A Year of Lil Wayne: "Off the Docks"

A top-tier rapper in 2016 is never going to waste time and people’s attention on so-so features from dudes in their posse, so let's appreciate it where we can.
December 10, 2016, 7:13pm

Day 82: "Off the Docks"  –  Lil Weezy Ana , 2006

Lil Weezy Ana is not usually one of the first mixtapes people bring up when they're talking about Wayne, but it quietly has some of his strongest and, in fact, most well known cuts from the period, including his "Ballin" freestyle, a version of "I'm Da Man," his "Show Me What You Got" freestyle, "David Banner," etc. etc. In terms of a pure showcase of what Wayne was doing during this period between Tha Carter II and Tha Carter III, Lil Weezy Ana might be the best statement. There's less of the cocky self-assurance of Dedication 2 and more of a low-stakes mixtape vibe to it.

Case in point is this song, which has a hook sung by Capo, who was Lil Wayne's personal assistant's twin brother, as he describes in this interview from a couple years beforehand. Capo is not going to win any awards for his performance, but I think the sheer fact he is here is a testament to why this song is great. A top-tier rapper in 2016 is never going to waste time and people's attention on so-so features from dudes in their posse (instead we have to put up with weird OB O'Brien cameos in Drake videos), which is a shame because it's often the weed carrier verses that give old mixtapes their character. Capo does not come through and steal the show, but he reinforce the idea that this song is just another star in the vast constellation of Weezy's music. And so we can reach in and pluck out a few moments we like, enjoy it for the moment, and move on to something else.

Wayne has some great lines here, too. He raps, "the only date marked on my calendar is payday," which would be a good inspirational placard to put above your desk. He says, "my eyes are like gunshots they pop / out of my head when you show me the bread," which is the perfect lyric for me to rap to myself today, since I'm doing laundry and I have, not to brag, but like seven whole dollars in quarters on hand. And then there's also this great riff about his rims that segues into a smooth JFK reference: "Money machines / big stacks of money in jeans / never ridin' on teens / these is grown folk / that I'm sittin' on ho / fuck with a president / like Marilyn Monroe." There you have it, the quintessential mixtape track. It's not slick enough to be anything other than a cool song to listen to, but it has enough dope lines that you can appreciate it over and over.

Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.