5 I Am Not A Human Being
By now you have a well-established, well-liked, and immensely “Popular” Lil Wayne. Yet maybe expectations were too high, maybe the prison time was a distraction, whatever the reason was, this album was not as well received as its predecessor Tha Carter III. Still, Wayne doesn’t stagger. The single “I’m Single” might be slow, and the version including Drake was not included on the album, but “Right Above It” more than makes up for it. Fiery and monumental, this is one of those songs that feel larger than life. Apt for his status!Certified Gold, this album is well rounded and a prime example of the maturation of Weezys career. For prototypical Lil Wayne, check out “Bill Gates and for a hard hitting nod to the old school, check out “I Am Not A Human Being.”
4 Lights Out
This album may have only earned Gold status, but that’s partly due to the fact that the masses had yet to recognize whom Lil Wayne even was. There is an intensity on this album, almost spastic, but tight enough to maintain integrity. Right away “Get Off the Corner” comes hard, “On the Grind” spells out his intentions, and “Hit U Up” validates his position in the game. “Lil One” featuring Big Tymers is a dialogue in which Weezy plays the up and comer receiving advice from his elder, after all, he was only eighteen years old at the time. “Grown Man,” on the other hand, has him discussing the struggles, responsibilities, and stresses of adulthood.Dynamic for a young man.
3 Tha Carter II
His fifth solo release, and third time going Platinum, Tha Carter II showcases what many would consider a growth spurt in Weezy’s career. Relinquishing hooks, this album feels more like a run of freestyles, with the exception, of course, for how ridiculously concise his writing style is. Bringing some intelligence to his rhymes, “Shooter” airs a political side and“Oh No” touches on some social issues. For the pure fire, check out “Fireman” and if you were wondering what he was in it for, check out “Feel Me.”
2 Tha Block Is Hot
This, his debut album, has a different feel than his later work. One thing is for sure however; dude is hungry! “Tha Block Is Hot” is a prime example of his stamina, dexterity, and ingenuity. For a seventeen year old, he certainly comes hard on “Watcha Wanna Do” and the Bone Thugs reminiscent “Lights Off”. “Respect Us” with Juvenile is wobbly and has a salsa, merengue feel to the production, and “Up To Me” is tender and affectionate, handling the passing of his father.
1 Tha Carter III
This album opens with three minutes of raw Lil Wayne. “3 Peat” sets the tone for the whole album, consistent, fluid, and impactful. You’ve got “Mr. Carter” featuring Jay-Z, but the following song “A Milli” is the Grammy winner, a street single taking it home for Best Rap Solo Performance. If you don’t know “Lollipop” then you really need to get out more, you’re going to suffocate in that box of yours. “Mrs. Officer” puts a spin on the traditional hip-hop sentiment towards officers of the law, and the double Platinum “Got Money” is a quintessential party anthem.