Weezy “F” Baby, and the F is for FI(V)E

Weezy F Baby and the “F” is for…

And the “F” is for – Fantastic, which describes how I’m feeling right now.

And the “F” is for – Finally, as in, “Finally the wait is over.”

And the “F” is for – Fabulous, which describes Wayne.

And the “F” is for – Father, as in how Wayne is arguably the father in figure and form of all these rappers in the game right now.

And the “F” is for – Faithful, because Wayne never gave up on us.

And the “F” is for – Familiar, as in how it feels having Wayne back on top.

And the “F” is for – Fascinating, because it’s a mind-blowing fenomenon (let me have this).

And the “F” is for – Febrile, as in the heat from the fever of the Weezy sleepers.

And the “F” is for – Felicitous, because Weezy is a felicitous speaker.

And the “F” is for – Fey, because this album is insane.

And the “F” is for – Fearless, as in who, when, where, what, and how Wayne is.

And the “F” is for – Festive, like how all of “Weezy Season” is gon’ feel.

And the “F” is for – Ferocious, describing the beast that Wayne unleashed

And the “F” is for – Fearsome, again like the skill of the beast of the enigma: Wayne.

And the “F” is for – Feisty, because he never sat down he fought for his album, his work, his life.

And the “F” is for – Fiery, the spirit of Lil Wayne.

And the “F” is for – Filial, as he dropped the “D” from his name to signify his biological Dad who left him, so his real father is the collective of the forefathers of hip-hop, which paved the way for the Messiah, the son, of hip-hop itself. Wayne’s filial reflection of the forefathers of hip-hop contextualizes the filial respect today’s rappers have towards Wayne.

And the “F” is for – Firsthand, as in the perspective from which we as listeners are witnessing hip-hop history.

And the “F” is for – Fierce, do I need to explain this one?

And the “F” is for – Fireproof, what Wayne must be since on the mic, he burns hotter than fire itself.

And the “F” is for – First, because he’s the first to do it how he does it.

And the “F” is for – Flagitious, which describes the nature of Wayne’s skill.

And the “F” is for – Folksy, because Wayne embodies the traditional culture and customs of his genre.

And the “F” is for – Forte, like Beethoven in a symphony, or Mozart to a violin, Wayne is to hip-hop.

And the “F” is for – Forthright, describes Wayne’s perspective and delivery.

And the “F” is for – Fortissimo, how this album is meant to be played.

And the “F” is for – Four hundred million – the number of streams the album has already hit.

And the “F” is for – Finisher.

By now, you must already know how I’m feeling. One week later, and the hype still hasn’t died down. I’m sure all of my roommates and SO are so over hearing my endless playing of the new Weezy. I got a text from a good friend of mine whom I’ve known since birth, which expressed that this was probably his favorite album to ever come out during his entire college career. Granted, this friend of mine has never been a Wayne fan. Actually, if I remember correctly, when I first got into hip-hop as a barely-double-digits youngin’ Lil Wayne was one of my favorites, yet anytime I would play his music around said buddy, I would be told to turn it off or change it to The Beatles, (ugh) Nas, Jay Z, or Kanye. Throughout my entire endeavor of hip-hop music, ever since my introduction to the genre with Wu-Tang, Eminem, Big L, Notorious B.I.G., Pac, Yeezy, Outkast, and Lil Wayne, my go-to artists have always included the listed names, with a major emphasis on Wayne, 3Stacks, and Kanye. Let me tell you first what I fell in love with within the entire Lil Wayne universe before I go into why I feel so lifted listening to this album.

I, a lower-middle-class white, suburban kid from middle-of-nowhere Texas, raised in a fundamentalist-baptist-changed-evangelical pastor’s household, connected with hip-hop music in a way I had never connected with a genre before, since the moment it first blessed my eardrums. Why did I feel compelled to share these details with you? Honestly, because I think it is really, REALLY funny that one of the last people you’d expect to be a self-professed hip-hop enthusiast by age 13, was a self-professed hip-hop enthusiast by age 13. Now, my family at the time of my early days of hip-hop was still new to living outside of a rural setting. That meant that my parents had a tight hold on what media they allowed me to consume, especially music, so you can imagine my pastor-father’s reaction when he walked by my room to hear:

So many doubt ’cause I come from the South

But when I open up my mouth, all bullets come outBang!

Die b**** n**** die I hope you bleed a lake” – “Shooter,” Lil Wayne ft. Robin Thicke

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Yeah, to me, this was one of the greatest songs I had heard in my life, but to my father, this was the most disappointing and condemning things he had ever witnessed. So, after my little 10-year-old behind was grounded for an eternity for listening to the stylings of Weezy and more, I hid the consumption of my favorite genre of music for years, indulging in Wayne, Ye, Biggie, Most Def, L, Pun, Em, and much more in secret.

