Surprise!: Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V Gets A Release Date

Did Drake just spill the beans?

Well, that was fast. A day after news of a looming, surprise Carter V album made the Internet rounds, it seems eager fans can now pin the date on their calendars.

Lil Wayne will drop the much-talked about fifth installment of his Tha Carter series on May 5, 2014, according to Drake. While it’s unclear whether the OVO rapper accidentally let the cat out of the bag or was given the all-clear by the Young Money captain, as “official” hip-hop release dates go, the spring date appears to be legit.

Drizzy made the announcement on Friday during a set at New Orleans’ House of Blues as part of kickoff festivities for the NBA All-Star weekend. And Weezy was on hand, too, hitting the stage for a performance of his own. Still, the album scoop seems to directly contradict what a Cash Money exec had teased in an interview with Buffalo, New York, college paper The Griffin.

“We’re very close to dropping the album,” Cash Money Records Vice President of Promotion Mel Smith told a reporter from the site in an interview published online Thursday. He added: “It’s going to be a huge surprise to everyone; it’s an incredible album. … I can’t release the date because [Wayne] wants to surprise people; he wants his true fanbase to get excited but he’s worked extremely hard on it and you won’t be disappointed.”

Smith’s assertion, as originally reported by the site, sparked immediate speculation that Wayne was planning to dip into Beyoncé’s bag of promo tricks with an unannounced release.

But if the May 5 date holds, it will come nearly three years after the double-platinum Carter IV and, possibly represent curtains on Wayne’s rap career. In November 2012, Weezy told MTV News’ Sway that the reason he hesitated to ink an offering from his I Am Not a Human Being series with the Carter stamp was “because I know y’all want me around for a little bit, and Carter V is my last album.”

Rap retirement was on Wayne’s mind though, as he reflected, “Man, I’ve been rappin’ since I was 8 years old. I’m 30 now, man. That’s a long time, man.”