The Long, Winding Road to Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter V' Release: A Timeline
In a recent Billboard cover story, Lil Wayne revealed that his long-awaited Tha Carter V album would at last come out this fall. And after some confusion over a release date last week, Weezy finally cleared the air on Tuesday, announcing in a video that the album would arrive on his birthday, Sept. 27. (Well, almost: A countdown clock indicates that the album is coming out at midnight on Friday Sept. 28.) But waiting a few extra days is probably no big deal to fans considering the album's years-long road to release, which was marred by lawsuits, label drama, health scares and other obstacles. Below, a guide to the long and winding journey from Tha Carter IV to Tha Carter V:
Aug. 29, 2011
Wayne releases Tha Carter IV, which debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart its first week with 964,000 copies sold. It receives mixed reviews from critics.
Sept. 3, 2012
Wayne drops Dedication 4. The mixtape was scheduled to come in August rather than September, but Wayne notes that he wanted all attention on 2 Chainz's Based on a T.R.U. Story, which came out Aug. 14.
March 15, 2013
TMZ reports that Wayne is hospitalized and in critical condition following a seizure. While sources confirm that the rapper suffered a seizure, they vehemently deny TMZ's claim that last rites were going to be administered. That night, Weezy tweets, thanking everyone for their support.
I'm good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love.— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) March 16, 2013
March 26, 2013
I Am Not a Human Being II drops, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Like Tha Carter IV, the project receives mixed to negative reviews.
March 28, 2013
In an interview with Power 106, Wayne clarifies his recent hospitalization. "The bad news is I'm an epileptic. I'm prone to seizures," he says. "This isn’t my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh seizure. I’ve had a bunch of seizures, y'all just never hear about them."
Sept. 1, 2013
Wayne drops his Dedication 5 mixtape. The project is lengthy -- its 29 tracks last over 98 minutes -- but the general reception among fans and critics is positive.
Sept. 9, 2013
Weezy appears on Katie Couric's Katie and discusses his seizures, mentioning again that he has suffered from them since childhood. Additionally, he says he has reduced his lean intake following doctors' recommendations.
March 21, 2014
Just kidding. Though Wayne's then-manager Cortez Bryant raves about the quality of Tha Carter V, he scoffs at a May 5 release date. "I'm not going to release that date until I really, really, really know when it really, really, really is,” he says.
May 6, 2014
A week after boxer Floyd Mayweather posts a clip Drizzy and Wayne together in the studio, the two drop "Believe Me," the presumed lead single from Tha Carter V. Shortly thereafter, the two rap stars announce the Drake Vs. Lil Wayne co-headlining tour.
May 15, 2014
What's said to be the second single from Tha Carter V arrives in the form of “D’usse,” produced by Lee Majors. Weezy shouts out Jay-Z in the intro, seemingly marking the end of the beef between the two.
July 2, 2014
“Krazy,” another single from Tha Carter V is released. Frequent collaborator Infamous handles the production for the track. The music video drops in August.
Aug. 8, 2014
The singles keep coming. Weezy releases “Grindin’,” the purported fourth track to be released from the forthcoming Tha Carter V. An official music video for the track drops Sept. 19.
Aug. 14, 2014
During an appearance on SportsCenter, Weezy gives a firm release date for Tha Carter V: October 28. He also shows off the album artwork, which features a youthful, tattooed Wayne with his mother.
Oct. 27, 2014
Citing Mack Maine, a story published on KarenCivil.com reports that the album has been pushed back. The next day, Weezy drops a video on YouTube letting fans know that Tha Carter V will now be a double-album. The first half is due out Dec. 9.
Nov. 23, 2014
Wayne premieres yet another single from the album -- “Start a Fire (ft. Christina Milian) -- during the 2014 American Music Awards. He officially drops the song on streaming services a day later.
Dec. 4, 2014
Weezy launches a string of tweets blaming Cash Money Records for the delay of the project. In addition to indicating his desire to get off the label, he writes, "I am a prisoner and so is my creativity."
I am a prisoner and so is my creativity Again,I am truly sorry and I don't blame ya if ya fed up with waiting 4 me & this album. But thk u— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) December 4, 2014
Dec. 5, 2014
At VICE's 20th anniversary party, Wayne -- during his set -- tells the crowd, "Due to technical difficulties, I'm fucked up in a bad situation, but I will be out of it soon."
Dec. 12, 2014
Mack Maine, president of Cash Money -- then Young Money Cash Money Billionaires -- says on Miami’s 99 Jamz station that Tha Carter V is "for sure" coming in the first quarter of 2015. He also expresses his overall optimism for the Wayne/Birdman situation.
Jan. 13, 2015
Cortez Bryant changes his tune just a few weeks later, slamming Cash Money in a long Instagram post. In the note, he says that Wayne has carried the label and is the "most loyal person I know on earth!"
Jan. 20, 2015
Weezy drops mixtape Sorry 4 The Wait 2. The project's lead track, "CoCo," pulls no punches against Birdman. The official video for the song surfaces March 18.
