Lil Wayne has a lot riding on Tha Carter V. Not only was the critical reception for Carter IV not as robust as previous installments but the Young Money head honcho has also vowed that the LP will be his last.
And now it seems the album will come sooner than later, according to a Cash Money executive. But you can't mark your calendars for this one because Weezy wants his release date to be a surprise. So does this mean the project will creep up on fans Beyonce-style?
"We're very close to dropping the album," Cash Money Records Vice President of Promotion Mel Smith told the The Griffin in an interview published online Thursday. "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."
It's unclear whether Smith was hinting at a surprise release date announcement from Wayne or a surprise album altogether.
Tha Carter series has become Wayne's flagship. He released the first installment of the series in 2004 and, in 2008, made a lasting impact by selling 1 million copies of Tha Carter III LP in the first week of release. The double-platinum Tha Carter IV also had an impressive debut, moving more than 960,000 copies in its debut week.
Musically, the series of albums has given music unforgettable moments like "Go D.J.," "Hustler Muzik," "Lollipop" and "6 Foot 7 Foot." But in November 2012, Weezy told MTV News' Sway Calloway that Tha Carter V would be his last album.
"I signed my contract at 11, I went platinum at 14. I'm 30 now. Thank God I haven't put out an album that hasn't went platinum," Weezy said back then. "To just keep [my rap career] goin' like that, I think not only am I being greedy, I'm fooling myself to think that it will continue to be that great."
The anticipation has been steadily building ever since. On Sunday, Drake stoked the fire with a single tweet that read simply: "CARTER V." The latest news of a surprise release will only increase the curiosity and expectations for what's being billed as Weezy's last offering.
CARTER V— Drizzy (@Drake) February 10, 2014
"He's one of the artists like Prince who just continues to record," the Cash Money exec said. "He does it for the love of the art, for the record, he continues to work hard to top himself, like when he does the I Am Not a Human Being records that he's, which are a little more rock-and-roll tangent, a little more pop tangent, while Tha Carter V is a little more Lil Wayne getting it to you straight from New Orleans."