Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V Track With Kendrick Lamar Has a History as Bizarre as the Album Itself
Given how long its been in the works, there are a lot of weird little stories hidden in Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V. Originally announced in 2012, the album was supposed to be released in 2014, held in purgatory by a label dispute. Days before its initial release Wayne tweeted that his mentor and Cash Money boss Birdman refused to release the album. “I am a prisoner and so is my creativity,” Wayne tweeted at the time. “I am truly sorry and I don’t blame ya if ya fed up with waiting 4 me & this album.” The next year, Wayne sued Cash Money for $51 million to part ways with the label. Three years later, the legal disputes between Wayne and Birdman have been settled for an undisclosed amount, which has allowed for the release of Tha Carter V.
So, here we are, six years later and Tha Carter V is finally out. The album’s 23 songs have been written throughout more than half of this decade, and it’s interesting trying to piece together—through the music or lyrics—when these songs were recorded. Among these gems from the 2010s is the mythical Lil Wayne song with Kendrick Lamar.
The song has a history as bizarre as the album itself. It first came to light in 2017 when Pharmabro Martin Shkreli leaked the song during a live stream. How the hell did wannabe super villain Martin Shkreli come into possession of this long awaited album? Well, that’s also a weird story.
“Martin told me that Lil Wayne sold his Bugatti Veyron to some guy,” The Daily Caller’s Alex Pfeiffer told Pigeons and Planes in 2017. “The guy then discovered CDs and assorted personal belongings of Wayne in the car. [The guy] called Wayne and asked if he wanted them back and Wayne said ‘no.’ One of these CDs turned out to be Tha Carter V and he sold it to Shkreli.”
Sure enough, the song “Mona Lisa” has appeared on the final cut of Tha Carter V. And the song introduces some of Wayne and Lamar’s most vivid storytelling—a story about a woman who sets up men to get robbed by her boyfriend. The song was likely recorded sometime before 2016, given a reference to Kobe Bryant. Fans on Twitter have already labeled Lamar’s verse the best on the album, in which he deploys a rare rapid-fire flow. It’s a dizzying 5-minute long story, that’s well worth the six-year wait.