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The Quietus Has A Gander At The Prodigious Career Of Lil Wayne
Adam Narkiewicz , October 20th, 2008 16:22

Southern rapper Wayne Carter's recording career barely stretches back a decade but his output of albums, mix tapes and comps would give The Fall a run for their money. Adam Narkiewicz sifts for gems.

"Lil Wayne," my indie-ghettoised dunce of a friend mused at me recently, "autotune-bandwagon-jumping overnight success pop rapper, right?"

Wrong! I said, with the authority of a person who's been reading rap blogs every day since before there were rap blogs. Lil Wayne, this year's biggest pint sized rap star (wrap that around your weary cranium, doofus), has been in the game for over a decade. And he's still (he claims) just 26 years of age. Signing to Brian "Baby" Williams and his brother Slim's Cash Money records when he was 12, dude was a regional superstar when Carl Barat was still nicking LSD out of his Mam's purse - his first group, New Orlean's entirely straight The Hot Boys sold over a million records before he was 15. Michael Jackson comparisons are not unwarranted. Although dude looks more like Whoopi Goldberg. But I digress. Lil Wayne is long in the game like cricket, fool. Sit back and relax as Ye Ole Quietus takes you on a trip through the highlights of Lil Weezyanna's life in rap. Let's go!

1. B.G. Feat. Big Tymers & Hot Boys - 'Bling Bling'

Big brother figure and fellow Hot Boy B.G., then the biggest rapper in the south, gave Weezy his first shot at some shine, on the song that "invented the term", something Wayne rudely and falsely took credit for on Outkast's 'Hollywood Divorce'. B.G. went on to get himself a smack habbit and sue Baby for robbing all his money. Rap videos ain't changed much neither, huh?

2. Lil Wayne - 'Tha Block Is Hot'

Wayne's first major solo hit, from the Billboard number one LP Tha Block Is Hot. Multi platinum, 16 years old. Take that Plies! Note how annoying his voice was annoying then. This was back when the genius Mannie Fresh produced practically all the stuff on Cash Money, before he noticed Baby had been stealing all his money. Lil Wayne is the only Cash Money artists that hasn't left the label because Baby stole all his money, although he did try once, back in 2004, when he nearly signed to Def Jam because he was in love with Jay-Z.

3. Lil Wayne - 'Fuck The World'

This was the moment the child star became a man, and started swearing on wax, and complaining about having to pay bills and look after his daughter and how loads of his mates keep getting murked. He's seventeen at his point. America sure does like to munch on its young, huh? Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington! Amidst the multi tracked, pinky and perky vocals one can see a genuine talent emerging. Pretty exciting, huh?

4. Lil Wayne - 'Go DJ'

Skip two crappy albums (2000's Lights Out and 2002's 500 Degreez) and fast forward to 2004, and all of sudden Lil Wayne becomes awesome. This was the major comeback hit - Mannie Fresh provided the instant-classic beat, giving Wayne the platform to show off a brand new, bananas flow, and a mildly less irritating timbre. The album that followed, Tha Carter was a thing of greatness and beauty, and universally hailed, so it was no wonder people believed Cash Money evictee Gillie Da Kid when he started running his mouth about having ghostwritten the thing. Wayne claimed the sudden improvement was down to being "the only star left on the label," and set about releasing thirty mixtapes a year to prove his worth.

5. Lil Wayne - 'Shooter'

With Mannie Fresh gone from the Cash Money "navy", things looked bleak for Weezy F. Yet Tha Carter II was another bullseye, and this joint, featuring emergent neo-soul-white-boy-friend-of-rap Robin Thicke, shocked the world with its spot attack on mainstream media's regional bias toward the East Coast and ferocious delivery. Plus most people thought it was built around a sample of a 60s soul record. Which it wasn't.

6. Lil Wayne - 'Georgia Bush/Untitled'

It took the president sitting on his ass while thousands lost their lives and homes to a hurricane to open Lil Wang's eyes to the trickle-down genocide going on in his own country. 'Georgia Bush', the penultimate track from his DJ Drama-helmed Dedication 2 mixtape was an outraged, blistering attack on Resident Douche. And if that wasn't enough, he followed it with an untitled freestyle that pretty much ethered every other rapper out at the time. "Money money money get a dollar and a dick / Weezy baby that crack mother fucker get a fix", he spat, awesomely, proceeding to kick the sickest flow this side of 2Girls1Cup, relentlessly, for 4 minutes.

7. Outkast ft Snoop Dogg & Lil Wayne - 'Hollywood Divorce'

While this wasn't quite Eminem killing Jay-Z on his own shit, Weezy more than held his own amongst his Atlantean inspirators, dropping more of that newly discovered wisdom, questioning his addiction to material bullcrap, and taking credit for Bling Bling. Somewhere in a crackhouse, BG vomited down hisself.

8. Lil Wayne - 'I Feel Like Dying'

One of the eight billion Carter III tracks that leaked prematurely and thus never made it onto the finished record, and my favourite. Some Auzzie band get chopped up with a super-sparse, bass heavy 808 beat, and Wayne waffles about how fucking awesome and suicidal drugs make him feel over the top. The effect is unsettling, deeply, deeply sad, otherworldly, and beautiful. No one ever did anything quite like this before or since. Its records like this that set Weezy aside from the rest of the mob.

9. Lil Wayne - 'Taking Over Freestyle'

Click here for video.

How many rappers do you know that could survive getting photographed kissing another man on the lips? Imagine that shit happened to 50. No chance. Or a dude like Rick Ross. Dude'd be calling it photoshop to this day. And what did Wayne do after that photo of him swapping saliva with surrogate father figure Brian "Baby" Willaims leaked on to the net? Recorded this incredible freestyle. "Damn right I kiss my daddy," he spat, straight off, no apologies, proceeding to completely destroy Dramahands' universally hailed Beat Of The Year. Absolute fucking class, and the last time I got properly excited by a Wayne verse.

10. Lil Wayne - 'Lollipop'

It could be argued that Wayne never needs to rap again - that he's molested, mastered, then murked the form, leaving vultures like Fat Joe and Diddy to paw on the remains. What comes after rap? This is what comes after rap. Totally fucking bizzaro future space-pop music. Love it or loathe it, Lollipop is the weirdest record to top charts the world over since Nananana - '19' or some shit. Where he goes from here is anyone's guess, but done know it's gonna be intesting.

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