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Most of us remember the early days of streamable music, where you would make accounts on questionably-legal sites like grooveshark.com and playlist.com to have a place to compile lists of songs you liked so you could leave the playlist playing in one tab while you did something else. Well, one fun little insight into my early hip-hop listening days I like to share with people is that I had a special playlist which was titled “Groovies.” What was special about this playlist, was at the top of said playlist, I had “rap” songs which were clean/approved of by my parents – think music like the clean versions of “Low” by Flo Rida, “Ice Ice Baby,” by Vanilla Ice, and “You Be Illin,'” by Run DMC and such. Songs that, if my parents were ever to sneak a look over my shoulder while I was surfing the web, history wouldn’t repeat itself. Or, if they were to go and check my history, as was very common in that day, I knew they didn’t know remotely anything about “the cyber” so they wouldn’t be able to scroll past the first five tracks on the player to see the rest of my “Groovies” playlist – mom and dad if you’re reading this I knew about this since day one and would make it very difficult to navigate on purpose, sorry you’re finding out here. If my parents ever did scroll past the first five tracks, they would probably have been overwhelmed with so much Lil Wayne, there wouldn’t exist enough of my childhood to ground me from to make up for it. Looking back, I think the song count ended up being about 300 strong, with songs cycling in and out as I discovered/tired of them, with roughly 40% of the content being comprised of Lil Wayne.

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I had it all on there, man. I had horribly-constructed remix-mashups of Wayne songs layered on punk-rock instrumentals. I had mixtape-Wayne loosies. I had Wayne leaks. I had the entirety of his work with the Hot Boyz. I had all of Tha Carter series. I had every single available track from the Dedication series. I had it ALL. Wayne was definitely my favorite up until after the release of Tha Carter IV. After IV, I patiently awaited V, as it was promised pretty quickly after the hype for IV died down. Well, as many of you Weezy-stans know, nobody knew just how long we would wait for this project to come out.

Admittedly, as I matured and my musical preferences grew, I started to forget about Wayne. Yes, I know he released some joint projects and solo mixtapes here and there, I listened to them all, but I wanted “Album-Wayne” back. I wanted Tha Carter V.

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“V” was delayed because of some serious legal issues between Wayne, his label, “Cash Money,” and the label’s founder, “Birdman.” I won’t go into details because frankly, they’re frustrating, tedious, horrifying, and I’ll probably accidentally say something that isn’t true. The gist of it is, Birdman is an awful person who basically groomed Lil Wayne since his career started to bend at Birdman’s command, who embezzled millions of Lil Wayne’s earnings, stunted Lil Wayne’s career growth in a crucial point in said career, possibly is the main reason behind many other notable artist’s departure from the label – DRAKE – and spitefully held back the release of Tha Carter V for no real reasons outside of pettiness and spite towards Lil Wayne.

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At one point, Wayne was so discouraged, he announced retirement, which led to Kendrick Lamar releasing this hilarious video which will go down in hip-hop history, where Kendrick, who was arguably the number one rapper at the time, drunkenly expresses just how much of an impact Wayne had on Lamar, and how much of an influence Wayne had on Lamar. Lil Wayne still had a little while from that point until the release of “V,” but I like to think this re-invigorated the beast within Wayne which had him releasing an unstoppable slew of singles, mixtapes, projects, and remixes during his run from early 2000’s on to the delay. Said beast was noticeably unleashed on the surface, as Wayne began to release features again, however, the industry truly had no idea what was coming. Dedication 6 and Dedication 6: Reloaded released earlier this year, and boy did I get excited. Still though, I had no idea what was to come, and what Wayne had been doing behind closed doors in silence the past few years. I, as well as every Weezy fan, had no idea what was coming. That is, until I saw the announcement video on Instagram.

Tha Carter V was going to be released. The album, which had been finished for years now, was finally set to release on Lil Wayne’s birthday.

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One week later, and I still can’t stop listening to it.

I purposefully did not delve into the specifics of what makes this album so great.  For those of you who stuck with me throughout the entire post, kudos to you, but just what are you doing reading this far when you could be listening to the album? I shared some personal anecdotes somewhat related to my love of Wayne and didn’t even mention my favorite tracks, “Mona Lisa,” “Uproar,” “Let It All Work Out,” and “Dedicate.” Every single track shines in its own way. Every single feature is solid. Every single signature lighter flick put sleeves of goosebumps on me. Every single aspect of what made Lil Wayne great back in the day is cranked past the moon. Wayne never left. Wayne never quit. Wayne never let us down.

In the words of Weezy F Baby himself:

It’s alive, it’s alive, I’m revived, it’s C5

Been arrived, kiss the sky, did the time

Please advise it is advise or be advised

You not f*** with me and mine” – “Let It Fly,” Ft. Travis Scott

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