Mixtape Weezy: XXL’s Favorite Lil Wayne Features
In anticipation of the release of Lil Wayne's I Am Not A Human Being II, manager Cortez Bryant claimed, "It's mixtape Weezy - straight street bangers you're going to hear in the club… Wayne really took it back to his roots." Needless to say, Tez got fans of the old Weezy super excited about a return to form. Whether he was telling the truth is debatable (see the XXL review of the record here), but we took the PR statement as an excuse to revisit Mixtape Weezy's catalogue.
You might remember a time in the mid to late-2000s, when Wayne popped up on everybody's single - delivering his slick rhymes to the world through collaborations with everyone from Mario to Drake to Destiny's Child. What's crazy about the run is that he managed to not spread himself too thin, and deliver every guest verse (or hook) with authority and originality.
We're not saying that these are the best Wayne features, these are just 20 of our favorites, so click through and immerse yourself in the glory that is Mixtape Weezy. If you have a favorite that isn't mentioned here, let us know what it is and why you love it in the comments section. - Compiled by Dan Buyanovsky and Abrea Armstrong, with additional reporting by Ralph Bristout and Eric Diep.
Playaz Circle ft. Lil Wayne - "Duffle Bag Boy"
It's honestly just great to see Tity Boi being Tity Boi before becoming 2 Chainz, but you can't understate the importance of Weezy's hook on this Atlanta anthem. There's no chance this song would've been in such heavy rotation the summer of 2009 without Weezy, and we're all better off because of it.
Lloyd ft. Lil Wayne - "Get It Shawty (Remix)"
Whenever Weezy took over the opening verse of an r&b song in the 2000s, you knew it was going to be great, and you also knew it was going to be the only great part of the song. No disrespect to young Lloyd, but when Wayne spits, "Car black, car big, car fast, Car-ter/Can I stick my pencil in your sharpen-er?" in the opening seconds of a song, there's really nowhere to go but downhill.
Juvenile ft. Lil Wayne - "Back Dat Ass Up"
This may not be Wayne's most witty or dynamic verse, but as a Cash Money youngster it's definitely one of his most memorable. Try playing this at the height of any party - talk about an evergreen joint.
Curren$y ft. Lil Wayne - "Where Da Cash At"
What makes this verse special is that this was Lil Wayne introducing the world to Curren$y. Though the relationship may no longer be what it once was, at least we still have the music.
DJ Khaled ft. Akon, TI, Fat Joe, Birdman & Lil Wayne - "We Takin' Over"
It seemed like for an entire summer, people couldn't stop quoting, "I am the beast, feed me rappers or feed me beats." On this early Khaled posse cut, Wayne supremely flexes his rapid-fire MC skills.
Mario ft. Lil Wayne - "Crying Out For Me (Remix)"
This song was re-made famous last year when Drizzy announced that this was his favorite Wayne guest verse ever, and we can't really argue. In the opening bars, he masters the art of speaking for another person that Biggie introduced to the world and 3 Stacks went on to perfect on the remix of Lloyd's "I Want You."
Bobby V ft. Lil Wayne - "Tell Me (Remix)"
On Bobby Valentino's breakout hit (and honestly, his best song ever), Wayne croons some sex-driven bars to an unnamed lady and assures her, "I ain't bein' nasty, I'm just being for real." After an interlude of Bobby's singing, Wayne comes right back and tells her, "Now you got my eyes following the places you go/I'm caught up in your vibe, tryna kick it like judo." #TaeBo
Wale ft. Lil Wayne - "Nike Boots (Remix)"
When the '08 Wale pulled a Weezy feature for his regional "Nike Boots" hit, it was a surprising cosign. Wayne jumps on the emotional anthem and juggles with his wit, managing to rhyme "heads or tails" with "heads and tails" with "head and tail" with "head and tail," without sounding like a crazy person. Dude's impressive.
Destiny's Child ft. T.I. and Lil Wayne - "Soldier"
This is DC's hood crossover jam that girls love to lean to and guys pretend to not love. It's a banging song, and so are Kelly's moves in this video. This was the first time B subliminally shouts out Jay on her verse, singing, "We like those boys up top from the BK/Know how to flip that money three ways." Instead of inviting Hov for a guest verse, the girls bring out T.I. and a then-burgeoning Weezy who shows up in all camo and syrup-raps, "Cash Money is the army, I'm walking with purple hearts on me." Salute!
Rick Ross ft. T-Pain, Kanye West & Lil Wayne - "Maybach Music 2"
The anthemic production on this cut is brilliant enough on its own, but when Rozay adds spitters like Kanye West and Lil Wayne to hook-hero T-Pain, it's just icing on the cake. Token Weezy quotable - "Fresher than Will Smith, and Uncle Phil, too."
