Jay-Z and Lil Wayne have had their fair share of run-ins throughout the years, but Weezy is forever thankful to the other Carter for changing his life with one landmark album.
The two collided in 2011 when Hov decided to throw some shade towards Wayne’s business partner Brian’ Baby’ Williams on Watch The Throne song ‘H.A.M.’, which was responded to in due course by the New Orleans rapper on ‘It’s Good’.
In his reply, Wayne arguably stepped over the line by threatening to kidnap Beyonce, but Jay surprisingly resisted dropping a response. Their beef was strange considering that Hov had previously given his namesake his seal of approval on the appropriately titled, ‘Mr. Carter’.
During his verse, Jay raps, “My heir, Young Carter,” and hearing his hero utter those words meant the world to Wayne. He told Rolling Stone: “That line right there was hard! Unbelievable. I didn’t even realise it at first. My homie had to tell me ‘You know what he said, right?’ I didn’t even get it.
“I was like, ‘Why is he saying ‘air’? Is he just talking about the air?’ But I’m smart enough to know that he’s smart enough not to just be talking about the air. I felt real dumb, but then I felt so good. It was an incredible compliment.”
Getting to collaborate with his idol was a pinch yourself moment for Weezy, who felt honoured to be on the same track as Jay, and he later said, ‘Mr. Carter’ was his favourite track from Tha Carter III.
While Wayne always grew up as a hip-hop head, it took him until Jay-Z’s third album, Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter for an album to connect on a profound level. It was the first time in his life when he felt like the lyrics were about his life, and it changed how he viewed everything.
“Jay-Z, Life and Times of Shawn Carter, plain and simple,” Wayne told Rolling Stone. “It was the first album where I actually [bought] the car that the rapper was talking about. That was my album.”
He added: “Also, Jay talked so crazy. He went bananas on that album. I got lyrics from the album tattooed on me and shit. I have songs that are remakes of spinoffs of songs from that album.”
Although Wayne had already released his debut record, he was yet to find his voice as a rapper, and the Life and Times of Shawn Carter was a critical point in his evolution as an artist.