If it seems like Lil Wayne has been around forever, it is because for an entire generation, he has been. Wayne is only approaching age 35—celebrating his birthday today—but has been rapping since he was literally a child. His first verses came when he was just 11 years old, coming on the collaborative album True Story with B.G.

From there, Wayne has become one of the most successful and critically acclaimed rappers of his era, specifically hanging an extremely dominant run on the late 00s and early 2010s. His verses hold up, in part because he focused so heavily on delivering rapid-fire punchlines in his rhymes, in a manner that has inspired rappers after him: 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Drake, to name a few. As he is now cemented as a rap veteran, and embroiled in a seemingly endless label dispute over his much-anticipated Carter V album—still without a window for release—it seems a fitting time to honor the 35 best Lil Wayne lines.

35. "Feet hanging out the window jock my shoe game / Cause all my kicks fly like Liu Kang"
From: "Dey Know (Remix)"
Album: N/A

Only a real one can drop a Mortal Kombat reference out of nowhere and pull it off. 

34. “Big house / long hallways / got 10 bathrooms, I can shit all day”
From: “We Be Steady Mobbin"
Album: We Are Young Money

Though not the most appealing way to spend one’s day – depending on what the night before consisted of – Wayne gets points for the imagery here.

33. “Didn't wear a bulletproof / So I got shot and you can see the proof / Blind eyes could look at me and see the truth /Wonder if Stevie do?”
From: “Mr. Carter”
Album: Carter III

From a small handful of Wayne and JAY Z collaborations, Wayne proves that he is not a Stevie Wonder conspiracy theorist (or is he?)

32. “Shake the whole game / Like the hit-stick, nigga”
From: “Ice Cream”
Album: No Ceilings

A warm memory for those of us who came of age during the earliest version(s) of the Playstation 2 DualShock controller.

31. “New Orleans coroner, his name is Frank Minyard / Fuck with me wrong, you’ll be waking up in his yard”
From: “Run This Town”
Album: No Ceilings

Shoutout to Frank Minyard who – at the time of this verse – actually was the Coroner in New Orleans. He announced his retirement in December 2013, and officially stepped down in May of 2014 after 40 years in office. He never mentioned if he heard his name dropped on this verse.

30. “I am a vegetarian man I only eat beets / wear a lot of carats and I smoke the best green”
From: “Put Some Keys On That”
Album: Da Drought 3

Playing on homonyms is a big part of what Wayne thrived off of, and here, he does it well.

29. “That boy got a head on his shoulders / I’ll knock it off”
From: “Lights Off”
Album: Tha Block Is Hot

A great thing about teenage Wayne verses were how defiant they were, and how hungry he consistently sounded. “Lights Off” is peak era-one Wayne, at his best.

28. “My ceiling’s absent, my wheels are massive, my friends assassins / All of us bastards, our mothers queens and our women dancers / My rivers rapid, my fins are splashin’, my gills are flappin’ / I bit some matches, then sipped some gas and went, kiss the dragon”
From: “Bounce”
Album: Collegrove

Collegrove presented a fascinating project where – a bit after he had been perhaps written off by some of his skeptics and critics – Wayne gave one of his great lyrical performances in years, and did it largely under the radar.

27. “You think you’re calling shots, you got the wrong number / I love Benjamin Franklin more than his own mother”
From: “Pure Colombia”
Album: Dedication 5

Mrs. Franklin, long deceased, could not refute this.

26. “I play the hand that was dealt, I got a deck full of aces / I gave birth to your style, I need a check for my labor”
From: “Intro”
Album: Quality Street Music 2

Setting the tone for the second installment in DJ Drama’s Quality Street Music series, Wayne kicked off the album in a way that was hard to live up to.

25. “Where the real queens at? Shout out Capone and Noreaga / We can shoot it out and see who live to tell the story later / Diamonds in my Rollie face cannot be exfoliated”
From: “Believe Me”
Album: Tha Carter V

Wayne’s ability to call back to hip-hop legends is highly appreciated here, as well as his use of the word “exfoliated,” for those of us passionate about our skincare routines.

24. “Every night's a long night, every day's a holiday / I don't fuck with squares, now do that mean I'm out of shape?”
From: “Bill Gates”
Album: I Am Not A Human Being

A highlight on a song that is, unfortunately, not a lot about Bill Gates.

23. “Real shit I'm ducking bombs from a drug war / No religion but the cops swear that I'm a drug lord”
From: “BM J.R.”
Album: Tha Carter

At the opening of Wayne’s Carter series, where he began to grow out of his youthful trappings and demanded to be taken seriously as an MC.

22. “The heart of New Orleans / Thumping and beating / Living and breathing / Stealing and feeding / Peeling and leaving / Killing and grieving”
From: “Best Rapper Alive”
Album: Tha Carter II

If there was a turning point in Wayne’s rhyme structure, and the way he attacked beats, it began on Carter II, and with this song.

21. “Pockets gettin' too fat / No Weight Watchers, no lipo / Money talks, bullshit walks / On a motherfucking tightrope”
From: “Rich As F*ck”
Album: I Am Not A Human Being II

Wayne, it seems, has never run out of ways to discuss the joy he finds in accumulating money.

