Lil Wayne made an unlikely emergence from the shadows of The Hot Boys and Cash Money to become the biggest rap star of the '00s this side of 50 Cent. Few rappers have managed such universal acclaim: respected by 'heads, celebrated by the streets, exhaulted by skateboarders and beloved by pop fans, he is one of the genre's most respected figures. The Carter III was, from a commercial perspective, his crowning achievement. But wait: a duet album from a bluegrass singer and Led Zeppelin's vocalist made a record together. And doesn't that combination sound just a little bit more palatable to listeners of a certain age? Apparently the Grammy committee thought so as well, and Weezy was denied his big shot at the award.
Robert Plant and Allison Krauss beat Tha Carter III