Written by: Dominique Roundtree
The year was 2008 and Tha Carter III just released. Lil Wayne had the rap game on lock. Tha Carter III album went triple platinum, won a Grammy for Best Rap Album, and sold over a million dollars in pure album sales in only the first week solidifying his spot at the top. His hit song Lollipop had just peaked a month before at number one on the billboard charts. You couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing a Wayne song or a song featuring him. Lil Wayne even had the mixtape world in his hand, dropping Dedication 3 only a few months later. His run was Unstoppable.
One of the strongest bonds in Hip-Hop was shared between Lil Wayne and his father/ Label Boss Bryan “Birdman” Williams. Cash Money Records had been on a roll for years, from the early Hot Boys days down to later signing big names like Drake and Nicki Minaj. But this father son duo was in for some tough times ahead. Fast-forward to December 2014, Tha Carter V was set to drop on December 9. Lil Wayne expresses his frustration with the label and blames the delayed release on Birdman. After some back and forth internally in the Cash Money record label, on January 25, 2015 Lil Wayne filed a $51 million lawsuit against Cash Money records. The lawsuit claimed Birdman had breached the contract by withholding Tha Carter V and it demanded that he end his contract with Cash Money, taking ALL of his Yong Money signees with him (including Nicki Minaj and Drake).
A month later in an interview with Rolling Stones, Wayne shared that he was not even on speaking terms with Birdman. After multiple disses aimed toward Cash Money and Birdman from stage and in multiple songs such as M$ by ASAP Rocky, Wayne then tried to oust Birdman from his involvement in Young Money (51% owner). In July of 2015, Lil Wayne released the Free Weezy mixtape via Tidal. Birdman then sued Tidal for streaming the mixtape for $50 million. By January 2016 it seemed as if maybe Birdman and Wayne had finally made up, seen pictured together at Drake’s new years-eve party, on stage multiple times together and they even hit the studio together early in the year. However, in the fall of 2016 Lil Wayne tweeted feelings indicating that he felt defeated and hinted toward plans of retiring. He later went on to explain his tweets saying he did not plan to retire but was disappointed and felt trapped.
After much more back and forth and various court dates, Birdman and Wayne finally reach a settlement. A three-year battle was finally put to rest. The only specifics given on the results were that Wayne walked away owning all his own music. So, raps favorite father son duo made up and were back to speaking every day. Tha Carter V finally dropped Set 28, 2018. The 22-track album was a hit, four songs (“Uproar”, “Mona Lisa”, “Don’t Cry”, and “Let it Fly”) making the Billboard top 10. “Uproar”, basically a Special Delivery remix, sent the rap world into a frenzy. Needless to say the album was worth the wait. Wheezy fans can breathe easy once again, Lil Wayne is officially back.