Well the world might be on fire right now, but at least Lil Wayne re-released his classic 2009 mixtape “No Ceilings” on streaming platforms last night. Lil Wayne was the Best Rapper Alive for a long time, but he also recognized that content is king long before anyone understood its true value. Between 2004 and the day he went to prison in 2010, Weezy was featured on 373 tracks! That is insanity. I mean the guy strategically recorded songs ahead of time and had them released throughout his year long prison sentence so it felt like he never left. Thats genius.
Complex rightfully points out that this is a shortened version of the mixtape with just 12 tracks compared to the original 21.
The re-released mixtape also features an updated version of “Kobe.”
I understand a lot of people probably weren’t scouring HotNewHipHop.com for new mixtapes like I was in college. So it’s easy to lose track of the more than 25 mixtapes Lil Wayne has dropped over the years, but if you only listen to one Lil Wayne mixtape make it 2007’s Da Drought 3, which is arguably the greatest mixtape ever made.
No Ceilings came at the back end of Lil Wayne’s final stretch of elite releases and was effectively the end of his reign as the Best Rapper Alive. In consecutive releases, he dropped Da Drought 3 (May ’07), Tha Carter 3 (June ’08) [Platinum], Dedication 3 (Dec ’08) No Ceilings (Oct ’09) and followed that up by putting together a super group of himself, Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga with appearances from Birdman, Lloyd, and Gucci Mane on We Are Young Money (Dec ’09) [Gold] all back to back.
After 2009 Lil Wayne was more of a veteran NBA superstar like Carmelo Anthony who could surprise you with a 32 point game in his age 36 season, but his days of dominating night in night out were over.
Thats what I equate 2011’s Sorry 4 the Wait (July ’11) to because that was a surprisingly excellent mixtape following two mediocre albums (Rebirth, I Am Not a Human Being). There have been some heater singles from Weezy over the years like Right Above It, 6 Foot 7 Foot, Drop the World, Believe Me, but there hasn’t been an entire Lil Wayne CD that I’ve been excited about since.
Lil Wayne may not be the must listen to artist he was at his peak, but don’t ever forget the sheer quantity of bangers this guy gave us in less than a decade.