Lil Wayne was already a star before releasing The Carter II, which was the album that many people started to pay attention to the skilled rapper. After dropping his fifth album, Wayne decided to do something unheard of for an established artist to go back and grind as if he didn’t have a record deal. Between 2005 and 2009, Wayne would appear on hundreds of guest appearances and released a handful of mixtapes well received by the masses, including the classics Dedication 1, 2, Da Drought 3, and No Ceilings.
Wayne gained the audience’s love and trust by ensuring every word that came out of his mouth was the fire. Lil Wayne made Hip-Hop a competitive sport again he decided to take other rappers’ original songs and turn them into his songs.
When Jay Z retired in 2003, it was Wayne who was the one to step up and start calling himself the “best rapper alive” purely based on the strength of his mixtapes at that time. By the time 2007’s Da Drought 3 came out, Wayne was the number one rapper globally.
Best Lil Wayne mixtape songs
10. “We Takin Over” – Da Drought 3 (2007)
Lil Wayne was already the star on the original “We Takin Over” but when he decided to go back in and record some more verses for the track it officially became Wayne’s track.
9. “Prostitute Flang” – The Drought is Over 2 (Tha Carter 3 Sessions) (2007)
By the time 2007 came around, every mainstream rapper in the game wanted to have success like T-Pain and use Auto-Tune to record their music. When it came to Wayne, he didn’t really use it, but when he did like on songs like “Prostitute Flang,” it felt new and dope. Wayne would pour out his emotions for six minutes to a…..let’s call her, a lady of the night that he had fallen for.
8. “Kush” – The Leak (2007)
Lil Wayne released The Leak, a five-song Ep in December 2007. These were songs that were supposed to be on Tha Carter 3, but was leaked online early, forcing Wayne to package them as an EP. The track Kush was Wayne at his most playful. The track was an ode to his drug of choice and had weed-based punchlines.
7. “Cannon” – Dedication 2 (2006)
When Don Cannon made this beat, there was only one more who could deliver like their life was on the line if it wasn’t fired, and that’s Wayne. This was the perfect example of Wayne being on a track with other talented rappers and still stealing the spotlight from them. This is one of Wayne’s best track because it is Wayne just spitting nonstop bars.
6. “Get Em” – Dedication 2 (2006)
“Get Em” is Lil Wayne when he is showing the world that he is the best rapper alive. On this track Wayne is very calculated on this track and got straight to the bars and playing around with his flow. When everyone was focus on learning new dance songs. Wayne was focused on delivering bars that felt like they belong on an album and not a mixtape.
5. “I’m A Beast” – The Drought Is Over 2 (The Carter 3 sessions) (2007)
I remember playing this song on the bus in high school and being amazed every time I would play the music. The beat was one of the best moments Wayne had rapped on. The track showcased Wayne’s ability to sound urgent while also rapping like it’s just easy for him to do this. If you haven’t heard this song, I recommend playing it to see prime Wayne at his best.
4. “I Feel Like Dying” – The Drought Is Over 2 (The Carter 3 sessions) 2007
I genuinely believe that if this didn’t get leaked, it would have made C3 an undisputed classic album because this was one track that sounded so different at the time of its release. This song was released in 2006 when people weren’t that worried about Wayne’s drug use, so we would listen to space out music without feeling concerned for the artist. “I Feel Like Dying” was ahead of its time because it would be the sound we would hear Future and many other rappers use. The track was a well-painted picture of a man playing hopscotch with enlightenment and addiction.
3. “Georgia…Bush” – Dedication 2 (2006)
Lil Wayne will always show love to his hometown of New Orleans, so it’s not surprising the emcee decided to aim at the president at that time, who was President Bush, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Wayne chose to stand up for his city and address Bush the best way he knew how and that’s through his music.
2. “Upgrade” – Da Drought (2007)
When Lil Wayne said no instrumentals were safe, he meant that from the bottom of his heart. To be honest, “Upgrade U”, was already a dope Beyoncé song when it dropped, but when Wayne got a hold of that beat it became his beat and we got three minutes of nonstop rapping that showcased Wayne amazing talent being a great spitter.
1. “Sky Is the Limit” – Da Drought 3 (2007)
Taking beats from other rappers was nothing new for Wayne, but what he did to the Mike Jones track “Mr. Jones” was dirty. Wayne took that song and made it better than the original. When Wayne released his version of the song, Mike Jones’ version just didn’t hit the same. This is the perfect example of what Mixtape Wayne did to other people’s songs.
Marquis is an Ohio native, a hip-hop lover, and has a passion for writing. You can find him on Twitter (@_MarquisArnold ) and Instagram (@_MarquisArnold)