Lil Wayne, Tha Carter (2004)
Label: Cash Money, Universal
A$AP Yams: “I was just listening to that shit this morning breh. Tha Carter, I was a fan of Wayne before that for his lyrics and shit like that, cause we have the Sqad Up mixtapes and shit like that. I had cousins in Miami, and they were putting me on to what they was listening to and what not. That’s how I got put onto the whole screw shit and shit.
“But Tha Carter, number one, I didn’t even buy that album cause of a single. I bought that album off word of mouth. When it first dropped, they were like, ‘Yo, Wayne is on some Hov shit now. You got to listen to this shit.’ And I had dial-up at the time, so I couldn’t download albums or nothing like that. The struggle was very real for me back then. I had to still go buy albums and shit. I think the day I bought that album, I zoned out to that shit.
“Wayne really just like, he had something to prove after everybody left Cash Money, and he really like showed off on that whole album. That’s one album I could listen to front to back, no problem. The way he elevated his whole delivery, and rhyme scheme, and flow—of course it was Hov’s doing, but he needed that. To be great, you got to take something from all the greats. Like, you know what I’m saying? He took something from fucking Hov, Pac, fucking, you know he matured from a fucking kid and all that shit. He emulsified all the greats, and that’s what caused Wayne being one of the greats as well.”