It was about eight years ago on Dedication 2 when Lil Wayne proclaimed that “you retire out when you die out.” Well, apparently, Weezy has changed his mind because yesterday he told MTV that he is indeed retiring, sorta.
“I personally plan on this being my final solo album, yes, and it’s definitely the final Carter album,” Wayne stated in the interview. Wayne reiterates that he will indeed continue recording “Whenever I have to pitch in for a Young Money album, a Like Father, Like Son album and something like that, but not a solo album.” Speaking of Tha Carter V, despite its rumored May 5th release date (oddly a Monday) Wayne says, “My next album isn’t Tha Carter V because I think I have to work on other albums with my pop Birdman and things like that.”
I never understood the “this is my last album” promotional tactic or rapper retirement period. Hov famously used it for Black Album (and even he regrets it). Others like The Game and Lupe Fiasco have done the same, only to turn around and release more material. Wayne, however, is a different animal.
Dating all the way back to the earliest Hot Boyz material, Wayne is 17 years into his career. Carter V will be his 11th solo album to go with his collaboration with Birdman Like Father Like Son (where Wayne did ALL the heavy lifting), his three compilations with Young Money/Rich Gang, and, of course, his endless catalog of mixtapes (wikipedia acknowledges 19 official Wayne tapes). With all of that behind him, it is perfectly reasonable that Wayne could be simply done, having given all he can possibly give, and finally, as he says “it’ll be impossible for me to work this hard again for anything else.”
If this is the end, hat tip to Weezy, who has changed the mixtape game forever and, despite the much deserved criticism thrown at him since Carter III, cemented his status as a legend. Hopefully he goes out with a bang, and judging by his latest release, “Moment” off of Rise of An Empire, there is reason to believe he may do just that.
Also, watch the Young Money boss party with the label in his latest installment of Weezy Wednesdays.