Carter Vs. Carter


After selling 964, 000 copies of Tha Carter IV last week, Lil Wayne stands as hip-hop’s current undisputed first-week king. The incredible feat also cemented Weezy’s Carter series as one of hip-hop’s most commercially successful franchises, though, he faces stiffer competition in that department—namely another MC who shares his Carter surname, Jay-Z.

In November 1997, Hov kicked off the first of his two excellent trilogies with the release of In My Lifetime, Vol.1. The forecast looked a bit cloudy at first, as Jay’s attempt at crafting a more universally-appealing record was panned by critics. The disc still sold upwards 1 million copies, but Jigga Man’s ambitions to take New York City’s reigns in the wake of The Notorious B.I.G.’s death, as suggested on Vol.1‘s “The City Is Mine”—initially appeared out of reach.

Undaunted, Hov went right back to work and released The Streets Is Watching—a straight-to-VHS (remember those) film titled after one of Vol.1‘s standout tracks. The movie dropped with an accompanying soundtrack featuring bangers like the Memphis Bleek-assisted “It’s Alright” and “Murdergram” featuring a red-hot DMX and an ascending Ja Rule. The soundtrack reversed Jay’s momentum leading into the release of the God MC’s highest-selling album to date, Vol.2… Hard Knock Life, in September 1998. Hovi closed out his first trilogy with the release of Vol.3… Life and Times of Sean Carter in December of the following year.

After showing his crew love on 2000′s compilation-turned-solo-album, The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, Jigga launched his second trilogy, The Blueprint, on September 11, 2001. The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse followed in November 2002 and S. Dot concluded his second trilogy—following a short-lived retirement and mixed reviewed comeback LPs—with The Blueprint 3 in 2009.

Similarly to Hov’s Lifetime franchise, Weezy’s Carter series got off to a slow start. Though he’d been written off, the last soldier of Birdman’s Cash Money army began his quest to plant the CMB flag atop of hip-hop’s elite with the release of Tha Carter in June 2004. The record sold decently, but Wayne’s mission appeared impossible until the release of Tha Carter‘s second single, “Go DJ” and a career-defining guest appearance alongside T.I. on Destiny’s Child’s appropriately titled, “Soldier”—powered by a cosign from Jay-Z no less. Soon enough, fans previously blind to Lil Tunechi’s music began to pay attention. Weezy’s “Soldier” verse was a taste of things to come, as the New Orleans rapper reinvented himself into a punchline-driven rhyme animal and began a string of seemingly endless guest appearances that resulted in a deafening buzz. Tha Carter II followed in December 2005, earning Tune another platinum plaque and Birdman Jr. made history when he sold a little over 1 million copies of Tha Carter III in June 2008.

But who’s the Head Carter in Charge? Wayne’s Carter series features four installments, but in all fairness he’s moving units in a tough climate in comparison to Hov’s Lifetime franchise. Blueprint Vs. Carter may be a fairer match-up. XXL crunched the numbers to see which Carter has the upper hand. —XXL Staff

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  • jimmyjam33

    sorry dude aint gon work like tht. first off we all know jays a far superior rapper. second, its mostly hip hop heads who cop jays albums. wayne has everyone from 12 year old girls to hipster skateboarders on his shit. i hate to say it but numbers dnt count here.+

    • http://@truvizion4 @truvizion4

      Numbers don’t lie! Weezy F Baby is a beast!!!! It’s all about getting people to go out and buy your album and wayne is great at that!

      • jimmyjam33

        yes but c4 sucked ass. if wayne wasnt rocking skiny jeans, riding skateboards and singing over acoustic guitars, he wouldnt be selling as much, thank his stylists and everyone around him. jay would probably sell tht much too if he jumped on every single song and diluted his content to nothing like wayne.i was standing firmly behind wayne, untill c4 dropped. im glad he sold tht much because its good for hip hop, but it wont top recovery in overall sales ( recovery also sucked by the way) ns he no where near as good as jay. he aint even as good as drake or nicki. he got bodied by every feature on his own album.


          Recovery sucked? Maybe thats your opinion, which is not fact by the way. Just like everyones opinion on here, its just opinion.
          I dont believe it was he best album quality wise but a damn good effort if you take into consideration where was at that time in his life. Its a huge testament to achieve what he did with all he went through, and the album actually had some really good songs on it. Even though I liked Bad Meets Evil, and what good songs that where on Relapse a little better.

