Over the past decade, we've seen hip-hop split into so many subgenres that it's pointless to even try to categorize most young rappers. Some are proficient lyricists with dexterous flows while others apply pop melodies and punk energy. Some are technical masters while others are larger-than-life personalities who rank charisma over skill. Some value their roots and traditions while others reject the norms. Whatever path they choose, most of them have something in common: in one way or another, they were influenced by Lil Wayne.

Lil Wayne started so many trends that almost any type of artist making modern hip-hop can draw some kind of inspiration. The 35-year-old artist reinvented himself multiple times throughout his career. One minute he was a melody-making machine crooning Auto-tuned hits and the next he was the best rapper alive, eating whatever beats he could sink his teeth into. Stylistic switch-ups and experimental flourishes always kept things interesting, and so many of the popular sounds of today can be traced back to one of Lil Wayne's many forms.

As we kick off Lil Week, it seems only right to start off by paying tribute to Lil Wayne. This feature dives into the lasting impact of Lil Wayne, as explained by a handful of rappers who appreciate his colossal contributions to the music world.

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