June is Black Music Month. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter decreed that the month of June would be dedicated to celebrating the African American music and musicians that have helped the country to dance, express their faith through song, march against injustice, and to defend the country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.
When discussing artists who have stood the test of time and impacted the culture tremendously, Lil Wayne is definitely one of the first people that comes to mind. 14 years ago today (June 10), he released his sixth studio album, Tha Carter III. The third installment of Tha Carter series followed ‘Tha Block Is Hot‘ (1999), ‘Lights Out‘ (2000), 500 Degreez (2002) Tha Carter (2004) and Tha Carter II (2005) albums respectively. After several release delays and numerous leaks, the album easily became one of the most anticipated albums of the year. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 by selling a whopping 423,000 copies its first day and over a million in its first week. By the end of the year, it had sold over 2.8 million copies, making it one of the fastest-selling albums in the US.
With singles such as ‘Lollipop,’ ‘A Milli,’ ‘Got Money,’ and ‘Mrs. Officer,’ the album was met with positive reviews from both critics and fans alike. It is considered to be one of Wayne’s best works. It made Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Although it didn’t win the Grammy for Album of the Year, it did win Best Rap Album with ‘Lollipop’ winning Best Rap Song and ‘A Milli’ winning Best Rap Solo Performance. Tha Carter III has been certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Besides Wayne himself, the album had no shortage of star power. Features on the album included Jay-Z, T-Pain, Fabolous, Robin Thicke, Juelz Santana, Babyface, Bobby V, Busta Rhymes, Kanye West and the late Static Major. The Alchemist, Cool & Dre, Just Blaze, Mannie Fresh and Timbaland were just some a handful of the producers who played a part in the massive success of the album.
The album is lauded for its entertaining wordplay and Wayne’s execution of his often unorthodox ideas. Wayne seamlessly mixed brash boastfulness with introspective thinking in a way that fans hadn’t really seen from him at that point of his care at the time. Fourteen years later, some of the tracks on the album are still cultural staples and will be that forever. Tha Carter III is just as timeless as Lil Wayne’s career and that should be applauded. Give the album a spin today to celebrate this special milestone!
What’s your favorite song off of this classic album? Is this even your favorite Carter album? Be sure to take a break from jammin’ and let us know in the comments.