Despite making the final Tha Carter III tracklisting as a bonus track, "Gossip" has always been one of the more beloved songs in Lil Wayne's discography, immortalized by a BET Awards performance in 2007.
Fortunately, for the song's producer, StreetRunner, the record was one of many recorded during Wayne's prime that never leaked. Fortunately for Wayne—and all of us—StreetRunner remembering it existed is the reason why.
As the Miami producer revealed in his Beat Break interview with our own Andy James, for months, everyone in Wayne's camp had completely forgotten about "Gossip" as a result of the file never being bounced from its original hard drive:
"...the ‘Gossip’ record never leaked and I couldn’t understand why. I think it was September or November of ’07, I was in the studio with Mack Maine, Tez [Bryant] and Gee Roberson. I was like, ‘Yo, thank God "Gossip" hasn’t leaked yet. That song is fire.’ And they were like, ‘"Gossip"? What are you talking about?’ Luckily, the engineer was there and he had Wayne’s hard drive. When he was going through it, we realized that ‘Gossip’ was never bounced. You know how the artist would take a bounce of the copy? That song was recorded in December ’06 and forgotten about. Literally, the engineer even said, ‘No wonder it hasn’t leaked; the session hasn’t been opened since December 2006.’ He literally had to open the original session up for Tez, Gee and Mack Maine to hear it."
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Wayne would go on to debut the song while setting the stage ablaze at the 2007 BET Awards, though since that ceremony took place on June 26, 2007, SR's "September or November" recollection must have taken place a couple months prior.
If so many Carter III contenders hadn't already leaked between 2006-2007, the producer might never have thought to bring up "Gossip" in conversation in time for the awards (or for the Leak EP that was released a few months later), and Wayne's Best Rapper Alive coronation would have been without the song's premiere performance on national television.
Luckily, Mack Maine and co. immediately recognized the song's potential as a "lead-off street single" for the album.
“That right there sparked the whole flame for like, ‘Yo, this is going to be huge. We’re going to mix this, master this and Wayne’s going to perform it at the BET Awards,'" StreetRunner continued. "He did it, and that December it dropped on The Leak EP, and it was later attached to the deluxe edition of Tha Carter III. Someone got to make some moves, man, without getting leaked! [Laughs] I was losing so much music to those damn leaks. It was hot music, too!"
While many of the gems that StreetRunner and Wayne cooked up never found a final project home thanks to the rapper's leaky studio, "Gossip" would go on to make C3's deluxe edition and remains one of the biggest moments in the collaborative history between the rapper and producer.