For the last two or three days, I’ve had Lil Wayne‘s Free Weezy Album on constant rotation in my car. Released as a TIDAL exclusive on the Fourth of July in 2015, the album got mostly stale reviews, but being the massive Wayne fan that I am, I enjoyed it enough to listen to it a decent amount throughout the rest of that year. I’ve revisited it sparingly since, though I recently found a hard copy, which is why it’s been all that’s blasted out of my car speakers this week.
The album in itself is a giant, blazing middle finger to Cash Money and it’s greedy CEO. After Birdman refused to release Wayne’s Tha Carter V at the end of 2014, the ensuing legal battle left Wayne in an artistic limbo that any weaker rapper would have succumbed entirely to. The Free Weezy Album was his Declaration of Independence, his grand stand against the major label that was trying to shut him down. Being associated as such, listening to the album left the Wayne-Birdman feud fresh on my mind.
Which is why I’m confident in saying that Birdman is being petty as fuck right now.
Yesterday he posted a photo on Instagram of his Cash Money vaults, in which he supposedly found thousands of previously recorded, unreleased tracks. In hope of creating a #CashMoneyCollection, he says he plans on releasing 500 of these found songs throughout 2017.
My first thought is the rate at which he would have to release music to match this figure. With 333 days left in 2017, he’d have to release 1.5 songs a day, a noble task that may prove to be an over-saturation of Cash Money music. So THAT would be kind of annoying.
On top of that, I immediately found it to be coincidental that Birdman would make such a discovery the same day a Young Money reunion on Nicki Minaj‘s Instagram set the internet ablaze with rumors. Or maybe it wasn’t just coincidence.
After FWA, Wayne made it clear that he didn’t need a major label to back him. He was no longer reliant on Birdman and his corrupt business dealings, but moving on to make and release music at his own pleasure. It’s rumored that he has upwards of five projects waiting to be released this year, including the recently announced Funeral and Dedication 6. Nicki’s Instagram post featuring a joyful looking Wayne and Drake has led many to speculate that with each artist working on their own respective projects, we could possibly be seeing a good deal of collaborative work from The Big Three soon. With such high hopes for new music, it must’ve really irked Birdman to see his former prodigy shining in positivity, surrounded by the very artists that made Wayne’s Cash Money imprint, Young Money, a huge success.
So the CEO took to Instagram, showing off his collection of unreleased music, to remind everyone that he still holds the keys to Tha Carter V; a power play that proves to be pointless considering Wayne still remains in the national spotlight to this day. Though there are rumors that Wayne never turned in his recordings for the album, thus being the reason Birdman could never release it, the fact remains that contractual agreements through Young Money and a $51 million lawsuit are what have suffocated the project to near death. Birdman’s continued attempts to diminish the shine of Lil Wayne’s starpower illustrate the pettiness with which he plays in this situation.
It’s my wish that Wayne comes through on his promised projects this year, showing the world that he’s still capable of releasing quality music minus his major label overlords. Free Weezy Album, in my mind, proves just that. No matter how much attention Birdman tries to draw away from Lil Wayne, the music and continued charisma of Weezy speaks for itself. He’s never looked happier than he does pictured with Nicki and Drake, and I hope it’s because he knows we’re all still rooting for him.