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.
Since proclaiming himself the best rapper alive” on his 2005 album They Carter II, New Orleans MC Lil Wayne has been living up the title. Born on September 27, 1982, Lil Wayne has over 25 years in the game; he stands as one of the best -selling artists of all time and, as the bestLilWaynesongs show, his influence on hip-hop culture is immeasurable.
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.
Since stepping into the rap game at nine years old, the rapper has garnered a heavy pocketful of fans with his canny wordplay and animated double entendres. Thursday, Sept. 27, not only marks the rapper's 30th birthday, but also the day Lil Wayne makes chart history.
As he debuts this week on the Hot 100 as a featured artist on Game's “Celebration” -- alongside with Chris Brown, Toga and Wiz Khalifa -- at No. This ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart through the tally dated September 22, 2012.
To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years. Since Bird man took Lil Wayne under his wing, the Cash Money rappers have proven there's much value in a father and son relationship.
Off their collaborative album “Like Father, Like Son,” first single “Stunting' Like My Father,” re-instates Cash Money's everlasting power in the game. Kicks off his second studio album, of the same title, by recruiting Weezy to join him in laying aggressive wordplay over Dr. Luke and Circuit's dubstep/hip-hop soundscapes.
After finding Top 10 success with his 2008 song “Let It Rock” alongside Weezy, Kevin Rudolf calls upon his “Cash Money heroes” for yet another chart-climber, “I Made It.” Chris Brown, like Lil Wayne, is known to turn a song from ordinary to extraordinary, so it's no surprise that when they team up, as on “I Can Transform Ya,” the collaboration will see success.
The first single off Chris Brown's “Graffiti” introduced an electronic-infused sound that Breezy would carry throughout his following projects, and strengthen a prosperous romance between both rapper and singer. “When you're in the studio with Wayne, you could pretty much chill, man, because everything is so easy,” Game once said of Lil Wayne.
The rappers' “easy” sonic connection on “My Life” led them to see success across the Billboard charts (No. Brought some of hip-hop's biggest names to the upper reaches of the Hot 100 with “Saga Like Us,” which samples M.I.A.
With the help of the addictive soundscapes' courtesy of Annie Fresh, “Go DJ,” the second single from “They Carter,” became the first solo Lil Wayne song to see the top of the charts. “Give me That,” Chris Brown and LilWayne's first collaboration, was the first sign of how successful of a team the two artists can be.
The song not only marked their first of many Hot 100 collaborative hits but followed the success of Breezy's “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)” and “Run It!” Keri Wilson is now a star in the R&B/pop world, but it wasn't until “Turning' Me On” with Lil Wayne that the singer saw chart success.
The singer's second single, featuring Weezy spitting his signature sexual similes, became her biggest hit until “Knock You Down.” Cycle tapped some famous friends to spin a yarn about the power of money and its negative effects on a young lady.
The Jim Jonsin-produced track wouldn't be what it is without Wayne's silly double entendres, and “Motivation” undoubtedly helped Kelly's “Here I Am” album peak at No. Lil Wayne hit the ground running after being released from a nine-month prison term in late 2010.
After teasing fans with two verses on Bird man's “Fire Flame,” Weezy teamed up with “A Mill” producer Bangladesh and Cory Gun for yet another Hot 100 top 10. The singer's smooth mid-tempo beat took fans and radio by storm quickly thereafter, as it made its way to No.
Khaled's 2011 hip-hop summit featured a slithering beat, Drake hopscotching between crooning and spitting, Rick Ross in full Base mode and Weezy comparing himself to Pat Reilly. Released on the soundtrack from the LeBron James documentary “More Than a Game,” “Forever” earned the four MCs another ring on Top 40 radio.
Lil Wayne takes the third quarter here, while Eminem blacks out during the finale to easily win the game. Positioned as the third track on “They Carter III,” “A Mill” was the moment in which Wayne's breakout album became a classic.
Working over Bangladesh's indelible beat, Weezy delivers an endless stream of quotable lyrics -- who could look at Orville Redenbacher popcorn the same way after this song? Drake capped off his sophomore LP “Take Care” with winning Lil Wayne collaborations like “HFR” and “The Real Her,” but “The Motto” immediately stood out as a rapid-fire late-album gem.
While Weezy struts around comfortable alongside T-Minus' beat, credit must go to his protégé for coining “YOLO” on this track. In the same year that “Got Money” blasted onto the chart, T-Pain and Lil Wayne slowed things down for the first official single to the former's “The33 Ring” album.
Busta Rhymes runs rampant with his verse, but Weezy drops the most revealing line: “My pockets right and my diamonds white/And my mother's nice, and my father's dead.” Lil Wayne slowed it down and scored with this “Carter IV” ballad about a girl who can't seem to find that “forever” kind of love.
Along with semi-justifying Weezy's dip into rock with “Rebirth,” “How To Love” helped the fourth entry in Wayne's “Carter” series move 964,000 copies in its first week of release, according to Nielsen Sound Scan. Hot 100, found Lil Wayne still establishing his superstar potential one year before “They Carter II” brought him newfound buzz.
The first single from “They Carter III” proved to be the album's biggest hit, despite being a weird, minimal, Auto-tuned jam that few saws coming from the rising star. LilWayne's explicit ode to everything nasty carried a sad note with its chart rise, as the song's featured artist, Static Major, died suddenly in February 2008.