Lil Wayne released his long-awaited album, “Tha Carter V,” dropping it at midnight on Thursday, the day he also celebrated his 36th birthday.
“Tha Carter V” showcases an amazing array of talent. Including vocals from the late XXXTentacion, who left us all-too-soon during a hold-up gone bad. There is also rapping from Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott, with a tune turning on sampling via Sampha. The ladies bring it with vocal workouts by Ashanti, Nicki Minaj, and Nivea. Production comes courtesy of Swizz Beatz, Metro Boomin, Mannie Fresh, and Ben Billions, among other music impresarios.
Lil Wayne first foretold of the coming of “Tha Carter V” following the 2011 release of “Tha Carter IV.” However, the fifth installment of Wayne’s series, a journey that began in 2004 when Lil Wayne was just 22, has been mired in delays caused by conflicts with his former label.
“Tha Carter V” was supposed to have come out in 2014. Then, just days before a rumored release date in December, Twitter lit up when Wayne announced that Brian “Birdman” Williams, the label head of Cash Money and erstwhile former mentor to Wayne, would not release the album. Wayne tweeted that “I am a prisoner and so is my creativity.” He apologized to his fans by saying that he was sorry and furthermore, “I don’t blame ya if ya fed up with waiting 4 me & this album.”
In 2015, Wayne lawyered-up and sued Cash Money for $51 million dollars. Beyond the significant green, he wanted the right to end his ties with the label. Later, when Wayne tried to release the “Free Weezy” album in 2015 through Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service, Cash Money was said to have gone on the defensive and sued Tidal for $50 million.
Fifty-one million here, fifty million there, and pretty soon you’re talking about some semi-serious dough. Rumor and tongue tattling have it that Cash Money’s suit was allegedly filed improperly and then it was eventually dropped. Note to all would-be word warriors and beat generators: If you want the long paper, you have to file the short paper in the right way. Lesson learned.
According to “Billboard,” the legal wrangling between Lil Wayne and Brian “Birdman” Williams has been settled for “an undisclosed sum.” This lets the sun shine down upon the release of “Tha Carter V.” One condition of the agreement is that Lil Wayne is now the sole proprietor/owner/rainmaker of Young Money Records, which is Wayne’s very own imprint, which had been, before the bust-up, a subsidiary of Cash Money. Lil Wayne also gets to work his own relationship with Universal Music Group, who distributed Cash Money for two decades. Hey, and you thought your last break-up was messy!
Lil Wayne laid down a video thanking his fans for their support, saying, “since y’all stuck with me for like the last four or five years, through all of this, y’all got me feeling like Tiger Woods.”