Words by: Ernest Baker
Tha Carter V season is upon us. Lil' Wayne is gearing up to release the fifth installment of his storied album series. For the foreseeable future, all conversations about Wayne will be centered around his new material, but before that happens, I want to highlight some underrated heaters from his catalog. Wayne's released so much music that even some of his best tracks have slipped under the radar. Some have millions of YouTube views, and you might be familiar with a few, but you never hear them. They're not discussed. I'm doing my part to correct that. These are 25 Amazing Lil' Wayne Songs That People Slept On. Maybe they won't be slept on anymore.
“Brand New Money"
Wayne said, “No one after nor before me/I go to Earth when Mars is boring/What am I worth? You can't afford me/But your baby moms adore me/She wanna read my tattoos like a motherfuckin' story." He's so good at jumping from topic to topic without reason and remains massively entertaining while doing so. One minute, he's "drinking sake, eating sushi with a bunch of bad groupies" the next he's "in the penthouse fucking on the patio," but no matter the subject at hand, there's a seemingly effortless delivery here that holds it all together. "Brand New Money" deserved more recognition.
Some refer to this song as “Fuck A Nigga Thought" and Wayne spit the second verse two years later on I Am Not A Human Being's “YM Banger," but the track will always be “Dead Bodies" to me. Technicalities aside, the most important thing is the way he Wayne out on this song. The flow is too fucking good. It's scary. It takes bars like “You los(t) like Angeles/But you can find me in a white tan Ellis/Just like Van Halen/Ima rock out, bitch" to the next level. Also, “Paychecks on paychecks but I still want payback/I still don't play that/I kill on ASAP" are words to live by.
Wayne said, “And her pussy so good wish I could wear it for cologne/And her pussy so wet I wish I slip and break my neck." That's some of the most romantic shit ever written. I don't think that I need to state my case any further.
“Thinking Of You"
Future wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for songs like this. Wayne sings his fucking heart out on this shit and it's extremely beautiful. The beat is wild cheerful and sounds like some shit you'd play at a wedding. Plus, before he even blew up, Tyga quietly comes on this bitch reminiscing about Winter 2003 and rips it. A+ performances all around.
“Never Get It"
“MY LIFE IS LIKE A MOVIE AND I DO MY OWN STUNTS." That line alone makes this Tha Carter III leftover incredible, but damn, he doesn't stop there. Dude just spazzes for like 4 minutes straight over this low key gem of a David Banner beat with nothing but celebratory boasts I couldn't think of on my most creative day.
“AND I'M ARMED TO SHOOT/AND I'M A MARKSMAN, TOO/AND YOU'RE THE TARGET, OOPS." Why is simple little shit like that so fucking fire to me? I just can't get enough of Wayne talking about how he's going to kill people in interesting ways. Then you have classic Mike Tyson quotes on this track and Weezy saying shit like, “Fuck pistols/We at your window with scud missiles." It's awesome.
Okay, so this was a Trae Tha Truth song and it also featured Rick Ross and those guys rapped well but Wayne was just on an entirely different planet. I honestly feel like it's one of his best verses ever. “I'll cut your face have you looking like Seal, nigga" is hilarious and dark at the same time. “Then I pull your card/Then deal with ya/Gamble with your life/Is this your lucky night" is crazy deep. Like, those metaphors are too nice. He snapped. Period.
“Small Thing To A Giant"
I'm pretty sure that like three people on Earth care about this song because it's a Gudda Gudda song but I'm here to tell you that this fucking Wayne verse is a monster. Consider this set of lyrics: “Nah, let me keep goin'/C4 and we blowin'/Up, you better detourin' when we tourin'/And she snoring 'cause he boring/Shorty need a refund, bring 'em back, and when it comes to me she pre-ordering and re-ordering and re-ordering." Those rhyme patterns and the way he always ventures off from the traditional 4/4 flow is just so epic to me.
That Tha Drought Is Over 4 mixtape was a blessing in late 2007. Wayne was on so many drugs, being weird and experimental, abusing Auto-Tune, and I loved every second of it. “Rider" was a definite highlight of the tape and one of the most passionate records in Weezy's catalog. I mean, “You only like her/I'm trying to wife her." Does it get realer than that?
Is it just me or did that Lil Weezyana mixtape that came out towards the end of 2006 get lost in the shuffle between Dedication 2 and Da Drought 3? I think everyone has heard “Famous" (and “Off The Docks" and other jams from the tape) but it's like, you'll never hear anyone playing that shit today and it's a shame. Wayne was just having a lot of fun and flexing on this record. It was an early sign that he was really about to take off into another stratosphere. He rapped in French on this track, too. Get real.
“I Took Her"
I ran like 5 miles a day practically every day of my sophomore year in college because of this song. Like I said before, that Tha Drought Is Over 4 tape was just sickeningly good. “I Took Her" was result of Wayne's weird, Auto-Tune heavy, experimental phase. It was exciting to hear him push the limits of that technology, but it never hindered his style, only enhanced it. “I'm never lonely in that penthouse/And all the time a nigga think she at her friend's house" is funny on its on, but then you factor in how Weezy says things and those lyrics get better. The same goes for his “You know I gotta stick to the paper/You know I'm like a stapler" line on this track. Excellence.
