Disclaimer: For the record, this is a fictional account. That said, it’s always how I’ve imagined “The Mobb” being created.
Lil Wayne walked in Circle House Studios in Miami a stressed man. Tha Carter II was to be submitted to Universal in less than a week and the album still lacked an intro. If push came to shove, several tracks had been recorded capable of serving as the album’s introductory moment. This was the opener, though; the first sound people would hear. Weezy needed a monster, and nothing less.
In basketball shorts, a wifebeater, flip flops and shades, Wayne tossed a bookbag to the corner of the studio while others talked and pretended to browse on their phones. Any measure was taken to avoid Weezy. Wayne being on edge always altered the vibe of studio sessions. He was irritable. He didn’t acknowledge others. Suddenly, an extrovert became introvert.
Wayne understood the importance this album would have on his career moving forward. The thought kept him awake all times of the night, not that he slept much to begin with. If he were to ever stamp himself as more than the teen prodigy who created “Bling Bling” during his label’s rise to national prominence in the late ’90s, dropping the ball here would give the faceless voices who guaranteed Cash Money could never thrive off Wayne alone a lifetime “We told you so!” card.
Jay-Z “retired.” Eminem never appeared truly comfortable with fame. Kanye West was already two well-received solo albums in. Working in Wayne’s favor, nevertheless, was the South’s rise to the top of Hip-Hop’s food chain. NFL highlights aired in the background. And not even his favorite player, Brett Favre, tossing three touchdowns in a 52-3 curb stomping of his hometown Saints cut the tension in the air. Wayne had already rolled six blunts and was nearly finished with the first. Tha Carter I grabbed the people’s attention and high-profile features like Bobby V’s “Tell Me” tossed gasoline on an ever-increasing fire. C2 was Wayne’s “all chips in” moment.
Becoming a superstar-in-the-making rode on more than merely the success of the album’s first track. First impressions, however, are vital, especially in the dog-eat-eat world of Hip-Hop. On blunt #2, a sobbing, soulful Heatmakerz instrumental sampling Willie Tee’s “Moment Of Truth” began blaring throughout the studio.
All conversation ceased. Some nodded their heads. Meanwhile, everyone focused on Wayne. By now, Cash Money’s prized possession was walking in circles bobbing his head rapping incoherently to all but himself. Just like that, “it” was happening. Wayne was animated with his hands moving rapidly as if they were attempting to keep pace with the intensity his brain churned out lyrics.
Sparking blunt #3, Wayne walked in the booth, took one last humungous pull and exhaled smoke just as the beat restarted. Lyrics of pain, fearlessness and aggravation billowed out of Cita’s son identical to the manner the dirty and murky and waters of Katrina that damn near wiped his city off the map only weeks earlier.
“I ain’t goin’ nowhere special, I won’t never leave
Shit, I’m already a legend if I ever leave
Can’t get rid of me, not little me
Man I got ’em, I’ma get ’em B, (I got ’em B)
I’m hungry like I didn’t eat
I want it like I didn’t see a mill before 17…”
Wayne slashed through lyrics like an escaped prisoner of war slashed through vines in jungles. The energy now in the studio was electric. Those who remained witnessed Weezy figuratively ripping the heart out of his chest while pouring every ounce of frustration in a microphone which resided in his tattooed frame.
Who gave a shit he was rapping for five straight minutes? This was the ingredient C2 needed to complete its recipe. Wayne already had several special moments in a studio leading up to this point, but none quite like “Tha Mobb” given the magnitude. His magnum opus finally had an appropriate kickoff.
Even better? The rest of Hip-Hop was on high alert. The self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” now had his sights set on the throne.
Lil Wayne – “Tha Mobb”