Born and raised in New Orleans, Lil Wayne is one of the wealthiest rappers alive. The Louisiana musician is the mogul who founded the legendary Young Money label, which launched the careers of artists such as Nicki Minaj, Drake and Tyga. That said, Lil Wayne has seen an unfathomable amount of success himself and has sold millions of records over the years.
In the early noughties, 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.
Since his emergence in 199, Lil Wayne (real name Dwayne Carter) has released 13 studio albums, one collaborative album, three compilation albums, five EPs, and a mind-blowing 29 mixtapes, most of which have been critically acclaimed.
However, there is one project that stands out in particular. Tha Carter III is nothing short of monumental. The body of work was, arguably, the peak of Lil Wayne’s career. Released in 2008, songs such as ‘Lollipop’ and ‘A Milli’ were smash hits and loved the world over. In fact, the latter is known as the Lil Wayne song with “no format.”
The track’s producer, Bangladesh, in an interview for Rhapsody.com, admitted that he thought Carter would make a song out of it with more structure and unveiled that the song (without a format) only received success because it was a Lil Wayne song.
Elaborating, the beatmaker stated, “I just thought he would make more of a song out of it, honestly. He’s just rapping. If it was going on the mixtape, it’s cool, but not on no album or single. It’s saying ‘a milli.’ He needs to pop about being a millionaire. He switched it up and tried to make it ‘ill.”
He continued, “If that was somebody else, it wouldn’t be on the radio. They just f*ck with Wayne regardless. That right there makes me like that sh*t, because it’s against the grain, and it’s working. That sh*t’s no format. A n*gga went in, freestyled, and that sh*t’s all over the radio.”
The 2008 single has no intro, chorus or bridge and managed to outperform many structured tracks released at a similar time. ‘A Milli’ paved the way for many artists today by showing MCs they can release loosely structured songs and still achieve commercial success. You can hear the 2008 Lil Wayne cut below.