic that’s a perfect slam dunk for Wayne’s unmatched charisma.
This is the Lil Wayne flow we all fell in love with, and hope to one day hear again. This Carter IV song features Drake and has sold over 3,000,000 records worldwide.
The beat progressively builds up until it reaches the hook where after, it only gets more and more complex filled with Lil Wayne verses that’ll blow your mind. The song was produced by Deeply and Kanye West which is why you hear that familiar sound filled with sped up samples and classic drums and kicks.
I'MMA get in a nigga chest like a bunch of filmlike a fucking Ramon the hunt for the Lamb'm a dump 'em main a dumpster canyon ain't a soldier, ask Uncle Share nappy like Pam After his 9-month prison term, Lil Wayne released his album I am Not A Human Being.
Even being locked away in prison didn't stop Wayne, not to mention the over the phone freestyle from Refers Island on the song Light Up by Drake. Right above it was recorded before Wayne’s prison sentence but even with the release of the song while he was in prions, it seems to have a feeling of not letting things get to you.
Meet me on the fresh train, yes I'm in the building just on the list of guest namesake all of my riders do not give a fuck, X-GamesGuns turn you boys into pussies, sex change From the 2006 Bird man and Lil Wayne album Like Father Like Son comes the first single Stunting Like My Father.
If you ever want to hear a song that perfectly reflects Cash Money this is your best bet. From references of getting paid to riding in luxurious cars this song pretty much has everything Cash Money has ever stood for.
Assisted by Big Timers (Annie Fresh & Baby) and RNB singer TQ, Cash Money shows us what stunting is really about. Even though the 500 degree wasn't a commercial success compared to Juvenile’s classic album, Way of Life takes you back to an era where baggy jerseys and diamond grille were a thing.
Let’s face it, They Carter will forever go down as one of Lil Wayne’s best albums. Here we have a young Wayne reminiscing on a time when things were much simpler, speaking on the separation of his former group members B.G., Turk, and Juvenile.
Even though they’ve all gone their separate way, Wayne pays homage to the guys he started at the bottom with. Here we have the song Best Rapper Alive from one of the best albums of all time They Carter II.
The heart of New OrleansThumping and beatingLiving and breathingStealing and feedingPeeling and leavingKilling and grievingDearly departedErased, deleted No prints, no plates No face, no takeout of sight, out of mind No court, no cases his chainCelebrateBlock party Another Classic track from the collaborative album Like Father Like Son by Lil Wayne and Baby.
The catchy hook makes You Ain't Know a song that can’t be forgotten to mention in the best little swansongs of all time. Using slick metaphors and clever similes, Lil Wayne reminds us why he’s always been at the top of the food chain.
All rappers were doing the same flows, same videos, and portraying the same lifestyles (reminds you of the current state of hip-hop). This was Wayne creating a statement and letting bum rappers that if you want to compete in the game you have to come with it every single time; which he does.
But I'm a doctor, they don't understand my writings I stopped writing I'm like lightninged you ain't Vince Young so don't clash with the Titans and excitingly passion is frightening let me put some more vocab in your I.V. We hardly ever hear Lil Wayne’s more intimate side, but when this song came out it home to a lot of people.
Sorry for the trouble that I put you and your heart through God knows that I'd do anything for a part two, or tone praying' for the day you come back to me, saying' that you forgive give me another chance, I'm needing' it is like a kidney With over 1,800 lives lost and over 80% of New Orleans was flooded with over 10ft of water, times like these is where this song was more than needed.
Another one from the classic The Drought 3 mixtape, Wayne gives us some of his best work up to date. Even when you simply read the title of this song, the catchy tune instantaneously starts playing in your head.
Yeah, doing' a buck in the latest drop got stopped by a lady copse got me thinking I can date a cop The song features Eminem and just really puts two of the greatest artist of all time together to create this massive hit.
I got ice in my veins, blood in my aerate in my heart, love in my mind seen nights full of pain, days are the samey keep the sunshine, save me the rain The first song off of They Carter III perfectly sets the tone for the 3x platinum album.
Taking all the way back to 1999 to Lil Wayne’s debut album The Block is Hot. A very young Lil Wayne finds a way to pave his career by giving us perspective of what goes on in his life.
Wayne has glorified the use of drugs throughout his career and this song makes it seem as if he’s battling his addictions and treading on a slippery slope. When you want to describe what once was Lil Wayne’s flow to anyone, this is the perfect song to break down.
Go DJ welcomed the originating bounce sound of New Orleans into the mainstream world. The song went on to be Lil Wayne’s biggest solo single up until the release of “lollipop” in 2008.
Now you know I play like a pro in the galena, better yet, a veteran in hall of fame got that medicine, I'm better than all the names, it's Cash Money Records, man, a lawless hangout some water on the track, Fresh, for all this flatware a helmet when you bang it, man, and guard your briefcase the flow is spastic, what they call insane Another produced track from Bangladesh, only on this song he went over the top when it came to producing (sampled Don't Burn Down the Bridge” by Gladys Knight & the Pips, and samples the Vampire Mix version of A Tribe Called Quest’s “I left my wallet in El Segundo”).