Tha Carter III turns 10 today. To celebrate Lil Wayne’s landmark album, some of today’s biggest artists are paying homage by recreating the iconic cover.
The original artwork features a baby photo of Weezy F. Baby with tattoos on his face. Now, as part of a Spotify “Rap Caviar” campaign, rappers including Chance the Rapper, Migos, Tyga, T-Pain, Lil Uzi Vert, French Montana, YG, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty, Trippie Redd, Wiz Khalifa, and more have reinterpreted the cover with their own tattooed baby portraits.
Lil Uzi Vert praised Weezy as a pioneer in the game. “When I heard Tha Carter III, I knew Wayne was the greatest rapper alive,” said the Philly rapper, while Chance the Rapper added, “Wayne remade the whole Carter III after it got stolen and leaked. So it’s two of them. Both versions are my favorite album lol.”
Quavo called the Young Money chief a “hell of an artist.” “Him and Hot Boys inspired me in many ways. Hot Boys influenced us to be a group,” said the Migos rapper, while Takeoff added, “Lil Wayne showed me to never give up at what you do best and/or what you want to do. Be you and never let someone tell you different, if it feels right it’s not wrong.”
Weezy’s frequent collaborator T-Pain reflected on their “Got Money” collaboration. “After ‘Lollipop’ dropped, it was my mission to work with Wayne,” he said. “Then I finally saw him pass by me when I was at the same studio he was at while he was still recording ‘Tha Carter III.’ I said, ‘What’s up,’ he didn’t hear me. I went back to my studio and bounced a hook I had just did, told my people to send it to Wayne’s room. He heard me then. ‘Got Money’ was born and I will be forever grateful for the long friendship that followed. Wayne’s influences on the rap game are still very much apparent in today’s music and, I’m sure, for many generations in the future.”
Tyga, who was previously signed to Young Money, recalled meeting Weezy at a studio when he was recording “A Milli.” “I remember being in the studio with Wayne everyday around this time,” he said. “I was really watching a master at work. Real superstar feeling. Tha Carter III was the icing on the cake. The rap game would never be the same after that. A million first week real album sales before streaming. One of the best times of my life was experiencing this first hand!”
In a 2008 interview with MTV News, Wayne revealed the origin of the cover art. “My momma gave me the picture for me to put on the album cover,” he said. “I don’t know where my momma found that picture. My momma, she gave me that and one more. If you would have saw the other picture, you’d be like, ‘She got too many pictures.'”
Tha Carter III debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in June 2008, selling more than 1 million copies in its first week before eventually going triple platinum. It spawned hit singles including “A Milli,” “Lollipop,” and “Mrs. Officer.”
Wayne is now ready to embark on the next chapter of his career. He recently settled his lengthy legal battle with Cash Money. As part of the settlement, his long-awaited album Tha Carter V will see a release.
“I can say that my client is happy,” said Weezy’s lawyer Ron Sweeney. “He is his own man, a man that owns his assets, his music and himself. At some point, Wayne will let his fans know what’s going to happen next.”