“Burn This City"
“I'm a extra bad nigga, I'm a sideways shooter/Open up the Maserati, fuck the highway troopers/'Cause nowadays dudes'll run and tell a trooper/So I hope that same trooper can find ya when I lose ya/These niggas talking out the side of they medullas/Preserve a nigga, put his body in the cooler/Turn him into ice, call me Weezy the jeweler/Run up on me boy and get smoked like buddah/WHO THE fuck wanna get it in ya next break/Gasoline on your door steps, fire." That's all.
“I'm A Monster (Eat You Alive)"
I remember reading a Rolling Stone profile on Wayne where the writer heard this song and said that it was slated for Tha Carter III and it probably was but it obviously never made the album. It did eventually leak though and it did not disappoint. The song sounds like a fucking haunted amusement park on October 29th and Wayne's lyrics fit perfectly. He starts off the second verse talking about “massacre music" and says shit like “loosen the noose around my neck I'm turning blue, bitch." It's morbid and gripping.
Dedication 4 never gets enough respect. I caught a lot of hate on Twitter last week because I called it one of the greatest mixtapes ever, but I stand by my statement. He was blacking out on a lot of those tracks and none more so than his reworking of Meek Mill and Big Sean's “Burn." He uses a lot of the same flows and bar structure as the original but improves on them every aspect. The cheesy punchlines like, “Your bitch call me when she hot, Krispy Kreme doughnuts" are silly and that's great. It's okay for rappers to have fun.
“Stacks On Deck"
Here's another banger from the weird, Auto-Tune heavy, experimental era. “Pull up to your video and BLAT on set/If that boy talkin' go to that boy neck/Watch the white man fly the little black joy" is one of my favorite sequences of lyrics ever. Then outside of the verse, he's just fucking around on the vocals: singing, whining, screaming. It's amazing.
“Let Us Pray"
People tend to look upon Lil' Wayne and Juelz Santana's many collaborations favorably, but this one never got the respect it deserved. Wayne's verse is literally bone-chilling. I throw a fucking fit of rage every single time I hear it. He started the verse off saying “Like I dropped straight from heaven." That already grabs you. Then the play on words when he says, “And overall I got that pistol under all of my garments." Are kidding me? Then the cry screaming on that chorus. Untouchable.
It's hard for me to entertain “Tha Carter IV is trash" conversations because this song is on Tha Carter IV and when this beat drops there's nothing in the world fucking with it. Then the lyrics are mad philosophical. “Yeah the tables turned but I'm still sitting at 'em." “Times have changed but fuck it get a new watch." Socrates would be proud.
This shit sounds like a fucking Quentin Tarantino movie in audio form. I'm partial to most of I Am Not A Human Being II, but even if you're not, at least give this song some props. There are plenty of those traditionally cringeworthy Weezy punchlines to go around here, but when has he ever not had the most absurd and sometimes terrible similes and metaphors. The reason they're great is because he raps them with so much style, and "Trigger Finger" is no different.
“I Am Not A Human Being"
On this track, Wayne pulls off the whole '80s rock rap thing a lot better than most who've tried it in recent years. It's dope because he doesn't compromise his approach. He makes a beat that Run-D.M.C. would've rapped over sound like some new shit. Then he just goes in with these insane lines like, “Y'all can't see us, like the bride's shoes" and “Y'alls a bunch of squares like a motherfuckin' grid." Some people think that's corny but I think it's amazing that he continues to come up with figurative language that no one else has thought of. Then, on top of that, the flow is simply awe-inspiring.
Two lines make this basically the greatest verse ever. “I'm the best, bitch/Motherfuck your guestlist/I be like, 'Let's just/Kill him and get breakfast'/Neck slit" is one. The other is “I be on that, 'Fuck your clique, I'll kill every member' shit." This verse was slightly slept on because it appeared on an overlooked Jadakiss album, but it's unbelievable from start to finish.
This raunchy sex track dropped in late 2012 and no one really cared but I've always thought it was pretty unreal. He breaks down some comical but heartfelt scenarios with deliberately off-key singing and it's just super risky and interesting.
“My Name Is"
Wayne is so hilarious because sometimes you know he's just making shit up on the spot based on what he said last and sometimes it plays out in really brilliant fashion. Case in point here: “Hip-hop president/Ain't my girl eloquent/Don't she got more junk in her trunk than an elephant/NIGGA I'M A ANIMAL." Dope.
I assume that people didn't pay attention to this song because it has a really grating Kevin Rudolf chorus and the entire track sounds like a Rebirth leftover. Fine. Ignore the guitar. Take a second to listen to what Weezy is really saying and how he's saying it and try to tell me that he didn't spaz on this record.
“Demolition Pt. 1"
“Keep it dirty like I'm lyin' in a ditch/Like Eli I'm from New Orleans I'm a Giant in this bitch/Move the G and an S and put the I before the N/And put the A in front of that and that's what I am 'til the end/That's a Saint motherfucker simply it for them/When your funeral comes with a second line at the end/But you won't second lining with them/'Cause you'll be in a hearse that's behind all of them/I see your homies dressed in black like they finna ride/But that fashion statement is telling a lie/I'm pelican fly, Mac-11 inside, my bullets come with wings and your cerebellum can fly." FUCK. When I heard that for the first time in The Carter documentary, that's when I stopped feeling like I had to hold back on thinking that Wayne is the GOAT.
“Demolition Pt. 2"
I deadass can't really listen to this song like that because it makes me feel like I'm going have a heart attack. When he gets to that part that's like, “I just fo-five away 'til ain't no one alive to say/That I fo-fived away, then I drive away," I can't contain myself. And that happens like 10 more times in this verse. This is just another display of high caliber raps from Lil' Wayne.