Lil Wayne Drops ‘Tha Carter II’ Album – Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Dec. 6, in hip-hop history...
2005: The second installment of Tha Carter series was certainly a memorable one. Fresh off the success of Tha Carter, Lil Wayne took a huge step and placed a flag on top of the hip-hop mountain as the "best rapper alive." If Tha Carter was the appetizer, Tha Carter II was a full course meal, showing off all of Lil Wayne's lyrical prowess, his soulful ear and song making ability. The Carter II had everything a hip-hop fan wanted to hear. Wayne was making a statement on this album. You either let him in the room or he's busting down the door himself.
Lil Wayne dropped "Fireman" as the lead single, which managed to peak at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was his most successful single at the time in his career behind "Go D.J." With the commercial success of "Fireman," Wayne followed up with a hood classic in "Hustler Musik." "Hustler Musik" wasn't as commercially popular as "Fireman," but it still was a favorite among fans and a standout track on what many consider Lil Wayne's best body of work. The album produced a lot of amazing deep cuts such as "Tha Mobb," "Money on My Mind," "Best Rapper Alive," "Hit Em Up," and the list goes on.
Tha Carter II received universal acclaim. The album peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first week sales of over 254,000 copies. The album has sold over million copies since its release.
As executive producers, Birdman and Ronald "Slim" Williams enlisted a variety of collaborators and producers for the album, a different method from Weezy's previous LP Tha Carter, which was mostly produced by Mannie Fresh.
The album was well-rounded and truly risk-taking for Wayne, but he never went too far away from his roots. The song that showed a preview of the megastar hit-making potential of Wayne was the Robin Thicke-assisted third single "Shooter." On the soulful record, Wayne's third verse says it all. He demands to be looked at as the star he truly is, "And to the radio stations, I'm tired of being patient/Stop being rapper racists, region-haters/Spectators, dictators, behind door dick-takers/It's outrageous! You don't know how sick you make us/I want to throw it up like chips in Vegas/But this is Southern, face it/If we too simple, then y'all don't get the basics."
See Photos of Lil Wayne's Different Looks Over the Years