*On June 11th, ‘Tha Carter III,’ Lil’ Wayne’s sixth studio album, will turn ten years old. The most feature-stacked release from Dwayne Carter at the time, ‘Tha Carter III’ had Wayne collaborating with artists like Babyface, Robin Thicke, and Bobby Valentino, to name a few; and with producers like Bangladesh, Kanye West, David Banner and even “Too Many Freaks” legends Play N Skillz.

To commemorate ‘Tha Carter III’s’ tenth birthday – and as a prelude to our upcoming ‘Deconstruction’ of the album – our own Bradford J. Howard sought out five different perspectives from five different personalities and contributors to the hip-hop culture. Each will take their own trip down memory lane with ‘C3,’ by sharing their favorite song.*

You’ve heard a Charity E. Vaughn beat and probably don’t even know it. The Houston-based producer is most known for being Dante Higgins’ most frequent collaborator, having produced for his last few projects including ‘Good Forever’ and ‘Majix Studio.’ She provided an instrumental for the 2016 XXL Freshman Cypher, and you can also find her name in the liner notes for songs by Jagged Edge, Killa Kyleon, Paul Wall, and most recently, on CyHi Tha Prynce’s ‘No Dope on Sundays.’ A rapper is a good wordsmith, but a great wordsmith is only as good as the canvas the producer creates for her or him to paint on. That’s why the producer’s – especially a woman producer – perspective was so important.

June 2008 was my 3rd year in college. By that time, I was a certified “Wayne Head” and pretty convinced that Weezy was on the verge of being one of the best rappers alive. He was definitely putting in the work to prove it! He had The Dedication series, The Drought tapes, and he was killing EVERY feature. I’m just saying – his freestyles made you forget the original songs!

The anticipation for Tha Carter III was through the roof and I was really excited for it. Like, when “A Milli” dropped, it shook up the world and changed the production style as well (Shoutout to Bangladesh!). Wayne was on fire, and he was at the peak of his career, if you ask me.

Tha Carter III wasn’t my favorite of Tha Carter series, but it was very creative. The song that stood out to me most, was “Dr. Carter.” Wayne’s wordplay, and the concept of diagnosing and operating on unoriginal rappers who lacked skill and swag, over a super jazzy beat from Swizz Beatz, was genius. That showed how confident Wayne was as an artist – to feel like you’re THAT great, that you call yourself a Doctor in the E.R. saving Hip-Hop!

“Dr. Carter” is timeless because of the state that hip-hop is in today with the new generation. Rap fans want that REAL hip-hop at all times! We want that same kind of originality from artists! It’s refreshing. And even though “Dr. Carter” is ten years old, Wayne is still a very valuable jewel to the Hip-Hop community to this very day. Happy Anniversary, C3!