Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter III’ Recounted Through Oral History For 5th Anniversary

32. Lil Wayne

The Importance Of Tha Carter III To Wayne’s Career And To Hip-Hop

StreetRunner: “It’s always going to be a classic album because of what that time and era meant for Wayne. I mean, he’s great, and he’s had other great albums, but the momentum and the build-up that led to Tha Carter III was so groundbreaking compared to his other albums. I also think his sound was so new and fresh when Tha Carter III dropped. To have somebody from the South snapping on all these tracks that had soul samples, some were party records, some were more hip-hop; it was different. He showed a great deal of versatility with whatever he was doing around that time. But now, his sound has become sort of the norm, and it’s not really groundbreaking anymore.”

Infamous: “I always viewed Tha Carter III as being a really well-put-together album, from a songwriter’s perspective. He stays in topic, and there are topics that a lot of people can relate to. As an album, and as a piece of art, I think he showed a lot of range and explored a lot of topics. I really see it as being a landmark hip-hop album for a newer generation.”

Maestro: “It was impactful. You know, it did numbers. Honestly, I feel like the album itself is a testament to Wayne’s momentum at the time, but I don’t think it has the congruency or the continuity of more classic albums. I may be remiss to say that, but I do feel like it sounds a little disjointed at parts. That’s why it doesn’t have that replay value. I think a lot of people bought it and loved it, and critics heralded it as something great for hip-hop, but I don’t know how many people actually sat down and played it over and over. That’s just kind of a testament to where we’re at with music right now. But I do think it was his best collection of work or his best major-label release of work. He’s had incredible mixtapes and very solid bodies of work that had that continuity—where the songs just fit and gelled and flowed. But this one, it was more like a hodgepodge of records. Like a best-of collection.”

Brisco: “I still feel like the album is underrated. If you go back to it, you’ll see why it sold a million first week. You could feel the time that Wayne was in; you could feel the things that he was doing. A song like ‘A Milli’? You ain’t ever gonna get no bars like that again, you know what I’m saying? That Carter I and Carter II was crazy too, but that Carter III was, you know… Three is a holy number. It’s the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It definitely transformed his career.”

Dre: “It’s a classic, and it kind of put Wayne in the next category, kind of like he cashed a check. Carter III put him on Mount Rushmore.”

David Banner: “The success of the album said that hip-hop was still marketable. Wayne came up at a time when people had given up on album sales when it came to rap music, and I think with Wayne… as hip-hop fans, we have a tendency to be one side of the hip-hop fence or another, instead of just looking at good music. Regardless of what people say, Dr. Dre contributed something to hip-hop; OutKast contributed something; Warren G contributed something; and Wayne contributed something. He kept the doors open for people, when a lot of people were trying to shut the doors. So if anything, Tha Carter III is an entity within itself. It has to be respected, even if for nothing else but the financial aspect of it, and the jobs and opportunities that [Wayne] created for people with it.”

Jim Jonsin: “The album meant a ton to rap, man. It was huge. Especially for young rappers and young artists. To them, Lil Wayne is an icon. I can’t deny that. He made a mark as a good rapper.

Deezle: “When I’m out at places and people recognize me, they still rave about Tha Carter III, and their comments are usually, ‘That’s my favorite Wayne album ever!’ and that seems to be the case with most people. I know first-hand how the record was created—the energy that went into it, the camaraderie, the creative process. As an artist he was just mentally really comfortable with what he was doing, and he didn’t have to worry about certain things as far as creativity was concerned.”

D. Smith: “I think that it set a bar, and I think that people should continue to work as hard and as diligent as Wayne did on that album. Not a watered-down version, just to get half of the success. Obviously, people are inspired by Wayne, but I think YouTube and Twitter has made people think that they don’t have to do half of the work that Wayne did to get where he did. Like, ‘I could do that.’ At that moment, people started rapping like him and sounding like him, but Wayne is a beast. He’s just…undeniable. It was a great album.”

  • BrianRaider

    This Shit Is Dope As Fuck! I Always Love The Articles & Reviews Here But This Is Prolly My Favortie Of 2013 So Far! I Loved The Carter 3! I Would Say It’s One Of His Classics! My Favorite Wayne ALbum Of All Time And I Think Is His Best Is the 1st Carter! You Guys Touched On Some Key Moments Of Making This Album That I Didn’t Realize Or Know! Wayne Is My Favorite Living Rapper! I Grew Up On Lil Wayne! That’s Funny Because We Are The Same Age Basically! Reading This Entire Article Took Me Back To 2008! 2008 Was A Bad Year For Me But There’s Always The Music & Wayne Took It To Another Level. I Remember At The Time I Was Hoping Mannie Or Drumma Boy, Or Timbaland Would Be On There But It Was Stellar Without Them. Drumma Was On A Tirade In 07 & 08 So I Figured Hed Be In There. Shouts Out To Wayne & Stunna For Puttin Out Such Dope Product! But This Article Is Helluva I Really Enjoyed It!

  • Arkitekt702

    Dick riding to its fullest

    • cain45

      hater carter 3 classic

      • Arkitekt702

        Really? Out of all the hip hop albums that were released in 2008, you’re going to say Carter 3 was classic. Shit was real mediocre.

        The Preface, The Renaissance, Pain Language, When Life Gives You Lemons, The Evil Jeanius, Untitled (Nigger), Grey Hairs, Megagraphitti…all shit on that album.

    • Alonzo Boone

      Hating faggot.

  • raytarded

    Carter 3 was amazing but Carter 2 was better! Wayne’s best work so far, classic material!

  • mistah dubs

    always thought why the hype and could not get into it when he was blowing up and in fact kinda felt like why is this catching on? I mean carter 1 and 2 were alright but there was always some other artist out there that was a lot better in 08 it seemed as though I guess mainstream hip hop was at a major loss Wayne is sooo unbelievably overrated its disgusting he tries way too hard to may similes and metaphors that just sound flat out stupid and laughable I admire the grind he put in since that takes a lot of dedication but the work put out was very mediocre Quality >>>>>>>> Quantity the only rapper to record a lot of quality music in a short time frame and leave a true mark by containing substance throughout his music was the ever influential Tupac Shakur most artists who are amongst the greatest flesh over a course of time and sure I guess he improved since I did like what I heard off carter 1 and 2 but he really fell off hard after that he just proves that nowadays any idiot swag rapper can get to the top of the charts with absolutely no creativity and substance nor talent The only dudes in mainstream hip hop right now killing it are Kendrick Lamar and Black Hippy as well as J.Cole, Big KRIT, Kid Cudi and ASAP Rocky and the legends Eminem and Jay as well as the Wu Tang and Kanye at times other than that I don’t know man

    • hussle

      wayne’s best songs can stack up to jay and ems and the wu members best songs.

  • Kizman

    Wayne used to be top 5 (in 2005-08), now he’s not even top 50!

  • jon

    Wayne isn’t even a talented rapper. its why he auto tunes and affects his voice so much. he also has repetitive subject matter, even though he hires a team of fucking GHOST WRITERS. the only all time list he belongs on is most over- rated

    • hussle

      wayne doenst have ghostwriters stop talking out your ass

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  • williambrujan

    Lil Wayne are you fucking serious? You guys dick ride the worse garbage pointless music out there…thats y i hate all this commercial shit cause its fake as shit and brain washing? Comparing Lil Wayne to the greats…Pac would be disgusted!