          People are quick to bring up numbers and other people are quick to dismiss numbers but no one ever mentions numbers are a valid argument if you look at it as a double edged sword. Yeah on one hand the back street boys might suck and sell a billion albums, but on the other hand you have truly skilled and quality based artists like 2pac and Big and Eminem who all sell large amounts. It could go either way.

          • http://xxl cincy’s finest

            i agree with you naptown.. recovery is solid.. i always agree with alot of your posts. its just funny how alot of people that dont follow em will never understand most of his lyrical content , he throws shit in his songs that unless you are a true listener then youd never catch it. like on seduction… ” theres a 7 disc cd changer in her car and im in every single slot and your not awwlll.. “lol i think he is refering to his 7 solo albums , correct me if im am wrong.. oh and relapse had some great ass songs , like 3am , hello, bagpipes from bagdhad , my fav was stay wide awake .. and beautiful as well.. oh did you checkout music box from relapse refill? that shit was one of my favorite all time.. anyhow yeah i agree recovery was great .. especially what he had just came out of in his life ..

    • JugularKill

      XXL are clowns.

      Lil wayne: 1997 – 2011
      has sold about: 31.5 million including Carter 4.

      Jay-Z: 1996 – 2011
      solo sales Including BP3 world wide
      (ignoring collaborations like WWT, R-Kelly & Linkin Park)
      = 60+ million.

      Throw all the collaborations in the mix WTT BBW etc, Jay is on 2Pacs level. Close to Eminem’s 80 Mil+.

      Jay-Z has never been a big week seller. He is slow, record lables love that, that’s why they can pump huge budgets into people like Nas, Mary J and so on.

      Lil Wayne is the new 50 Cent. Fast numbers, big numbers but the decline is faster.

      I guarantee you more people have purchased Blueprint I today than Carter I.

      You can’t compare Jay-Z to Wayne it’s kind of wrong.

      It’s like comparing Beyonce to Katy Perry.

      Backstreet Boys sold 150 Million.. does that make them better than “Black Street”?

      Compare substance to substance, the arguments of Biggie, 2Pac, Jay-Z, Nas and RaKim shouldn’t include trend jumpers.

      Lil Wayne never started as a lyric driven rapper. The clipse did.Think about it.

      • Dj Ken

        He has sold approximately 50 million albums worldwide…He’s no where close to Em or Pac !

    • sc

      I’m glad someone got it right, you have 20 year old people, who don’t rock with Jay-Z but you as you stated you have little kids that love wayne shit, so of course he is going to get bigger numbers. But overally Jay is that dude and C4 is garbage but sense its wayne people jump on his dick and buy his shit.

    • Jazzz

      i couldn’t agree with your comment more. couldn’t have been better said

  • Sha

    You see…. This is the “TRUE” problem with hip-hop today. Sh*t is measured in units rather than skills. This joint is like comparing MC Hammer to Big Daddy Kane (sales wise). We know who moved the most units, but who had the biggest impact on the culture of hip-hop?

    I can’t knock Weezy for selling mad records. But as far as skills? Jigga would body dude. As far as albums? I’d rock any of Jigga’s albums before I would rock Tha Carter IV. And that’s not on no d*ck riding stuff. That is strictly off of talent and artistic merit.

    Ok. So let’s compare Lil Wayne against some of his lesser selling generational peers. Weezy can “barely” (and I do mean barely) out-rhyme a Wiz Khalifa. And he would straight get destroyed by a Joell Ortiz or a Royce. He isn’t even in the top 5 Emcees of his generation. Not even close.

    Now analyze Jay-Z. Like it or not, you could compare Jay-Z to a Nas, Biggie, or Ghostface and he clearly could hold is own. Not a number one, but definitely in the top 3.

    And this is the FlameThrower!!!! Subtract the internet, subtract the suburban white boy dollar, and subtract MTV. Who would sell more units straight from the trunk? Who could straight battle at a house party and live off of their skills? Hmmmm. Something tells me it ain’t Weezy….

    • JahiSalaam

      couldnt have said iht better dog. real talk. all the white kids uhp here in cali are buying lil wayne, cuz he sold out to mainstream, he barely can even rap. i liked him waaay better in the hot boyz time period, buht even then, he wasnt crazy lyrically, we all just liked him cuz he was hard and repped new orleans, jay z woulda murdered him. and now hes out there dressin like hes from cali or something, and barely even rhyming and shit, ihts just horrible.

    • J Bravo

      Thats true shit right there bruh!

