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The Free Weezy Albums: Lil Wayne's 5 Dopest Mixtapes

Tunechi continues his battle against Cash Money with 'The Free Weezy Album,' which dropped on Independence Day. Here's an abridged history of his prolific love for mixtapes

1 / 5

2006: 'Dedication 2'

Context: D2 was Lil Wayne and DJ Drama's second Gangsta Grillz mixtape. It was the rare tape that also hit iTunes and retail shelves. Weezy's loose, free-associative and finding beauty in being absolutely unchained. It dropped between Tha Carter II and Wayne and Birdman's collaboration album Like Father, Like Son. (The sixth Dedication is reportedly coming this year.)

Killer remixesOutKast's "Player's Ball (Reprise)," Rick Ross' "Hustlin'," 2Pac's "Ambitionz Az a Ridah" 

Where can I download it/hear it? Datpiff.

One more for the road:

2 / 5

2007: 'Da Drought 3'

Context: Right in the sweet spot of his shiniest mixtape run, Wayne wrapped a trilogy he started four years earlier. Da Drought 3 is a 39-song, double-disc beast has a verse from Nicki Minaj more than three years before her debut album. It showed up one year before Tha Carter III.

Killer remixesBeyoncé and Jay Z's "Upgrade U," Nas and Jay's "Black Republican, Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," tons more stuff originally by Jay, JeezyLauryn HillKanye WestCiaraT.I. This whole thing's insane.

Where can I get it? Datpiff (disc one) and Datpiff (disc two).

One more for the road:

3 / 5

2009: 'No Ceilings'

Context: Between the immortal Carter III and the abominable Rebirth (the Lil Wayne rock album), the maniacal No Ceilings showed up for Halloween season '09.

Killer remixes: Jay Z's "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune," Beyoncé's "Sweet Dreams," the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," Hov/Kanye/Rihanna's "Run This Town."

Where can I download it/hear it? Datpiff.

One more for the road:

4 / 5

2011: 'Sorry 4 the Wait'

Context: After serving an eight-month sentence on Rikers Island, Wayne started hyping Tha Carter IV fast, coming out hard with the Bangladesh-produced "6 Foot 7 Foot." We were fiending for the Carter III follow-up, but it got sidelined month after month after month. As consolation, Wayne dropped the quick 12-song Sorry 4 the Wait six weeks before Tha Carter IV. 

Killer remixes: Drake's "Marvins Room," Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" (!!), Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)" (!!!!), Meek Mill and Rick Ross' "Tupac Back," Kreayshawn's one big jam, "Gucci Gucci."

Where can I download it/hear it? Datpiff.

One more for the road:

5 / 5

2015: 'Sorry 4 the Wait 2'

Context: We're currently living in the longest wait between Lil Wayne albums ever. He dropped the lackluster I Am Not a Human Being II—his 10th solo studio LP—back in March 2013. Then the medium-lackluster Dedication 5, a far cry from the first couple entries in the series. (Hopefully D6 will be better.) Things looked good coming up to Tha Carter V, though, with monster singles like "Believe Me," "Krazy" and "Grindin.'"

But thanks to a devastating, $50 million feud with Cash Money, Tha Carter V has been delayed more than a year from its May 5, 2014 release date. It might never come at all. So in January, with almost no notice, Weezy blessed us with a second Sorry 4 the Wait. The beat choices were prime and Wayne sounded engaged and clever as hell again—but our favorite part might have been how hard the tape swung at Cash Money and Birdman in particular. The lovefest is over.

Killer remixes: Beyoncé and Jay Z's "Drunk in Love" (as a duet with Christina Milian), O.T. Genasis' 2014-winning "CoCo," OG Maco's 2014-winning "U Guessed It," ILoveMakonnen's also-2014-winning "Tuesday" (as a track that works through the alphabet in terms of women Wayne loves).

Where can I download it/hear it? Datpiff.

One more for the road:

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