Playlist: My ‘Tha Carter’ Tre

16 years ago today, I can tell you exactly how I started my day. It was a Tuesday and this album I’ve been waiting for finally released. No, I didn’t press play on my phone. I put the key in the ignition of my ’97 Honda Civic and drove to Best Buy. Efforts used to be made to hear new music. I didn’t want to hear a leak or download a copy that might not have been the version the artist intended. I wanted to hear the real version of Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III.

Fake tracklists lived on message boards and even fake release dates might have gotten me to come here before, but I was sure that today was the day that it was going to be here. Checked the new release rack and only saw Plies’ The Definition of Real album. I looked up and down the Rap/Hip-Hop aisle, checked under “L” and “W.” There was no new Lil Wayne album. The first blue shirt wearer I saw at a register would surely end my quest for the latest in Tha Carter series. Apparently, someone tried to steal a copy when they first opened that morning, so that took all the copies off the shelves and keep them at the register. Simple inconvenience to the goal I had that day that was set after Tha Carter II through several singles, freestyles, mixtapes. Overall, the album was alright.

Like I said, my anticipation was high and I was let down by what I heard. There are some songs I liked, but it wasn’t overall as good to me as the album’s predecessors. For me, this album is Wayne’s downfall lyrically and creatively. Fortunately, I want to celebrate the version of the album that I didn’t get back then with songs that I wished made the album along with those I would’ve kept. Imagine a version of the album where Wayne had a song with the other Mr. Carter and a song with the first iteration of his group, Young Money: Raw DI AKA Dizzy, Mack Maine, and Curren$y. (S/O to Boo.) Sorry Kidd Kidd, love your verse, but “Mrs. Officer” had to go in favor of “Prostitute Flange” and Weezy’s most mature love song to date, “Something You Forgot.” R.I.P Static Major, but “Lollipop” is gone. I never liked it and still cringe. Yes, he’s a martian that always stood out amongst his pairs, but my version has him paying homage to Outkast, Scarface, and the Barre Baby, Big Moe. My biggest issue back then might’ve been that Carter III just felt like a collection of songs. Carter 1 and 2 had intros, interludes, and outros that made you feel like we were on an excursion with Birdman JR as our guide. I chose songs that give you an artist starting at their height, getting acclaim from peers and legends, then beginning to realize that it’s lonely at the top and the only companions are paranoia and remorse, then finally remember where and why he began his journey, ending in acceptance at his place on the throne loved and admired. Damn, I’m cold. Enjoy “My Carter Tre”!

Happy Carter 3 Day to all those who celebrate.

  1. Scarface
  2. When They Come For Me
  3. Pussy Money Weed
  4. Dr. Carter
  5. Lay My Organs Down
  6. I’m A Beast
  7. Prostitute Flange
  8. Let The Beat Build
  9. A Milli
  10. Me and My Drank
  11. Got Money
  12. Mr. Carter
  13. Shoot Me Down
  14. Tie My Hands
  15. I Feel Like Dying
  16. Something You Forgot
  17. La La La (Lighting Up My)
  18. Never Get It
  19. Bonus Track: One Night Only