With I Am Not a Human Being II, Lil Wayne has officially logged in his 10th solo LP. Combine that with his staggering number of mixtapes and group albums, and it's pretty clear that Weezy has racked up a lot of rap mileage.
That, in part, is the reason Wayne told MTV News that after he drops Tha Carter V, he will retire — but do you believe him?
"When you are at that level as a prolific rapper, there's a demand. It's going to be very hard to just chill in your mansion and never poke your head out," Tracy G., co-host of Shade 45's "Sway in the Morning" radio show, told MTV News when we gathered a team of industry insiders to talk all things Wayne earlier this week.
Now Weezy never said that Tha Carter V would be his next album, but judging from his tone during a November interview with MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway, it was clear that Tunechi was preparing to sing his swan song sooner than later. "Carter V is my last album," he said at the time. "Man, I've been rappin' since I was 8 years old. I'm 30 now, man. That's a long time, man."
The problem is, no one is buying it. "Rappers don't retire. I've seen this movie before. Jay-Z actually made a movie about it," RapRadar.com content director Brian "B.Dot" Miller said, referencing Jay's 2004 film "Fade to Black."
Producer DVLP, who has been working with Wayne since he dropped Tha Carter II, said he's never seen anyone work as hard as Weezy and he believes it will be hard for the MC to break out of his musical routine.
XXL Editor in Chief Vanessa Satten, who has been covering Weezy since his Hot Boys days, also doesn't buy the retirement talk. "Everybody kind of comes back. If you spit one verse after you retire, does that mean you're back?" she questioned. "I kind of don't think that after Tha Carter V we'll never hear from Wayne again."
So what about Carter V? While I Am Not a Human Being II plays out like a lyrical slugfest, Tunechi puts a different type of energy into his Carter album series, something with more depth. "To me — and I can totally be wrong — Tha Carter is kind of like the main solo artist series, and the Human Being is kind of more of a one-off to keep you kinda busy between the Carter projects," Satten said.
DVLP has produced tracks on both series of albums, and he sees a clear and distinct difference. While Tha Carter is more concentrated, I Am Not a Human Being is just Weezy being carefree. Like he says, "I ain't got no worries." "I think I can be more weird on the I Am Not a Human Being series," DVLP said in terms of the beats he serves up to Wayne for IANAHB. "I think that's just pushing it a little bit more, like his favorite tracks that he just spits on, goes crazy, might not have a hook. It's just expression."
Do you believe Tha Carter V will be Lil Wayne's last album? Let us know in the comments!