By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
The mightiest of Tha Carter III's singles was the slab of scorched earth known as "A Milli." The album was recorded during arguably Wayne's most creative period, abounding with impressive language manipulation, and "A Milli" is the quintessential document representing his postmodern, relentlessly linear, porous-and-pliable flow.
At this point, he was everywhere. It's hard to find a major rap track from 2007 to 2009 that he didn't write, remix, or make a guest appearance on.
Rebirth? It was fun while it lasted. But the kind of market saturation that followed Tha Carter III simply isn't sustainable. And as the money continues to roll in, telling a guy like Weezy "No" or "Maybe that's not a good idea" must be difficult. Consequently, his followup to the mammoth, career-defining Carter III was the embarrassing emo-rock album Rebirth.
Sure, he continued to churn out a wealth of material via mixtapes — the incredible volume of which guaranteed some of it had to be good. But Rebirth marked the moment when the critics and the haters began to take shots at Wayne, questioning the greatness he had been widely proclaiming — and closely guarding — since Tha Carter II.
The period following Rebirth has been a curious limbo. Wayne spent most of 2010 locked up for gun possession and trying to maintain momentum by releasing the stop-gap record I Am Not a Human Being. But while Weezy the Great was in exile, his protégés — the Young Money stable featuring Drake and Nicki Minaj — were beginning to outshine the master.
For the past eight months, Weezy has been free and hustling hard to reclaim his legacy. The steady stream of postclink singles (including the vigorous "A Milli"-style bark of "6 Foot 7 Foot" and the dreadfully saccharine pop track "How to Live"), road-warrior-level touring, and, most important, the release of Tha Carter IV are all part of this reclamation campaign. So although his pop luster won't fade anytime soon, is Weezy still the best rapper alive?
"I Am Not a Human Being" is probably some of Lil' Wayne's best work. His skill has steadily progressed over the years, albeit the record sells may not reflect this sentiment. Tha Carter IV appears to show further progression. And fyi, Notorious B.I.G. wrote "Who Shot Ya" -- not 2Pac. You made a couple of other factual errors in this article as well. You may want to re-check your sources.