Jan. 28, 2015
Wayne sues Cash Money for $51 million, alleging -- among other things -- that the label owes him money for Tha Carter V and asks to be released from the label.
Feb. 19, 2015
In a Rolling Stone interview, Wayne reveals that he’s no longer on speaking terms with Birdman. In reference to Tha Carter V, "It’s super-done," he says. “Cake baked, icing on top, name on top, candles lit. I would have released it yesterday if I could. But it’s a dead subject right now. It’s a jewel in the safe. It’s that stash-house money.”
March 14, 2015
In a Young Money cypher released via Karen Civil's CivilTV, Lil Wayne goes after Birdman again, rapping, “I thank you for my hit, man/ And tell 'Pac I’m a big fan/ I sing 'Dear Mama' to my dear mama/ And sing 'Hit Em Up' to my daddy's bitch ass."
April 2, 2015
During a performance in Jacksonville, Lil Wayne says “Fuck Cash Money” at the end of a set before dropping the mic.
April 26, 2015
As Wayne’s tour bus departs from a performance at an Atlanta nightclub -- and with Wayne, Lil Twist and Hood on board -- shots are fired at the vehicle, but no one is injured. Police do not immediately identify a suspect.
May 26, 2015
A$AP Rocky drops the Wayne-assisted “M’$,” which features another jab from Wayne at Cash Money. “I love my BMs, I love my YM, ain’t no more CM, let’s pluck out the stems,” he raps.
May 29, 2015
Young Thug affiliate PeeWee Roscoe is arrested relating to the tour bus incident. The news makes waves as Birdman and Young Thug had been working together on the former's Rich Gang compilation project.
June 14, 2015
Cortez Bryant clarifies Wayne's mid-performance comment about signing with Jay-Z. The manager notes that Weezy was referring to his new deal as an artist-owner with Tidal.
July 4, 2015
Wayne releases his Free Weezy Album exclusively on Tidal. Unsurprisingly, it contains another shot at Cash Money: “Rest in peace to the Cash Money Weezy, gone but not forgotten,” on “He’s Dead.”
July 12, 2015
During a performance at a Miami nightclub, Wayne is doused with drinks from the audience. Reports say that the Birdman and company are responsible. The incident occurred during a live rendition of "CoCo."
Lol lil Wayne was performing his CoCo freestyle and birdMan threw a cup of liquor on him -------- pic.twitter.com/131VZVtthi— Bigalow Black (@3ohBlack) July 13, 2015
July 15, 2015
An indictment claims that Birdman and Young Thug conspired to kill Wayne in the Atlanta tour bus shooting. Phone records indicate that Roscoe was in contact with the two directly before and after the incident.
July 16, 2015
Birdman sues Jay-Z and Tidal for $50 million for exclusively streaming Free Weezy Album, claiming that the move is a breach of Wayne’s contract with his label.
July 24, 2015
Birdman denies involvement in the tour bus shooting. Four days later, he sits down with Angie Martinez for an interview in which he repeats the same sentiment. Additionally, he says that Wayne is free to leave the label at any time that he wants.
Nov. 20, 2015
PeeWee Roscoe -- real name Jimmy Carlton Winfrey -- gets a 10-year prison sentence followed by another decade of probation. He pled guilty to six of his 27 charges.
Nov. 26, 2015
Wayne drops the mixtape No Ceilings 2. It will be Wayne's last official project until 2017.
Jan. 1, 2016
Wayne and Birdman are pictured together at Drake’s New Year’s party in an Instagram posted by Mack Maine. Mack Maine reportedly set up a two-hour phone call before the event to create some peace between the disputing parties.
Jan. 18, 2016
Wayne and Birdman appear onstage together at the same Miami club mentioned in the July 2015 snafu. “Family never die,” Birdman says, claiming that the two have squashed their beef.
Jan. 20, 2016
Let the good times roll. The dispute between the two appears to be a thing of the past as Birdman posts a now-deleted Instagram of the two in the studio together alongside Yo Gotti.
March 4, 2016
2 Chainz and Wayne drop a collaborative album, ColleGrove. For contractual reasons, however, Weezy is only listed as a featured artist on eight of the 12 tracks.
March 28, 2016
Wayne files a $40 million lawsuit against Universal Music Group, Cash Money’s parent company. He alleges that he is owed money for the successes of label members Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga.
May 12, 2016
Wayne appears to address label turmoil on Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem”: “And if that label try to stop me/There gon’ be some crazy Weezy fans waitin’ in the lobby.”
May 23, 2016
A little over a year after yelling “Fuck Cash Money” during a set, Wayne repeats the sentiment at a Denver performance. Five days later, in Phoenix, he addresses Birdman by name and again repeats the same chant.
Sept. 3, 2016
In a frustrated Twitter spree, Wayne alludes to retiring from music: “I AM NOW DEFENSELESS AND mentally DEFEATED & I leave gracefully and thankful I luh my fanz but I'm dun.” A few hours later, he tweeted, “I’m good y’all don’t trip.”
