Lil Wayne. Photo by Ramona Rosales for Billboard.

Lil Wayne ends the drought and releases “Tha Carter V”

Today (September 28) marks the arrival of one of Rap music’s most anticipated albums. Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V was finally released after years of legal limbo which threatened the album with never seeing the light of day. First announced in 2012, it has come to represent the New Orleans rapper’s resurrection in what has generally been considered to be a hostage situation.

To the great relief of fans, a lawsuit between Wayne and his former boss (and Cash Money Records founder), Bryan “Birdman” Williams, was settled and the album was freed for release. Since 2015, the New Orleans native and hip-hop icon had been warring with his career-long label in court. In the lawsuit, Wayne sought $51 million in royalties owed to him spanning from advances on his long-awaited Tha Carter V album to revenue generated from artists like Drake and Nicki Minaj on his Young Money label.

In pursuing the $51 million lawsuit, Wayne went at-odds with his former legal guardian, Birdman, and Birdman’s brother and legal partner, Ronald “Slim” Williams. In June, that lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount of money. Wayne is now the sole proprietor of Young Money. Tha Carter V will be the first studio album in his discography to be free of the Cash Money Records logo.

On August 25, the 4th Annual Lil Weezyana Fest featured a historic moment. Birdman took to the stage to make an apology to Lil Wayne, publicly acknowledging the lawsuit and his hope to make amends.

In celebration of Tha Carter V’s release, Lil Wayne appeared in the cover story for Billboard this month. In that interview, he said of the album’s pending release and its significance, “I don’t know what it’s setting me up for — some big comeback, or maybe some big fall back or whatever — but it’s setting me up for something, and I’m ready.”

The album features Kendrick Lamar, the late XXXTentacion, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj and more.

Congrats, Weezy!