How Lil Wayne’s Leaks Made ‘Tha Carter III’ A Hit | Genius News

How Lil Wayne’s Leaks Made ‘Tha Carter III’ A Hit | Genius News

JACQUES: Lil Wayne’s sixth studio album was an instant hit. It sold over 1 million copies within a
week of its June 10th, 2008 release. JACQUES: The album contains Lil Wayne classics
like “A Milli” and pop hits like “Lollipop.” But it’s the songs that did not make the
final tracklisting that made the album so big. JACQUES: Lil Wayne proclaimed himself the
best rapper alive on his 2005 album ‘Tha Carter II,’ and afterwards took to the studio
to flood the market. His unparalleled work ethic sent a message
to the rap game: step your game up. LIL WAYNE: They’re acting like these singers man. I ain’t going into the studio until I got a situation. A subject, I need a beat, I need the producer, who’s gon’ be on the hook? Man what is you doin? JACQUES: From 2005 to 2008, Lil Wayne was
ubiquitous. He fed the streets with his official mixtapes,
like ‘Da Drought 3’ and ‘Dedication 2′ – the latter helmed by DJ Drama. His joint album with Birdman, ‘Like Father,
Like Son,’ peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200. He was the hottest feature in pop music joining the likes of Chris Brown, Lloyd, T-Pain and others on charting singles. JACQUES: And in preparation for ‘Tha Carter
III,’ he stockpiled dozens of tracks, and the music was so hot it could barely stay
in Wayne’s hands. Several unfinished cuts leaked and became
fodder for a number of unofficial mixtapes, however one stood above the rest. JACQUES: The Empire’s series, ‘The Drought
Is Over,’ compiled dozens of Weezy cuts that were intended for the third installment of
‘Tha Carter.’ It drew its name from Weezy’s official set
of mixtapes, ‘The Drought’ and caused many to believe that The Empire was getting
it straight from the source – but he wasn’t. In June 2007, The Empire dropped ‘The Drought
Is Over 2: ”Tha Carter III” Sessions.’ It contained 20 songs intended for ‘Tha
Carter III’ and many became cult favorites. JACQUES: In an interview, The Empire told
Genius that the first batch came from a random poster on the popular messageboard, Boxden. That leak proved so big that Wayne was forced
to do damage control. LIL WAYNE: I’ma give you some intros and
outros and it’s all for y’all. Y’all got me I give it to you, red handed
I must take better care of my things and I will. Motherfuckers! JACQUES: Lil Wayne’s 5 song project ‘The
Leak,’ dropped in December 2007. But The Empire was just getting started – over
the next year he received more Weezy leaks and created another four mixtapes. He became a magnet for people holding Wayne’s
music, gathered legally or illegally. For the fourth installment of his series,
he told Genius he got the songs from someone who had somehow gotten it out of Wayne’s car. JACQUES: As for Weezy, the leaks became so
popular that he began performing them at shows. Meanwhile, more unofficial mixtapes kept coming
and his fans just ate them up. DJ DRAMA: There was a lot of money in the
mixtape game back then and Lil Wayne was a hot commodity. JACQUES: DJ Drama’s ‘Gangsta Grillz’
series was at the center of the mixtape game and included the ‘Dedication’ projects with
Wayne. According to him, Wayne was a prime example
of how music consumption was changing back in 2007. DRAMA: People were really, really, really
were getting their music through the internet around that time. JACQUES: Websites like,,
and others fed a thriving competition for the biggest exclusives. In late May 2008, weeks before ‘Tha Carter
III’s release, in an interview with the now defunct magazine ‘Foundation,’ an exasperated
Wayne took aim at mixtape DJs. WAYNE: Like you said I’m on 25 top 25 I ain’t
put out 25 mixtapes. So fuck y’all, fuck DatPiff, fuck these
mixtape djs, fuck all that. JACQUES: His comments struck a nerve and one
DJ even leaked ‘Tha Carter III’ out of protest. Wayne later clarified his statements on Drama’s
show. WAYNE: That whole shit was meant to the Empire
nigga. I don’t fuck with the Empire nigga. The nigga put out a CD on me every month. JACQUES: Drama told Genius that Wayne just
hadn’t explained himself sufficiently. DRAMA: Lil Wayne has always been about mixtapes
and mixtape culture. He’s been very good to the streets in a
lot of ways. JACQUES: However, at this point the cat was
out of the bag. In ‘The Carter III’ documentary Lil Wayne’s
manager, Cortez Bryant is seen lamenting the leak. CORTEZ: He knew it was gonna happen too. He’s just looking at it like shit, we had
a good leak. 10 – 11 days…know some people’s albums
leak 2-3 months out y’know. JACQUES: As we now know, ‘Tha Carter III’
went on to become a tremendous success. The leaks were an accidental marketing push
that drove Lil Wayne’s hype to a fever pitch. But this strategy of flooding the market was
only possible because Lil Wayne kept delivering. DRAMA: But ‘Carter III’ was the culmination
of everything that had been happening in the last like years to become the king of hip-hop. JACQUES: Another upside to ‘Tha Carter III’
leaks is that they unearthed songs that fans may have never heard due to sample clearances
– like Lil Wayne rapping over The Beatles, Prince and Heart. Lil Wayne fought the leakers and we all won. JACQUES: I’m Jacques Morel with Genius News,
bringing you the meaning and the knowledge behind the music. Peace!

46 thoughts on “How Lil Wayne’s Leaks Made ‘Tha Carter III’ A Hit | Genius News

  1. MoreLike 05 – 2012 How soon yall forget the run & INFLUENCE wayne had. Every song was better then the last for 5 straight year's. 77 top songs in 1 year and changing the sound and look of rap music. Wayne the GOAT FOR REAL

  2. This will forever be my favorite era in time, these mixtapes were righteous 🙌🏾thanks for history Wayne.

  3. All those "hits" are fucking garbage they aged horribly. The beats are abnormally awful and they lyrics are trash and the flow n delivery annoying af (with occasional exceptions like Lil Wayne – trouble for example)

  4. Scarface was the hardest Wayne song to me at that time. I still know it by heart ✊🏾
    When HotNewHipHop & DatPiff was on 🔥🔥🔥🔥

  5. If anyone thinks the Carter 3 is Wayne's best work .really wasent outside back then. This video doesn't even scratch the surface on the effect of those drought and dedication mixtapes. Back when DatPiff was a website not an app lol

  6. i remember listening to only lil wayne for almost a year straight and i never got bored cuz there were like 5 new lil wayne songs everyweek!.. it was almost impossible to catch up with all the releases #GOAT!

  7. Everything about this video is 100% accurate . Carter 3 sessions stood above the rest. & its the main point of why Wayne will go down as #1 of all time, ahead of Eminem.

  8. DA DROUGHT IS OVER 2, 4 AND 5 had the bulk of the original carter 3 leaks. Those songs where fabulous and really could have made a next level classic. Tha Carter 3 was Nice but really wasn't anywhere near as good as to what was heard on those mixtapes. Comfortable Was original on Da Drought Is Over 4. I remember liking it more than the final product. Tha Carter 3 Truly could have been a masterpiece. I Really enjoyed it but I was disappointed to not hear those key tracks. Operate On Me & World Of Fantasy.

  9. Woaaa I didn’t know it was that critical! but I remember everything!
    Wayne is mixtape king! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

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