20. “I'm just feelin Weezy / Hop in my shit and say goodbye / Cause the ceilings leavin”
From: “They Still Like Me”
Album: Dedication 2

Mixtape Wayne, who thrived while simultaneously in the thick of the first three releases in his Carter album series, was almost an entirely different rapper. With delightful results.

19. “Benjamin Franklin on Ex how that cash roll / That's right, the mills do like damp clothes”
From: “Maybach Music II”
Album: Deeper Than Rap

The great Benjamin Franklin makes another appearance, as well as yet another unique play on language and sound.

18. “Safe sex is great sex / Better wear a latex / Cuz you dont want that late text / that "I think I’m late” text”
From: “Lollipop”
Album: Carter III

Lil Wayne, also a sex education teacher, giving sound advice on a song that was one of his biggest hits.

17. “I got some weight on my shoulders, to me it's like feathers / All hail Weezy, call it bad weather”
From: “Blunt Blowin’”
Album: Carter IV

Wayne, especially excited about plays on his name, makes the most of one here.

16. “Diamond face, diamond brace / More colors than the game Simon Says”
From: “Shine”
Album: Lights Off

On one of the great Hot Boys romps, a still-young Wayne comes away with a highlight verse.

15. “So much for being optimistic / They say love is in the air, so I / Hold my breath until my face turn purple”
From: “HYFR”
Album: Take Care

Emo Wayne is perhaps the most underutilized Wayne, the one that we could all use more of.

14. “The Birdman my daddy / and we fly south”
From: “Go Hard”
Album: 500 Degreez

Not only a play on Wayne and Baby’s geographic location and a not to migration tactics, but also a reminder of happier times.

13. “Elevator eyes / but I get every stare”
From: “Ay Man”
Album:

There goes that homonym play again.

12. “It ain’t my birthday / but I got my name on the cake”
From: “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy”
Album: Like Father, Like Son

On an album that pretty much served as a vehicle to capitalize off of Wayne’s hot streak, he still didn’t take any plays off.

11. “Married to the game, but she broke her vows / That's why my bars are full of broken bottles / And my nightstands are full of open Bibles”
From: “No Love”
Album: Recovery

On a track where we get two of the greatest rappers of their respective eras, Wayne gives Eminem a run for his money.

10. “Rock and roll Jesus with all my nails on / All I need is a blunt and a bail bond”
From: “Ground Zero”
Album: Rebirth

Rebirth was Wayne’s deeply flawed attempt at a more rock-heavy rap album. But it wasn’t without its small gems.

9. “We do our own thing, we don't act like y'all / I say, black white walls with the back swiped off / Y'all lil bustas just a tax write-off”
From: “Bring It Back”
Album: Tha Carter

An ode to the early-80s Cadillac Seville. The second generation of the model had a back that sloped aggressively downward.

8. “Forewarning / Young Money’s armed / And we can shoot it out / I got the money drawn / Yeah, take that to the bank wit' ya / I rock my hat to the side like I paint pictures / Smoke weed, talk shit like Lane Kiffin / Whole country in recession, but Wayne different”
From: “Banned From TV”
Album: No Ceilings

Despite the dated USC-era Lane Kiffin reference, Wayne’s onslaught on this classic Swizz Beatz-produced Noreaga beat is one for the ages.

7. “Just bought a new charm / Fuck the watch, I buy a new arm, you lukewarm”
From: “No Problems”
Album: Coloring Book

A vintage Wayne guest verse coming last year, he anchored this song and stole the show.

6. "I keep on switching wifeys / You gotta Uncle Phil me.”
From: “Blue C-Note”
Album: Collegrove

Of all the ways known hip-hop icon Uncle Phil shows up in punchlines, this has to be one of the best.

5. "I used to rock hand-me-downs, and now I rock standing crowds / But it's hard when you only / Got fans around and no fam around / And if they are, then their hands are out."
From: “Mad”
Album: A Seat At The Table

A guest offering on Solange’s stunning album produced one of Wayne’s most vulnerable and honest verses of all time.

4. "I'll be on that "Fuck yo' clique, I'll kill every member" shit / Cold as December shit, bang in any weather shit / And they could buy your bag with body parts sold separate"
From: “Death Wish”
Album: The Last Kiss

Going toe to toe with Jadakiss on an Alchemist-produced track gave birth to one of Wayne’s more ferocious guest spots.

3. "Stop playin', I do it like a king do / If these niggas animals, then I'ma have a mink soon"
From: “6 Foot 7 Foot”
Album: Tha Carter IV

Great as it might have been, this wasn’t even Wayne’s best line on this song.

2. "Motherfucker, I'm ill, not sick / And I'm okay, but my watch sick"
From: “A Milli”
Album: Tha Carter III

Hard to pick a single line from this song, which is one of Wayne’s most iconic and memorable from his brilliant run.

1. "Real G’s move in silence like Lasagna"
From: “6 Foot 7 Foot”
Album: Tha Carter IV

Wayne’s most memorable, rewindable line that had to sit in the air for a while before some folks got it.