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.
July 1, 2012: The First Announcement
Nov. 21, 2012: His Last Album
Oct. 18, 2013: The Tweet, Record Exec Edition
Drizzy, while performing in the Big Easy during NBA All-Star Weekend, makes a big announcement. The Boy brings Wayne onstage, and additionally says that C5 is coming out on May 5.
March 21, 2014: The First Denial
Kobe Bryant posts an image on social media that a lot of people assume is C5 cover art. More people think this when Wayne himself reposts Kobe’s IG post on Twitter with the caption “Believe me.”
April 30, 2014: The Champ Is Here
May 6, 2014: First Single Released
May 15, 2014: Wayne Drops D'usse Anthem
During an interview with NPR’s Microphone Check, Mannie Fresh says that he’s working on the album. If true, this would be the first time he’s collaborated with Weezy in a decade.
May 28, 2014: “Side Bitch”
June 3, 2014: ‘It Just Sounds Better’
June 17, 2014: Mike Will Made-the-Album
June 25, 2014: Goin’ “Krazy”
July 1, 2014: The Second Release Date(s)
While talking to future Everyday Struggle host Nadeska Alexis for MTV, Wayne throws out a whole bunch of options for the album to come out. It might be released, he says, “in September or August… It might drop before then, in July… August 25, or something like that.”
Aug. 8, 2014: Keep “Grindin”
Aug. 14, 2014: Another Release Date
Aug. 24, 2014: DJ Mustard on the Beat
Oct. 27-28, 2014: The Pushback and the Revamp
Nov. 23, 2014: Single No. 4
Dec. 12, 2014: Mack Maine Weighs In
Jan. 28, 2015: The Lawsuit
Weezy sits down with Cari Champion for the Be Honest podcast. He says that the album is “finished” and that he’s working on “a comfortable deal” to put it out.
May 2, 2016: ‘I Would Never Stop Him From Doing Nothing’
May 13, 2016: ‘Lord, Free ‘Tha Carter’’
Sept. 14, 2016: Birdman Says He Doesn’t Have the Album
Oct. 13, 2016: Google That
Dec. 23, 2016: Do You Even Pharma, Bro?
Martin Shkreli leaks a song that he claims is from Tha Carter V, and that he further claims is about him. He would leak two more songs, one featuring Kendrick Lamar, the following May. After the second leak, Wayne threatened to sue. The Daily Caller’s Alexis Pfeiffer claims that Shkreli got the music because Wayne left a CD in a car he sold. The buyer in turn sold the music to the Pharma Bro himself.
Almost a year after the initial leak, Shkreli’s Weezy recordings are listed as assets that could be seized to pay back the government after being convicted of fraud.
Jan. 6-7, 2017: Definitely Coming Out?
April 28, 2017: It’s the Roc, Maybe
July 5, 2017: In Tune We Trust
Weezy drops a surprise EP called In Tune We Trust, claiming that he’s “STILL trying to fight for my independence… #freeC5.”
The very next day, Wayne files an amended petition in court. He seeks, in addition to $40 million and the liquidation of Cash Money’s assets, the ability to put out Tha Carter V in whatever form or fashion he wants.
Aug. 5, 2017: ‘‘C5’ Is F*cking Crazy’
Aug.16, 2017: ‘I Can Do What I Want at Any Time’
June 7, 2018: The Legal Battle Ends
June 23, 2018: The Meeting
During a show at a club in Miami, Wayne drops hints about the album.
“Just to let y’all know, I had a meeting today,” Weezy tells the crowd. “It wasn’t a long meeting. Just so y’all know, the meeting was about the release date of Tha Carter-fucking-V.”