    • SC

      I couldn’t have said it any better than that

    • JA

      damn all of these other white suburban kids are giving me a bad name….i was just rocking the blueprint the other day, fuck weezy and his shitty pop rap, real rap ’till I die

  • King Richard Aka Da God Of Rap

    catalog wise wayne carter aint quite jay-z’s blueprint series but iz as gud as the lifetime series 2 “me” but i think jay da goat overall & y hard knock life 2 sell mo than blueprint? weird lol…

  • TicNitty706

    Its very disrespectful imo to even compare Wayne to Jay. When debating the best rappers ever for the next 30-40 yrs Jay name will be brought up way more than Wayne’s. Also if we go discog vs. discog its a slaughter.

    Jay has some duds in his catalog just like Wayne does so thats even right there. But Wanye does not have one widely accliamed classic album. Sure he has albums i’m sure his die hard fans deem classic but in the grand scale of rap he does not have that one defining album yet.

    Until then Wayne is to be respected but not put on God mc’s levels.

    • madnigga

      yeah but he makes better songs

      • JA

        you’re fucking retarded if you think lil wayne makes better music than jay-z

  • thoms3

    both do what they do well, and to come out of the ghetto they both are the best…. you can never measure a man vs another man, you measure a man against himself, …his numbers, his music..his life .. both are grown successful men.. …

    • yogi22

      ^^^Realtalk right there im sick of this who is better shit

  • o.skino

    I agree with the first comment on this page by jimmyjam33… numbers don’t count cause Hov is the Hiphop fans champion quality rapper… and Wayne is just NOT!!! but lets say numbers did count… WAYNE would LOSE anyway…. Cause ALL of Jay-Z’s albums went PLATINUM!!! ALL 11 of them… and amongst them he has 3 CLASSICS. (Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint & The Black Album)… Wayne has Yet to DROP ONE CLASSIC… and i’m talking CLASSIC’s by all of HIPHOP’s standards… this argument is pointless… WAYNE IS THE KING OF WATERED DOWN TEENAGER SUBURBAN SOFT RAP!!! (not lyrical, not lyrically conscientious… all beats and hooks)

  • Pierzy

    Those “stats” are full of inaccuracies, most notably:

    - There were zero albums released in the “Lifetime” series (the three were in a row)

    - Blueprint 2 had far more than 14 tracks

  • Mainstream Rap SUCKS!

    Thats how you tell that he is very overrated’, any underground rapper would give the Young Money Crew rap lessons. Army of The Pharaohs and Jedi Mind Tricks are way better!

  • Jim C

    i hate everyone that measures good music by sales…and you publishing this just adds to all the bullshit. Lil wayne is meant to be great cause he can sell records…fact is Carter 4 is an average disc…if an album sells alot these days i stay clear because i know its going to contain some commercial shite and basically the mass public cannot judge good music. Dont mistake, i like Lil Wayne but with this album it just shows sales does not mean quality music

  • zherow

    “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t” That statement is full of sh*t no matter who says it. So you sell a million is a week. So what? Does not speak to anything in terms of quality, which, as music being a consumer market, means nothing at all. Jay > Wayne; simple as that

  • theroach

    ok here we go again with this numbers thang… look anything people say to support wayne can be shut down so quick… the biggest is numbers dont lie ok here is some numbers… will smiths’ (big willie style) sold over 10 million copies… thats more than the entire carter series put together… so wtf wayne aint shit numbers dont lie right!!! and come on jay is so far ahead of wayne its sick… “real Gs move in silence like lasagna” “get sip up plastic when happens thats it” plz fuck wayne

  • bj

    numbers dont lie thats why Jay-Z is at the top of Forbes list every year bitches

  • slick vic

    Simple…..can u add? Jay all the way,smartter than who? many…even carter the follower. #2 is the firs looser and here no one looses. BEST RAPPERS PAC,BIGG,NAS, JAY,EMM…NO room for more.

  • King Richard Aka Da God Of Rap

    honestly numbers do matter sumwat,cuz u cant say da guy n yo hood is da best rapper & neva even made da charts,but 2 say wayne aint lyrical “at all” or dnt say “clever shyt” is an insult 2 hip hop or u dnt no hip hop at all,dnt let ya hate overshadow “any” truth,wayne wannabe jay & jay wannabe big & pac,y idk….

