Is Lil Wayne preparing for an ’08 like run of new content releases with his upcoming The Funeral, rumored Dedication 6, long awaited Tha Carter 5, and others… all because of the music streaming revolution?
Weezy was said to have so much music ready to go for Tha Carter 5 that he was considering splitting the album into two parts. With enough music to fill two discs, one would think there has to be enough left-over music from the final result to make at least one good mixtape.
He also told DJ Drama on Shade 45 that he had a ton of music without a project name yet, and that they “might as well just make it Dedication 6.”
But with this new promised release of The Funeral, I wonder if he didn’t just go ahead and decide to make that music the funeral, and start from scratch on a new Dedication that would have a more authentically “Dedication-ish” feel.
Dedications are always very similar in format. Drama has to ad-lib some stuff (although it’s become lessened in the last two) and Wayne has to do some aside skits or monologs.
If they tried to just take any old project and crudely slap a “Dedication” title on it, the fans would surely be less than pleased, especially since some fans were disappointed in the way No Ceilings 2 didn’t have quite enough 4 minute plus hard charging freestyles that the first installment was made legendary with.
So this has me thinking, what is Lil Wayne planning to do with all this content? Recently, artists such as Future and Young Thug have become masters at the “Freemium” music marketing model that Weezy basically invented. However, their mastery comes in the way that they’ve been able to get paid for their free content.
By releasing a mixtape that listeners can enjoy on their chosen streaming networks, such as Spotify, Tidal or Apple Music, these artists have been able to get paid for work that would have previously been released as “free” available for download on mixtape sites such as DatPiff or others.
By using original beats instead of other artists hits, they can pay for their beat up front (or not, as many artists are inclined) and then reap the royalty rewards over time as their fans stream the latest tape.
Nowadays it’s more convenient for listeners to listen to a mixtape on their streaming service than it is for them to download the tape, so artists can release mixtape and albums with virtually no difference.
Except the difference that comes with the amount of hype involved. And with Weezy, everything he releases comes with a significant amount of hype.
But Wayne has been in a bit of a lull release-wise. No Ceilings 2 came out last September, and aside from the joint 2 Chainz project Collegrove and a good number of features, Wayne has been very quiet.
Which brings me back to my earlier question: What is Lil Wayne planning with all this content?
My theory: I believe he is waiting for his contract situation to be settled in a way that ensures he will be properly compensated for his streaming royalties. As of now, he has reportedly been getting cut out of large sums of his royalties by Birdman and company, and he’s making damn sure that he’s the one doing the cutting when his possibly biggest project yet, Tha Carter 5 is released.
So as the rumors of new Lil Wayne album releases are spread, expect Tune to have a calculated plan for releasing these new projects, through streaming services, that allow for consistent revenue, for spread out periods of time, and support new tours.
The schedule will most likely culminate in an out of nowhere announcement that Tha Carter 5 will be released in a month or so, right when Wayne is at the height of this soon to be begun ’08 like run.
Now, will it truly be an ’08 like run? Absolutely not. Why? Because part of the magic of Weezy’s run in ’08 was that no one had ever produced like that before. Part of the greatness was the shock and innovation of it.
Will the millions of hater who’ve come out of the woodworks in the past 6 years because it’s trendy to dislike Lil Wayne go away, or better yet praise his music? Absolutely not. So much of Wayne’s situation will remain the same.
However, for a die-hard Lil Wayne fan, the thought of a year or more of consistently released new content leading up to the eventual release of Tha Carter 5, can’t be beat in my mind.