1. Wayne’s been one of my favorites for a while. Wayne’s a beast. I think we’re kinda similar people in some ways. It felt right, man. I can’t really explain it; the song just needed him, you know? … That song in particular, there was no one else for it.

    — Mac Miller, on “The Question.” Read the rest of my Q&A with Mac here.

  2. Lil Wayne, “Who Wanna” (Tha Carter, 2004) (Prod. by Raj Smoove)

    "If you catch me without the burner, burn me / I beg of you … "

  3. Let’s play “Insert the Caption.” My guess:
Wayne: No, your throwaway Throne beats can’t save Common or Pusha.

    Let’s play “Insert the Caption.” My guess:

    Wayne: No, your throwaway Throne beats can’t save Common or Pusha.

  4. On Lil Wayne, 'Sorry 4 the Wait' and lofty, misguided expectations →

    I didn’t expect to write this much on Sorry 4 the Wait (in the Lil Wayne mixtape canon, it’s somewhere between Dedication 3 and No Ceilings), but hey, it happened. Based on the wave of knee-jerk negative reactions it received in its first day out, I wanted to remind the disappointed on why the tape was even being released. It’s a fun tape — nothing mind-blowing, just full of good rhymes and a lot of tough talk — but it’s never going to live up to fans’ insane expectations. And that’s on them.

  5. Lil Wayne and Curren$y reunited at the Jet Life tour in Miami. Hoping this leads to wax.

    (Source: lilwaynehq.com)

  6. Lil Wayne, “Did It Before” (from The Carter 3 Mixtape, 2007)

    When I Went For a Run on Sunday Afternoon in Baltimore

    When I went for a run on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore, it was 80 degrees and slightly overcast. It had been my third time running in five days, a feat I’d be proud of if it wasn’t such a reminder I had grown so out of shape. (TV shows I had been watching instead of doing something, y’know, active: “Cops,” “Campus PD,” “Next Food Network Star,” “Extreme Couponing,” “Breaking Bad.”) I run at Patterson Park, which is a huge park five blocks away from my house that hosts pick-up soccer games, baseball games and runs of various lengths by other out-of-shape and in-shape people. I like to do laps because it reminds me of high school (a weird thing to write) and the annual mile-run that always laughed in my face (even weirder). Laps are black-and-white measurements of where I am and where I want to be stamina-wise.

    When you first start running again after being a piece of shit, a good playlist is imperative. I recently purchased an iPod shuffle, something I once vowed never to do, because I’m broke and I drive three miles to work each day, so I only needed a few songs to get me short distances. (Strange aside: I lost my Product RED iPod Nano a handful of Fridays ago in a crowded theater seeing “Scream 4,” a film that technically sucked but was fun enough for its young star power. I started following Emma Roberts on Twitter when I got home that night.) I envisioned the Shuffle as a catalyst to get to Patterson, a device that’d kick me in the ass and motivate me to burn some calories. So far, so good, thanks to a playlist of mostly adrenaline-driven rap songs (Gunplay is on there; Waka Flocka’s “For My Dawgs” has been crucial) and nostalgia-inducing Saves the Day songs. (Don’t ask me why. I don’t have an answer.)

    As I was fighting to keep my legs moving at a decent pace (consider this a generous term), I rounded the bend located behind a backstop. A long straightaway was ahead, and Lil Wayne’s “Did It Before” came blaring through my earbuds. I first thought, “Ah, good song, this will work.” But then my mind kept going: What would Tha Carter III have been like if that huge leak hadn’t happened? You know, the one that featured “I’m a Beast,” the “Beat Without Bass” snippet, “La La” and “Did It Before.” These songs are  much rawer, for better and worse, than the final-product Carter III.

    "Did It Before" is one of the more polished songs, thanks to a saxophone sample courtesy of Kanye West (it is an unmistakable West production — drums too weak, OK bassline, a crown-jewel of a sample). But this is undeniably Wayne’s song, and he falls in love with his voice and the pattern it creates by forever repeating its title, "Did It Before," in predictable and unpredictable ways. He’s telling a story, surprisingly vividly, while tricking the ear to think he’s merely saying the same thing over and over. (I can picture my parents hearing this and asking me why he keeps repeating himself.) He’s rapping about fucking girls and their friends, wondering if they know his past. (He also uses names of women he’s been linked to — Lisa (Marie?), Tammy (Torres?) — slyly heightening the song’s realism.) Some MCs can pull off this kind of trickery, where the verses melt into the hook, and the hook blends back into the next verse, all while maintaining the narrative. These Wayne songs never crossover; they’re merely nuggets in a vast catalog that the obsessive fans love to claim as “personal favoritse.” His diverse crowds (just look at videos from the I Am Music and I’m Still Music tours) have many fans that prefer the songs he coasts on, using his swagger (the best in the business) to make bad lines sound good (“Leave ‘em dead in the living room / Get it? Dead in the living room” … groan). Recent examples have yielded strong results (“Hustle Hard” remix with its Kelly Bundy swagger) and yawners (that Jeezy “Ballin’” bullshit). But Wayne is still an artist, and he uses these lyrical exercises to stay sharp. Recent Carter IV throwaway “You Da Shit” and love-it-or-hate-it single “How to Love” use the “Did It Before” device with aims of pop grandeur. Instead of rapping, he’s singing through Auto-Tune, but the result is the same: pop hypnosis.

