Here’s a task. Go to dictionary.com and look up the word “legend.” Scroll down to the second set of definitions and read the fourth entry aloud.
“A person whose fame or notoriety makes him a source of exaggerated or romanticized tales or exploits.”
Whether openly admitted or not, Lil Wayne fits that description. He has to. His obese and equally quirky catalog stretches as far back to the late 1990’s when names like Master P and Ja Rule roamed rap’s upper class. That inventory spans several albums, countless mixtapes, legions of features and an incoherent amount of random songs which have gone on to help define how the Internet era changed Hip Hop and how we receive music forever altogether. Still, like any artist, Lil Tunechi (or Young Tunafish) is known for his hit records and widely accepted anthems like “Go DJ” and his verse on Shawty Lo’s “They Know (Remix).” But what about the tracks which go under the radar either because of others’ mainstream magnetism or a general oversaturation of his own music? That’s what the following list is for.
In effort to pay homage to world’s greatest postseason tournament, “March Madness,” the following pages will depict a “Sweet 16,” per say, of Lil Wayne tracks that are, in all probability, collecting dust on your iTunes. So without further adieu, enjoy.
1. “Army Gunz”
Niggas talkin’ about me, but they ain’t talkin’ it at me
Cause if they talkin’ it at me then I’m just talkin’ to caskets
All that talkin’ is pussy, bitch you better make your words strong
Cause the shit gettin’ chiseled on your tombstone
Maybe it was the fact he was rhyming alongside Stunna, but Wayne seemed to decapitate almost every track on Like Father, Like Son. The overly aggressive “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” and the molasses slow “Leather So Soft” are the easily recognizable numbers. Yet, it was his pistol play on “Army Gunz” that ranks as one of the understated high points on the entire project; especially the second verse.
2. “Mask On” – Boyz N Da Hood Feat. Lil Wayne
All at the crack spot with the gats out
Like ‘One of yall bastards better come up with some answers’
Or shit gon’ get crazy like Marilyn Mason
Leave your ass in the fridge like a mothafuckin’ sandwich
Hang ’em off the bridge let ’em know we mean business
If that don’t wake ’em up then he sleepin’ with the fishes
And we don’t really talk
We just eat, fuck and get high
Make money and kill and die
Question. Who actually remembers the time when Lil Wayne was said to be the newest member of Boyz N Da Hood? Crazy to believe it was six years ago, but it actually happened with Weezy even recording a handful songs with the group. Not many expected the partnership to last long, but there was potential in the brief union. “Mask On” is one of those tracks many have never heard or simply forgot about mainly because it had no official home. Who cares. Tunechi’s part was brief and placed in between Jody Breeze and Gorilla Zoe, but still managed to stick out. Wayne’s tough talk may not always be believable, but this was by far one of his finer moments doing so.
3. “Never Get It”
Everyday I’m hustlin’, fillin’ up my cup again
With that purple stuff again, I can’t get enough of it
Point me in the direction of a swisher and I’m stuffin’ it
With that purple stuff again, I’m on some same color shit
After you do Wayne, it’s time to do Wayne’s brothers bitch
I get money like a fuckin’ Wayans brother bitch
This happens to be a personal favorite. In 2008, the margin of error for Young Money’s HNIC was essentially nonexistent. His mixtpaes had more buzz than 85% of albums that dropped and his own LP, Tha Carter III, did something very few pieces of work have been able to accomplish – reach one million customers in a week’s time. That’s not to say C3 was without speed bumps. To this day, I’ve never figured out why this David Banner produced song failed to make the final cut. Let’s just chalk it up to an uncleared sample and keep it moving. No hook. No gimmicks. Simply put, Wayne was spitting his ass off.
4. “Laced Up” – Feat. Curren$y
All these hoes ain’t nothin but hoes
I got a few college bitches and a couple of pros
I cut em like cards, I just shuffle and fold
Got so many on my bag that my duffle is swole
In the long run, Weezy and Spitta going their separate ways was best for all parties involved. Both saw their individual careers reach new heights while being able to seeing those around them prosper. That’s not to say the two didn’t have their fair share memorable cuts together either. This sample heavy instrumental provided the perfect platform for the two self proclaimed lovers of the green plant with its own designated holiday to discuss one of their favorite topics – women. And that’s putting in a politically correct sense. Maybe in the future we will get to see them rekindle what the early Young Money days provided a sneak preview of.
