Seventeen years ago, the Cash Money poster boy etched his name in hip-hop history. And that’s not to say he didn’t do so prior to 2004, because Lil Wayne has been around since Reasonable Doubt was barely a baby. We’re saying so literally. Tha Carter was an unprecedented stepping stone in his discography at the time of its release.
Making a name for himself as part of the Hot Boys was integral, but it’s clear who the most genuine talent in there was, not to discredit Juvenile. And we could sit here all day discussing how vital “Go DJ” is to his hitmaking formula and how “I Miss My Dawgs” showcases his vulnerable side, but… that’d be a bitch.
The penultimate track in the first installment of Weezy’s eponymous anthology, “Ain’t That A Bitch,” hones one of the strongest hooks in the icon’s discography. Spitting like he’s on the prowl for his final breath, he’s practically barking: “The cops is watchin’, the streets is talkin’ / Ya hoes is unfaithful, ya family ungrateful / Ya n***as ain’t loyal, ya n***as ain’t lawyers”. Accompanied by Mannie Fresh’s bounciness that encompassed the onslaught of Wayne’s early stuff, there’s genuinely no room for error in this track.
While ultimately ditching Fresh for his following projects, which turned out to be the best decision in his career dictated from the moment you hit play on Tha Carter II, this was the epitome of whatever people like to call a signature sound. And while its production is dated, that doesn’t mean this bounce can be emulated.
I’m a muthafuckin man so respect me as one or the tech meet ya ass son
The tech heat ya ass son put ya fuckin chest beneath ya ass son
Blooka blook blap bleep ya ass son
Nigga tryin to see his grandson and we
Got niggas in the pen tryin to see me wit a Grammy
Wanna be me and don’t even understand me