For the past five years, Lil Wayne has teased the release of his supremely-delayed album, Tha Carter V, but of course, it hasn't seen the light of day.
Cash Money CEO Bryan "Birdman" Williams has stated multiple times over the past year that the album is "definitely" on its way, but Lil Wayne has been embroiled in a lawsuit against Cash Money, which the veteran rapper has intimated multiple times has been one of the countless reasons the project has remained on the backburner.
Simply, Lil Wayne has wanted off Cash Moneysince 2014, but Birdman won't let him out of his recording contract until it's complete. Wayne, meanwhile, could release Tha Carter V and move one step closer to completing the terms of his recording contract, but the basis for his entire lawsuit is earning money owed to him that was never paid out and the restructuring the terms of his current deal, which allow Birdman to benefit far greater from a new Lil Wayne album than Lil Wayne.
Birdman says it's Wayne who has held up the release. Wayne says it's Birdman. But what if there was another reason? What if the album, which Wayne has confirmed is complete, simply sucks?
Over the weekend, Lil Wayne called into Wild Wayne's Q93 radio program to promote his forthcoming Lil Weezyana Fest, but, of course, the focus of their conversation shifted to Tha Carter V.
"Of course you're going to see Tha Carter V, man," said Wayne. "I don't wanna put it out the wrong way, honestly. I can do what I want, honestly. The fans deserve it to be right and that's how it's going to be. I can drop whenever I want to drop."
His comments begin at the 7:30 marker:
For years, we've been led to believe by Lil Wayne himself that Birdman's conniving ways are the reason that Tha Carter V hasn't been released. Now, for the first time, Wayne claims that he—not Birdman—holds the power? If that is the case, why not just give the people what they want?
The last time Wayne released an installment in his Carter series (2011), pre-release singles still mattered. But in 2017? They don't matter at all. Throw the album up on all the on-demand streaming services, add it to iTunes for all the fans who insist on still buying music files and call it a day. Want to go bigger? Call up Samsung, a company that has worked with Wayne since the beginning of 2016 and has a history of helping rappers release big albums, and ask them to buy a million digital copies so you can go Platinum first week.
No, the most likely reason Wayne is using the "we're figuring out the best way to release the album" line if, in fact, he does hold the power is that after a countless number of revisions, he isn't pleased with the current iteration of the album. Lil Wayne is a notorious workaholic who is constantly in the studio, and constantly writing and recording new material, so it's safe to assume the original version of Tha Carter V, the one that was supposed to premiere in a failed deal with Google Music, isn't the completed version Wayne is currently sitting on. Likewise, the copy of Tha Carter V that soon-to-be-prisoner Martin Shkreli purchased last year from the owner of Wayne's sold Bugatti.
Would an album constructed with tracks recorded over five years from countless producers riding various sonic waves be a product worth unleashing in 2017? If you ask Weezy fans, the answer is unequivocal yes. As for Wayne, the album's delay might suggest his answer is no.