5. “Lost Ones”
All I know of my real pops is that he had money
No bank account, that brown paper bag money
Yeah he might hit me off with a lil’ brag money
But the nigga still wouldn’t be a dad for me
But look how he turned out, I hope he glad for me
But that’s why when I see him I act mad funny
Cause he’s a joke to me
Don’t message, don’t call, don’t talk to me
It’s just me and my mama how it’s ‘posed to be
And I make sure she paid like she wrote for me
One of the main gripes about Mr. Carter over the years has been his lack of depth outside of hoes, money, cars and weed. Give the young man his props when it’s due though. Like most of us, Weezy’s been through some sh*t in his life and every so often he will offer a look into his past. Take Lilweeziana’s “Lost Ones,” for example. “Rabbit” has long been the man Wayne has referred to as his father. However, on said track, he takes some time to address the man who is actually half the reason he is here right now (amongst other issues). Just call him “Mama’s Boy Weezy.” And it’s not a damn thing wrong with that.
6. “Round Here (Freestyle)”
Call me Oxy-Weezy I’m in the chocalate tin like Foxy Breezy
Bungle up, saddle in, we headin’ straight to the top
And me not with the battling if it don’t make me box, wassup?
Mr. MC, you can take these props
While a nigga like me come and take Hip Hop
Wayne has gone through so many transition periods throughout his career that it is hard to document them all. In 2003 when The Prefix dropped, calling buddy Hip-Hop’s marquee act was not exactly the most accurate statement. However, for those who actually paid attention to the guy around this time, they knew something special was brewing. This tape – more specifically his embalming of Memphis Bleek’s hit – proved such beliefs. Look at the last line two bars. You can’t say Weezy didn’t always have confidence in himself.
7. “We Ready” – Lil Wayne & Gudda Gudda
You could still catch me and Stunna in a 4 door Lexus
It’s only Weezy Baby no more extras
And you know he bout to buy me a 4 door Testa’
Just cause he’s impressed with my solo effort
I show no care for, those who left us
Fuck those fellas, I’m so rebellious
It doesn’t take much effort to tell who he is talking about with those last two lines. The Sqad Up mixtapes are almost like urban legends these days. With so much work Wayne has put in the last five years alone, anything prior to that has all but been pushed to the backburner; even forgotten by some. During my high school days, however, this series was everything. “We Ready” in particular was played before football games, basketball games and could be heard blasting from cars leaving the student parking lot after school. No one could have predicted he would become a future Grammy winner, but at least around my way he had an underground classic long before the Dedication days. Come to think of it, was this string of tapes ever nominated for a Justo?
8. “Alphabet Bitches”
P for Paulina she go all night
If I don’t fuck her once a week she probably go on strike
And the Q is for Queen ’cause she is my queen
No she can’t ride it like Renauda but her body is mean
And the S is for Shayna a sucker in bed
She take advantage of the fact that I’m a sucker for head
Nothing, and I mean nothing, screams creativity like running through the alphabet in conjuction with all the women you have had sex with. That’s at least 26 under your belt right there. More so than the unique content of the song, how the idea came to fruition would be the more interesting take on the story. Pending these women are real – and given his job status, I would imagine them to be – this track probably stemmed from someone in the studio saying “I bet you can’t run through all the girls you fucked A-Z.” Pride is a mothaf*cka and thus the birth of this song.
Actually, to call a spade a spade, he forgot “X.” Twenty-five out of 26 isn’t bad though and I’d imagine that letter and “U” being the most difficult to secure. Plus, I’m sure he has a surplus of “S’s” or “M’s” to carry over anyway.
9. “Got ‘Em” – Yo Gotti Feat. Lil Wayne & Birdman
Money to be made best believe a nigga clockin’
I run it myself like a quarterback option
I pitch her 10 G’s tell the bitch to go shoppin’
She buy herself some clothes, and she brought me back a chopper
This takes me back. Two things you notice about the song: the ignorant amount of bass (that’s a good thing) and Weezy completely shredding his verse. I’m of the belief this record doesn’t get the credit it deserves, but that’s me being more subjective than objective. From a structure viewpoint, it was smart to allow Wayne to go first, but made it next to impossible for Gotti and Birdman to even capture the same energy Stunna Jr. did. That’s no slight to Memphis’ own because his verse was tough in its own right.