Outkast ft. Snoop Dogg & Lil Wayne - "Hollywood Divorce"
On OutKast’s Idlewild album, Lil Wayne steals the show next to legendary veterans. He ran with the theme of Hollywood’s exploitation and turned his verse into a revealing look at the negative aspects of being famous. There are strong points in a media critique of Hurricane Katrina, excessive spending to feel different, and more. It’s Wayne at his finest.
Birdman ft. Lil Wayne - "Pop Bottles"
Birdman and Lil Wayne produce a championship anthem on “Pop Bottles.” Weezy kicks off the celebratory song with his usual swagger and demeanor. Token quotable - "Could you tell I'm in love, woman? Like no other woman/Oh I'm sorry sweetheart, I thought you were my other woman."
Tyga ft. Lil Wayne - "Faded"
T-Raww doesn’t deny that he likes to make party songs. Riding off the success of “Rack City,” he proved that he could do it again with “Faded.” It has him at his most confident and features Wayne with a scene-stealing verse that covers humor and wit all at once. This is also probably the only time Weezy shouted “Young Mula” like his life was on the line. That’s some serious dedication.
Drake ft. Lil Wayne & Young Jeezy - "I'm Going In"
This song is fittingly about going in, and that is precisely what Mixtape Weezy does. He throws back-to-back punchlines in weird voices (Madea included) that will leave you out cold.
Juicy J ft. 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne - "Bands A Make Her Dance (Remix)"
Just when we'd thought we'd lost Lil Wayne the MC to the skaters, he made a grand return on the remix for Juicy J's instant hit. Essential Weezy-ism - "I don't tip, I pay bills. Bitches call me Buffalo."
DJ Khaled ft. Drake & Lil Wayne - "I'm On One"
There's never been a better opening line than Wayne's on "One," where he softly growls, "I walk up in the club, fuck everybody." You can't help but wonder why he's so salty, but it doesn't even matter because the rest of the verse already has you rapping along to it.
Kanye West ft. Lil Wayne - "See You In My Nightmares"
Coming in for the unexpected 808's and Heartbreak appearance, this is Wayne at his most Auto-Tune'd, and also at his most scathing. His rap-cry growl lets him get away with saying the things 'Ye won't, and his verse gives teeth to the already-dark ballad.
Chris Brown ft. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne - "Look At Me Now"
The only person you could throw on this song to compete with Busta's machine-gun-funk is Weezy, who not only keeps up but finds time to make references to bullfighters, pumpkin pie, and his momma's niceness. Versatility is Wayne.
Drake ft. Lil Wayne - "Ignorant Shit"
In the midst of his legal case in 2009, Lil Wayne opens his verse with "And I'll take probation. I don't want that T.I. or Vick vacation." Though he didn't end up getting probation, over the Isley Brothers sample Wayne makes it clear why we missed him while he was gone.
DJ Drama ft. Willie The Kid, Freeway, T.I. & Lil Wayne - "Cannon (Remix)"
You forget that DJ Drama's 2007 Gangsta Grillz: The Album cut "Cannon" featured anyone else not named Lil Wayne. The New Orleans Nightmare not only ran laps around the track's featured guests, he also gave enough reason for many to label him the best rapper alive. "Niggas know I'm sick, I don't spit, I vomit, got it?" Got it.
Birdman ft. Lil Wayne - "Get Your Shine On"
This under-appreciated banger from Birdman's Fast Money features the unbeatable collaboration of Weezy and Mannie Fresh behind the boards. Wayne employs his unbeatable Carter-era flow and shows off some awesome short dreads in the video.
Robin Thicke ft. Lil Wayne - "Shooter"
This has to be Wayne's weirdest collaboration (besides that one with someone named Porcelain Black), but he embraces the duet perfectly with a few aggressive verses. Midway through, he looks dead into the camera and whispers "This is Southern, face it. If we too simple, then y'all don't get the basics," solidifying Southern rap's stronghold on hip-hop for years to come.
Kanye West ft. Lil Wayne - "Barry Bonds"
A lot of people called this a weak point on Ye's Graduation, but the two saviors of mid-2000s rap celebrate a swagger's eve on this spacey banger. Kanye sounds more confident than ever with his Southern sidekick nearby, and Weezy wordplays his way through saying he's slept with Meagan Good and shouts out the Easter rabbit. Timely!
Drake ft. Lil Wayne - "HYFR"
Drizzy didn't really need Wayne for this song, but boy is he glad he got him on it. Pre-"Started from the Bottom" Drake definitely have the guts to rap this hook, and Weezy gives so little of a fuck while singing it that it's perfect. Plus, the line - "Bitch if you wave, then I will surf you."
Drake ft. Lil Wayne - "Successful"
It really seems like Wayne saves his best quotables for Drake songs. After Shopping Bag Drizzy and Trey trade verses and introspectively sing/rap, mixtape Weezy comes through for a stripped-down verse which he begins by pardoning his swag, and ends with likening himself to God. You can't beat it.