I AM NOW DEFENSELESS AND mentally DEFEATED & I leave gracefully and thankful I luh my fanz but I'm dun— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) September 3, 2016
Sept. 13, 2016
Wayne appears on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed to further clarify his retirement tweets, which he describes as a frustrated outburst following an argument. Still, he doesn’t pass up a chance to denounce Birdman further and thank those who have come to his defense.
Sept. 14, 2016
TMZ reports that Wayne has long been in possession of Tha Carter V and has held onto the project for leverage in his lawsuit. Such a claim has never been confirmed by either party on the public record.
Sept. 18, 2016
TMZ reports that Birdman spent $70 million of a $100 million advance UMG -- some of which Wayne claims to be entitled to. While Birdman's legal team provided more than 20,000 pages documenting the spending, Wayne's lawyers say it didn't account for the whole $70 million.
Sept. 30, 2016
Solange releases A Seat at the Table, which features the Wayne-assisted “Mad.” On the song, Weezy explicitly references a prior suicide attempt. He had previously discussed the incident as an accident.
Nov. 21, 2016
Another roadblock. Birdman reportedly calls off negotiations to settle the $51 million lawsuit after Weezy shouted out Roc-a-Fella rather than Cash Money during a performance of “I’m Me.”
Dec. 22, 2016
Birdman sits down for tell-all interview with Angie Martinez and says that even if Weezy leaves the Cash Money family, Drake and Nicki Minaj aren't going anywhere.
Dec. 23, 2016
Pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli leaks a alleged track from Tha Carter V, and later leaks two more, one of which features Kendrick Lamar. Shkreli reportedly obtained the body of work after Weezy left a CD in a car that he sold. After the second leak, TMZ reports that Wayne sent a cease-and-desist letter.
Jan. 19, 2017
Wayne features on Wale’s “Running Back" and seemingly alludes to his legal frustrations with the line, “These bitches sellin’ they soul/Well, I want my money back.”
April 28, 2017
DJ Khaled drops “I’m The One,” which features a verse from Wayne. In his feature, Wayne boasts, “I’m the best yet and yet my best is yet to come" in what fans interpret as a nod to Tha Carter V. The track hits the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
March 10, 2017
Nicki Minaj and Wayne team up for two tracks in response to Remy Ma's "ShETHER" diss. On one of them, the Drake-assisted "No Frauds," Wayne raps, "YM, I'm the god," making no mention of Cash Money. On "Changed It," he doubles down, saying, "No more CMB shit, I changed it/Young Money shit, Mula Gang shit."
May 18, 2017
Wayne drops a joint mixtape with T-Pain titled T-Wayne. The tape comes out on T-Pain’s Nappy Boy label as well as Young Money. The two had previously collaborated on "Got Money" and "Can't Believe It."
July 5, 2017
Wayne files an amended petition in New Orleans court, saying that he’s still owed $40 million-plus in damages and another $8 million for an advance on Tha Carter V. Additionally, Weezy says that Cash Money and UMG are still preventing him from profiting on Drake and Nicki Minaj. The same day, he also drops an EP titled In Tune We Trust, available for streaming on DatPiff and SoundCloud.
Aug. 16, 2017
In an interview with New Orleans’ Q93 radio station, Wayne claims that he holds the power to release Tha Carter V whenever he wants: “Of course you’re going to see Tha Carter V. I just don’t want to put it out the wrong way. Honestly, I can do what I want at any time. The fans deserve it to be right.”
Oct. 11, 2017
Birdman sends out an expletive-riddled threat to those who continually claim that he still owes Lil Wayne money. “Lil Wayne this, Lil Wayne that. Bitch, Lil Wayne by son. I raised him. He ain’t have nothing. I brought him to be something and got something,” he says in the captured video.
Dec. 25, 2017
On Christmas Day, Wayne drops the sixth installment of his Dedication series. A second part to the tape, Dedication 6: Reloaded arrives just over a month later. Barring Tha Carter V, it's Wayne's most recent full-length project to date.
March 22, 2018
Shkreli is officially forced to forfeit Tha Carter V as part of his 7-year prison sentence. Additionally, as part of the $7.36 million in assets that he must return, Shkreli also has to give up the Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
June 7, 2018
Cash Money and Wayne finally settle lawsuits for an undisclosed sum. Young Money now belongs solely to Wayne, and its distribution deal with Republic remains in place. Tha Carter V will be Wayne’s first album to not have the Cash Money logo on it.
Sept. 13, 2018
In Billboard's Lil Wayne cover story, he reveals that Tha Carter V will drop sometime during the fall. Within the story, Wayne notes that he and Birdman are back to talking every day, usually about the Red Sox.
Sept. 14, 2018
Swizz Beatz drops “Pistol On My Side (P.O.M.S),” featuring bars throughout from Wayne. “Numbers don’t lie, the Number One Stun -- never mind,” he raps, referring to Birdman’s Number One Stunna nickname.
Sept. 21, 2018
Though rumors had swirled that Wayne would drop the long-awaited project on this day, the release date comes and goes with no word from the rapper, much to the disappointment of the Weezy fan base.
Sept. 25, 2018
In a video announcement, Wayne reveals that Tha Carter V will arrive on his birthday, Sept. 27.