I recently had a conversation with one of my good friends… my initial question was: “What was Lil’ Wayne‘s best album?”; he responded promptly with Tha Carter. His statement immediately jogged my memory. In recollection, most of my friends born in New Orleans, or the south, adamantly believe that the first installment of the Tha Carter series was Weezy’s best body of work; and I feel the same way. Now, I’m not taking anything away from the lyrical masterpiece that was C2, as well as the SoundScan juggernauts C3 and C4, but C1 had an entirely different feel, altogether. I feel that Tha Carter was the last, true Cash Money album.
June 29, 2004 was a very special day in the history of New Orleans music. It was the day that Dwayne Carter, better known as Lil’ Wayne, released Tha Carter. The album was predominantly produced by the legendary Mannie Fresh, as well as songs by Raj Smoove and Jazze Pha. As the lyricist, Weezy began to come into his own, but the LP also held the nostalgic Cash Money Records sound of old. The heavy bass lines and traditional horns that Mannie Fresh made famous traveled through the entire album. The label’s top artist had not yet been exposed to other elements of the music game, so his flow, concepts and delivery retained the rawness of a 16 year old trapped in the streets of New Orleans, but the vocal progression of a true veteran in hip-hop.
In the years prior, three of the main components of CMR (B.G.
…) left the label due to incarceration or monetary disputes, so Lil’ Wayne was it’s final hope. The pressure of carrying an entire company would crush most, but he rose to the occasion. He passionately spoke about fond memories and disagreements on the classic “Miss My Dawgs”, while he displayed his lyricism on “BM Jr.” and “Ain’t That a Bitch”, and he CD’s lead single “Bring It Back”, resonated with every person that’s lived in the city of New Orleans. The cohesion of Tha Carter
was been unmatched by the artist since, not because the albums that succeeded it weren’t as good, but that the combination of Lil’ Wayne just seemed right… perfect
While D. Carter has reached heights that most artist will never reach in a lifetime, the first Carter will remain a classic in southern history. So, if you haven’t in awhile; dust off that album and give it a listen… it’ll definitely be worth your while. Click here
for the un-pirated version of C1
… sorry folks, jail isn’t on my bucket list. Now enjoy the rest of your day, and stay safe.