  • http://xxl commercialsociety

    how many albums did baby buy for his lover ? who cares jay and wayne are both overrated. if pac was alive jay woouldnt be rapping , he hated that mutha fucka n would have ended his career, makes me sick . everybody seems to forget that. too many average rappers like kayne getting too much props. thats what radio does these days. try not being played whatsoever on the radio and selling 4 mill in close to 7 months . so sick of xxl riding a jay , wayne and kayne … not too mention that when i hear waynes lyrics sometimes im like what that fuck , he should have thought that out first , cause he dont know how to make sense alot.. goodday.

  • Terence

    I can guarantee that most of the people who said that Jay-Z is better, is at least 30 years of age. To me, its a totally different generation. Me, I’m 16, so I may not know a lot of the artists that were making music back in 1996 or 1997. I was only 3. But I can guarantee that most people my age would not play any Rakim or old Jay-Z. Most of those rappers would talk about selling drugs and stuff of that nature. Now-a-days, people don’t wanna hear that stuff. That’s why Lil Wayne sells more. He’s appealing to the customer. He knows that most of his listeners are between the ages of 10 and 35. So he makes songs that relate to them. So me personally, I’d gladly listen to the Carter IV before I listen to In My Lifetime

  • theycallmerayj

    hahaha for real this is a joke, XXL you can’t be serious. wayne is no where near Jay-Z.

  • Fireforreal

    @Pierzy it said the Blueprint 2.1 not the original that had both discs. Anyway I think that a real hip hop fan will take Jay’s albums and still rock to that shit now and anylyze the classics on His classic albums and still like a good movie find something new. Wayne is good but not great. He improved like crazy since the cash money,mannie fresh,hot boys days so it’s easier to shine when you were the only one holden down the fort for so long,but like somebody else stated Wayne has yet to release a classic album. Fuck sales because most white kids don’t buy Jay any more but Wayne has the skateboarders,rockers,white pre teens who watch twilight and really think he’s the best because they only know hip hop from 50 cent’s debut to now. Ask anybody he listens to this shit with there heart and soul and they will tell you wayne right now is more popular on the radio and video shows but Jay gets more respect and has a legendary status you can’t touch.

  • D90

    Hov>Wayne… that shouldnt even need to be a discussion… a better comparison would be comparing Jay nd Eminem

  • PeeGeorge

    In Joe Budden’s words, “The wacker the music, the bigger the ego” Probably 1st week sales in this case.

  • TUMI


  • Sean Izzle

    Jay-Z and Li Wayne are brothers yes. They made a whole lot of music together. But theyre still two different artists. Comparing Jay-Zs classic The Blueprint and Vol. series with anything Southern rap is just wrong and stupid [ -_- ]

    And all that mathematical shit is unnecessary and weird.

  • jaa

    how can you forget his debut album Reasonable doubt… Made crazy sales till today, guaranteed

  • kenny



    wayne better than jay fuck yall old niggas

  • abe

    were just sayin opinions jay z is ok,lil wayne dope,eminem dope’st.

  • stan

    Jay Z didn’t get worldwide success still “Hard knock Life vol 1. It sold 8 million albums worldwide. That was pretty much his biggest selling album to date. In all he sold 27 million albums according to RIAA in the US and around 40 million Worldwide. Jay-z is a small artist in comparison to his peers, such as 50cent and Eminem. But he was able to turn his lifestyle into multiple businesses unlike the rest. I believe 50cent has the earning power, but he lost alot of money on he stock market, and haven’t found other businesses that generated the kind of revenue Vitamin water has done. He pretty much finish. But Like I said, Jay-z is not bigger than Rap, He just a business man, that so happens to rap.

  • kingjawz


  • ranarr

    lol…….Jay-z over life as sold more CD’s that Wayne and has more number 1 hits…..Jayz is a hiphop legend lil wayne is just a trend….lil wayne fan base will vanish in a min but jays fans base will always stand the test of time.

  • lil wayne tha best

    jay-z has and always will be the biggest bitter of all many of biggie’s lyrics has the man made money off of…nas said it best in the track ether

  • mdawg

    Jay < Wayne simple as that. Jay z is the past simple as that. C4 is banging. You cant compare the two but wayne is running it these days gotta admit it.

  • Will Morebucks

    Nelly’s sold more than both these niggas, that don’t mean he’s better

  • AishThaks

    Lil Wayne is the Best Rapper Alive….Watch The Throne is a fukin Joke. its sucks hard.. its like.2 old people rappin about Bitches …WTF man …..Fuck Jay Z & his Bitch Beyonce …..

  • Blake Live

    True that Jay is better than wayne, buh Wayne does not suck at all.

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