On June 29th, 2004 Lil Wayne began his journey to the top with the release of his fourth studio album, Tha Carter.
While many knew Weezy from his classic verse at the end of Juvenile's “Back That Thang Up,” he had yet to place his stamp as a solo artist. Wayne showcased his skills with “Tha Carter.” The album name is both a play on Wayne’s government last name and The Carter crack houses in Wesley Snipe’s 1991 thriller, New Jack City.
The album had a bit of controversy around it. The Cash Money Records star collaborated with Mannie Fresh for a majority of the album production, despite Fresh having broken off from the label. The album showcased a blend of gritty weezy verses and hardknock beats. Despite it’s street feel, the album saw strong mainstream success. Two of the hits off the project were “Bring It Back” featuring Mannie Fresh (video above) and his first solo hit “Go D.J.”
While many overlook this album, I hold it as a pivotal point in Lil Wayne’s career. The title is apart of the saga series Wayne has created for his albums. In regards to impact it had on his career, this album held his first solo hits, letting people know that Wayne was a star in the making.
If this album flopped, Lil Wayne wouldn’t be the rap titan he is today.