*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.

Thus far, we’ve heard from The Producer, The Cultural Critic, and The Influencer. And now the journey continues.*

You don’t have hip-hop without the DJ.

These days, we consider who produced a record as much as we do who’s rapping on it. But in rap’s earliest origins, the DJ was just as responsible for a rapper making it, maybe even moreso than the emcee her or himself. The DJ was the hype-person, the crowd control. The DJ was a magician, able to sway crowds with a mere record scratch and switch of the beat. And most musicians and crews have their own personal DJ for a reason. Even now, when you tell people you’re throwing a party, the other important question besides “Who all gon be there?” and “is there food?” is “who’s the DJ?”

If you’ve attended a memorable function in H-Town, chances are at one point, DJ AudiTory was on the turntables. Whether it’s at a club like Prospect Park or a community service event alongside his fellow members of The Hive Society, DJ AudiTory brings the hype every time. And no matter how big and how far his “Chop Theory” series – where the DJ chops & screws the hottest new album – takes him, Tory is H-Town through and through, Astros hat on his heat and Rockets jersey on his person. The DJ directs the rapper and dictates the tone of any given function. That’s why the DJ’s perspective was so important.

I remember the social impact ‘Tha Carter III’ had on me, as I was in high school at the time. EVERYWHERE I went, literally everybody was playing this album. Trunks were shaking. People was pulling up to school with it on blast.  And everybody knew all the lyrics. It was probably one of the most highly-anticipated albums of my lifetime and it pretty much lived up to the hype. Wayne went platinum in a single weekend. At most of the parties I went to, people tended to play a majority of the songs off ‘C3.’ I even remember getting rolled up to “Lollipop.” It was one of the most fun albums to enjoy back in the day.

But my favorite song from ‘Tha Carter III?’ “Mrs. Officer.” There was something quite magical about this track, in the nature of its being. It had such a simple, easygoing sound that we weren’t typically used to Lil’ Wayne doing, but we were definitely grateful for this hymn. Concept-wise, the idea of being such a playa ass nigga that you were able to get pulled over by a policewoman and turn around and make your bed inmate, was hella high-quality xnxx-type imagery. That’s better than just getting a ticket by a long shot.

Not to mention, we were listening to Bobby Valentino at his peak, transforming into a series of sirens. Looking back, boys weren’t using their voices and making them into sound effects back then; not nearly at the level or capacity that rappers in the modern-day music game are doing. And “Mrs. Officer” feels so good, that you really don’t mind listening to Kidd Kidd’s verse, either. It’s playa-ass raps, on a playa ass beat. The kind of track you can jam around your mama and she don’t even care what it’s talking about because it’s such a decent groove. To me, “Mrs. Officer” was pivotal in helping to make ‘Tha Carter III’ the gem of an album that it still is to this day. Happy Anniversary, ‘C3’!