New Orleans rapper and Young Money founder Lil Wayne is often considered one of the greatest rappers of all time. As one of the first rappers from the South to achieve mogul status, Lil Wayne provided hope to other young artists from his area.
Born and raised in the deprived Hollygrove area of New Orleans, Lil Wayne (real name Dwayne Carter) was discovered by Birdman when he was just a teenager. Lil Wayne’s childhood friend Mack Maine equated the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans to warzones, recalling that, like its neighbouring states, Louisiana had such loose gun laws at one point that in Hollygrove, there were new dead bodies on the street every morning.
Quick to accept the offer of Birdman, Lil Wayne signed to his record label Cash Money as a mere teenager in the early 2000s. He signed a record deal as part of the New Orleans rap crew The Hot Boys, but after the crew disbanded with their producer Mannie Fresh abandoning the label, only Lil Wayne was left at Cash Money.
Lil Wayne released his debut album Tha Block Is Hot, on the label in 1999. Having already built a buzz by touring on the underground across the south and with multiple tracks receiving local airplay in the south, Tha Block Is Hot, pushed by Cash Money and Universal Music, debuted at number three on the Billboard 200.
Between 1999 and 2004, Wayne released two more studio albums, but they never reached the heights of his debut. However, he did multiple features, including a verse on the Destiny’s Child song ‘Soldier’. In 2004 Wayne released his fourth studio album, Tha Carter, which birthed his Carter album series. Fortunately, with his classic mixtape series Dedication alongside DJ Drama shaking up the underground, Lil Wayne became Cash Money’s face and, before long, its new star.
In the early ’00s, Wayne had one of the most successful mixtape runs in rap history, and by the end of the noughties, the rapper had his own imprint of Cash Money, Young Money. The label launched the careers of Nicki Minaj, Tyga and Drake, to name a few. With Maybach Music Group being their only competition in the early 2010s, colloquially known as YMCM, Young Money was untouchable and was responsible for hits such as Tyga’s ‘Rack City’, Drake’s ‘Best I Ever Had’ and more.
One of Carter’s most popular songs is ‘Drop The World’ featuring legendary Detroit rapper Eminem. Released as the third single for Wayne’s 2010 album, Rebirth, ‘Drop The World’ is one of the highlights of what some call Wayne’s worst album. Recorded at Effigy Studios in Eminem’s home state of Michigan, ‘Drop The World’ peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA in 2010.
Produced by Hit-Boy alongside Travis Barker of Blink-182, the music video of the rock-infused track is aesthetically apocalyptic. The video showcases a city where anger and anarchy are the prevailing forces. However, not all of the visuals were recorded on location. With an abundance amount of computer-generated effects, the video had a fairly technical recording process. You can see behind the scenes of ‘Drop The World’ in the video below.