It took more than six years, a few lawsuits, and countless missed release dates, but Tha Carter V is almost here. Lil Wayne’s very-long-awaited album was announced this week, with a release date of Friday, Sept. 28, and Weezy F. Baby fans couldn’t be happier. The album is the latest (and, if you believe Wayne’s many, many proclamations, the final) chapter in his Carter series, which has taken him from being “the young one in the Hot Boys” to Best Rapper Alive to a key influence on today’s stars. The last installation of the Carter series arrived back in 2011, an eternity in rap time. We’ll find out very soon if Wayne’s still got it. But until then, retrace the (many) important steps on the road to C5.

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