The road to Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V has been long, winding, and bumpy: announced in 2012, scheduled for release in 2014, yet still not on the market four years later. But it seems the album will finally come out this fall — just not on Cash Money Records, the label that’s been releasing Wayne’s music since he was a child in the early ’90s.
A new Billboard cover story today details the legal battle between Wayne and Cash Money’s Brian “Birdman” Williams that resulted in Tha Carter V being shelved. Here’s a key excerpt from reporter Dan Rys:
But beginning in 2013, court documents show, Cash Money’s monthly accounting and payments to Young Money and Wayne became erratic, stopping altogether in February 2014. Drake’s accounting was also in disarray. By the time Wayne delivered the masters for what was to be Tha Carter V in December 2014, he had only been paid one-fifth of his guarantee. “As the deals got bigger, they got more complicated, and our money slowed,” says Ron Sweeney, Wayne’s attorney and manager.
There is no explanation as to how this reduction in payment correlates to Wayne’s original claim that Cash Money refused to release his album. But what is clear is that as of this past June, Wayne and Birdman arrived at a settlement that gives Wayne full control of Young Money, the sub-label that has long represented Wayne’s empire within Cash Money Records. Young Money’s distribution deal with Republic Records remains intact, and Wayne plans to release Tha Carter V this fall.
You won’t be surprised to learn that the version of Tha Carter V that’s coming out in 2018 is not the same album that was to be released in 2014 — in fact, the tracklist is reportedly “still in flux” — but the final product will not be entirely different from the original 2014 LP. For instance, Billboard refers to the album’s closing track, at one point titled “Let It All Work Out,” which samples Sampha’s 2013 song “Indecision.” The song finds Wayne admitting that a self-inflicted gunshot wound when he was 12 was not an accident but a suicide attempt. It was part of the original Carter V tracklist, but he recently added a new verse addressing the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.
As for when, exactly, Tha Carter V will drop: Yesterday Young Money shared what may be new cover art for the album, and social media posts from Wayne associates such as Floyd Mayweather have spawned rumors that the release date is next Friday, 9/21. See the possible album art below.
Put them 5s up ‼️‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/h2mCfeJlEK
— Young Money (@YoungMoneySite) September 12, 2018
Lastly, the story includes some interesting tidbits about Wayne’s relationships. He was the best man in 2 Chainz’s wedding this year, but he didn’t realize he was supposed to give a speech. And if you’re wondering about Wayne’s relationship with Birdman, supposedly they’re back to talking every day, mostly about the Boston Red Sox.