    That mesmerizing effect can do wonders late in a run. My feet were moving fine. I straightened my back for better posture. I wiped my brow. I felt a few drops of rain but didn’t pay them much attention. For three minutes and 43 seconds, I was lost in Wayne’s game of ping-pong between his New Orleans drawl and hard syllables (“DID,” “BE,” “FO”) and West’s beat, not reminding myself to breathe in through my nose or worrying how the forthcoming blisters would affect next week’s runs. Like I said, a good playlist is powerful stuff for a guy whose hell would be a half-marathon and never even considered the cross-country team in high school. I finished up my run not long after the song ended. The clouds were darker and I was getting wet. The only thought on my mind: God damn, this rain feels good.

  7. Grading the Leaks: New songs from Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nas and Big Sean →

  8. eat rappers like nachos

    eat rappers like nachos

  9. Kelly Rowland, “Motivation (feat. Lil Wayne)” (2011)

    My day was practically ruined when I listened to Chris Brown’s insanely stupid “Wet the Bed” (RUKIDDINGME?) song with Ludacris (of course). To help erase that awful memory, here’s an R&B song that gets sexy right.

  10. Young Tuna Fish

    So misunderstood, but what’s a world without enigma?

    Two bitches at the same time, synchronized swimmers

    Life is the bitch and death is her sister / Sleep is the cousin, what a fuckin’ family picture

    N——- think they He-Men / Pow, pow, the end

    Young Money eatin’, all you haters do is add salt

    Mind so sharp, I fuck around and cut my head off

    The fruits of my labor, I enjoy ‘em while they still ripe

    But most of y’all don’t get the picture unless the flash is on

    Bitch, real G’s move in silence like lasagna

    Woman of my dreams, I don’t sleep so I can’t find her

    I got through that sentence like a subject and a predicate

  11. Lil Wayne, “With You (Chopped Not Slopped) (feat. Drake)” (2010, DJ Lil Stevie I Am Not a Human Being: Chopped Not Slopped)

    Throwed.

  12. Lil Wayne — “Right Above It” (feat. Drake) (produced by Kane Beatz)
    from the forthcoming I’m Not a Human Being (via

    Looks like September is heating up: Gucci’s The Appeal, Jeezy’s TM103, Waka’s Flockaveli tape, and Tune’s 10-song EP (is EP even correct? Ross just dropped an 11-song LP) on his 28th(!) birthday (Sept. 27). “Right Above It,” the EP’s first single, is all regal strings and the-king-is-coming horns while maintaining a cheap Casio undertone (not a bad thing). Drake drops his Westwood bars (many commenters are upset that they’ve heard them before and I’m not sure why; it’s obvious Drake isn’t a prolific enough writer to throw away lines), but they feel lukewarm compared to Wayne’s. 

    These Kane Beatz beatz are uncomplicated but effective, with a constant .99 cent snare and a catchy stuttering synth. Wayne finds a pocket similar to “Steady Mobbin’” (another Kane Beatz production), where he can clearly enunciate his punchlines (choice: “All of my riders do not give a fuck / X games”; “You niggas cannot see me but never overlook me”; “Limping off tour because I made more off my second leg” — think of that imagery) and Auto-croon his hook in a seamless transition. Another thing I love: Wayne could have looped the final hook but sings it in a higher, more forceful pitch (similar to the final chorus on “Single”). It’s a detail that makes a repetitive beat seem OK because he’s announcing its climax with his greatest asset, that still incredible voice. It also explains why he wears a light sprinkling of Auto-Tune better than his contemporaries — mutations aside, he knows he must carry the track on his own.

    This isn’t a game-changer but that’s not the purpose. It’s a first taste of an EP, which is being released to merely remind fans that the guy is getting out of jail in six weeks (as if they didn’t have the date circled already). If “Right Above It” were Tha Carter IV’s first single, eyebrows would be raised, skepticism would permeate. But it’s not, so instead we bop our heads and eagerly wait.

  13. He kept looking to the window," Drizzy described. "He’d look up at the window almost like he’s looking right through it. It’s frosted, so you can’t see out. I was like, ‘Why does he keep staring through the window? There’s nothing out there.’ To him, there’s a whole world moving out there that he hasn’t seen for so long. He was just like, he told me something I never thought I’d hear him say, which was, ‘You’re the ultimate artist. You’re better than me. You don’t have the tattoos, you don’t cause any trouble. People like you.’ He was like, basically, ‘Look at me and look at you.’

    — 

    Drake, on visiting Rikers. (via MTV News)

    What is jail doing to Lil Wayne?