A Year of Lil Wayne: "I Like Dat"

Relationships are complicated.
December 20, 2016, 6:11pm

Day 92: "I Like Dat" –  Lil Weezy Ana , 2007

Over the weekend, TMZ reported a rumor that Birdman is planning a 20th anniversary Cash Money tour similar to Diddy's Bad Boy Reunion tour. Obviously, this would be an odd proposition since Cash Money's biggest star is currently locked in a $50 million legal battle with Birdman, and another key player is currently in jail. The idea, then, is that the tour would be comprised of Birdman, Juvenile, Turk, and Mannie Fresh, plus whatever new signees Birdman manages to drag along. Who knows what will happen. But it would hardly be the first time there was acrimony among the members of Cash Money—that was a running theme of the early 2000s, as all the members went their various ways for a number of reasons and fought with each other back and forth on different tracks.

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I stumbled across this song recently, having no recollection of it, and discovered an interesting moment of Wayne sizing up his labelmates. At the time, Turk was in jail, and Juvenile and BG had left the label, along with Mannie Fresh, making Wayne not only the flagship artist but more or less the only remaining artist. Wayne had the following verse to offer to his former collaborators and friends:

I love my niggas no homo
I swear I hope they all get cheese like DiGiornio
And something 'bout the Hot Boys that you don't know
I got a lot of love for 'em that I don't show
And BG been my nigga since the front do'
I hope Chopper City Records blow
Fo sho'
And me and Juvie never really got along
But you still would let your nigga come get on your hottest song
Damn, I fuck with you for that, I fuck with you lil wet
And me and Skip go back
When you see a real nigga you gotta tip your hat
And 'cause I'm a real nigga I do just that
I had my own lawyer working on Turk's case
After I heard him dissing me on the mixtape
Cause he's locked up and I'm free
He got a lot more to worry 'bout than me
I ain't trippin'

So is there a precedent for internal reconciliation in Cash Money? Of course. The alliances are always shifting. If this tour does happen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I suspect Wayne has no animosity for anyone other than Birdman—although him saying that he never got along with Juvenile on this song is something I didn't realize—so we could hear some similar bars soon.

Speaking of speculation, there was also stuff on the gossip blogs recently that suggested Wayne might be looking to rekindle things with his former wife Toya, to whom he was married from 2004 to 2006. While latter day Wayne fans may know him best for his paeans to eating pussy, this period of his music has a striking number of devastating breakup raps (often, like this one, over a sped up melodic sample). For all that Lil Wayne succeeds with punchlines, his rare flashes of narrative and emotion are worth savoring as well. After all, this is more gripping than some serious contemporary novel, and that's an entire genre of literature based around writers' wives leaving them:

Today I didn't wake up with a woman on my side
Yesterday I didn't wake up with a woman on my side
Neither the day before that nor before that
I just remember the moments call me Kodak
And know that I do miss you but it's your
Denial that I must hold against you
Since you been gone I been all alone
but alone is steroids 'cause it made me strong

Later, Lil Wayne will add, "I put that ring on your finger I was all in / but now it's just another symbol of what could have been." But don't worry for a moment that Lil Wayne's own self-image is compromised. He jabs, "You cheated on God's son baby girl that's a sin." Yup, Lil Wayne just made a song about his breakup and compared himself to Jesus. Relationships, in all forms, it turns out, are complicated.

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