Top 10 Lil Wayne Songs
Fans of the New Orleans-based Hot Boyz have always picked Lil Wayne as the one group member to watch closely. In the late 1990s, a 13-year-old Dwayne Michael Carter was adding to his bank account as the Hot Boyz grew exponentially famous, particularly in the southern region. By the time Wayne dropped his debut LP, 'Tha Block Is Hot,' in 1999, hip-hop insiders were pretty familiar with his style. As the years went on, we watched as Weezy developed into a King Midas of sorts. His Gangsta Grillz series, entitled 'The Dedication,' has been a major credit to his career, which gave his catalog an extra boost once every few years.
Since then, we all witnessed Lil Wayne become a superstar. It wasn't long before he started an imprint known as Young Money under the Cash Money umbrella and took advantage of his industry pull, mentoring the likes of Drake and Nicki Minaj , who've since become stars in their own right. It's been said that his recent court-ordered sobriety has taken some of the bite out of his lyrics, but a fresh Wayne verse continues to catch the attention of rap fans everywhere. Here, TheDrop.fm has compiled a list of the top Lil Wayne songs during his takeover.
By 2004, Lil Wayne was four albums deep in the hip-hop industry as a solo artist, but he hadn't had a major hit until 'Go DJ' dropped that year. The Cash Money emcee found himself in the national spotlight after the bouncy track hit the airwaves across state lines and peaked high on the Billboard charts. 'Go DJ' found Weezy coming into his own as an artist but ironically enough, it was by the help of Mannie Fresh, who produced much of Cash Money’s music then. However, he had a very public falling out with the brand shortly after.
'Fireman' increased Lil Wayne’s visibility by far in 2005. The energetic track produced by DVLP and Filthy proved to be one of rap’s biggest hits of that year. Infused with handclaps and sirens, Weezy continued his climb to the top on his own merit, separate from the Hot Boyz. He was intent on starting fires all by himself.
After quietly putting in work for three years, Wayne returned to top the Billboard charts in 2008, with the smash hit 'Lollipop.' The song, produced by Jim Jonsin and Deezle, featured a mellow delivery from Wayne as Static Major filled in on the hook. The rapper talked in detail about female admirers who admitted to wanting “to lick the [w]rapper.” As explicit as the track was, Wayne had finally solidified his mainstream spot -- the song spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard 100 charts and went platinum five times over.
In the spring of 2008, 'A Milli' caught fire and hip-hop insiders weren’t necessarily surprised at how quickly it spread. The musical backing, produced by Atlanta beatsmith Bangladesh, was a major part of the song’s success, spawning a million freestyles from lesser emcees. The original remained at the top of everyone’s list though. The minimalistic boom of the bassline coupled with Wayne’s dizzying flow about everything from his millionaire status to having “the Maserati on the bridge p---- poppin’,” all cemented his confident declaration during breaks in the track: “Motherf---er I’m ill...”
'Got Money' proved that Lil Wayne had gotten the hang of what it takes to make a hit. The 2008 banger showed up on ‘Tha Carter III,’ boasting heavy Auto-Tune and an appearance by T-Pain, who was seemingly omnipresent at that time. The track was an obvious club heater with its booming bassline and persistent synths, but the overall energy of the track made the notion of throwing money on payday a feasible one.
When Lil Wayne dropped 'I’m Single' in 2010, people weren’t sure what to think. He’d already gotten into the groove of making high-energy bangers, but 'I’m Single' sounded as if it would’ve been more fitting for his angst-filled, Young Money protege Drake. The sparse production backs Wayne as he drowsily vows to forget that he has a girlfriend for the night: “Yeah I’m single / A n---- had to cancel that bitch like Nino / I ain’t trippin’ on nothing / I’m sippin’ on something / And my homeboy say he got a bad bitch fo' me/ Tonight...”
Every couple of years, Weezy drops a street single that’s inescapable. In 2010, that song was '6 Foot 7 Foot,' which featured YMCMB member Cory Gunz. The last Wayne track to dominate the streets and the clubs was 2008’s 'A Milli.' Both bangers were produced by Bangladesh -- the two have a very distinct sort of chemistry on wax. Wayne holds his own on the song, breathlessly spitting bars like, “Life is a bitch / And death is her sister / Sleep is the cousin / What a f---ing family picture...” But it’s Gunz who truly raised some eyebrows with his verse at the song’s end. “I played the side for you n----s that's tryna front, and see / Son of Gunz, Son of Sam, you n----s the son of me...,” he raps.
One of the smartest things Wayne did as he became insanely popular was welcome fresh new emcees into the Young Money fold. Toronto native Drake couldn’t have been a better choice as the imprint’s lead artist -- when the two collaborate, they rarely miss the mark. On 2011’s 'She Will,' Weezy and Drizzy team up to stunt on haters and invent new quotables like this one from Wayne. “Today I went shopping / And talk is still cheap... I’ve been at the top and I ain’t jump yet / But I’m Ray Charles to the bulls--- / Now jump up on that d---- and do a full split...,” he rhymes.
'How to Love' helped Lil Wayne reach an entirely different audience. A distinct departure from the sound that made him famous, the song polarized his fan base. Gentle guitar chords frame cautionary lyrics dedicated to girls looking for love in all the wrong places. Many argued that the YMCMB leader was playing both sides of the fence -- how can Weezy make 'Lollipop' and 'How to Love'? Regardless of what the hip-hop industry had to say about it, the adult contemporary genre welcomed Wayne with open arms as the song had made its way onto 'Quiet Storm' playlists everywhere.
'No Worries' could very well be Weezy’s theme song for 2012, and beyond. Light years away from merely being part of the Hot Boyz collective, Lil Wayne can say that he’s definitely left his mark on hip-hop as an artist and an executive. However, 'No Worries' doesn’t mention all of this. No, it mainly features the rap star joking about his sexual exploits. “I would talk about my d--- but man that’d be a long story...,” he says. He’s carefree and happy on the thumping track -- to the point of near delirium -- and inspires listeners to shrug off the day’s annoyances and join in the fun.