Music by VICE

A Year of Lil Wayne: Ballin' Like Jim Jones

Remember that period when Wayne was basically an unofficial member of Dipset?

by Kyle Kramer
Oct 21 2016, 3:37pm

Day 32: "Ballin' (Remix)" – Lil Weezy Ana, 2006

Kyle: In 2007, I went to what has to be the most legendary concert I've ever attended. Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy, at that time the two hottest rappers in the world, headlined. Birdman was on the lineup, but I'm pretty sure he didn't actually perform. Rich Boy, at the height of "Throw Some D's," was there, too. And then, also at his career peak, was Jim Jones, who basically just performed "Ballin'" a couple times back to back and dipped. It was fine. That's all people really wanted to hear. But boy did they want to hear it! It's hard to overstate how big this song was; just about everyone did a remix (I just was reminded by Wikipedia that the official one was released on the Dipset Christmas album, which, as you might assume, is the only Christmas album you really need). Naturally, though, Wayne made the concept of anyone else rapping on the song obsolete. Lawrence, favorite moments?

Lawrence: My favorite part about revisiting Wayne's mixtape run is placing myself back where I was when each of these dropped. Like you said, "Ballin'" was such a ubiquitous song at that point that anyone rapping on this would have been good. Wayne had his way with this beat, though, which isn't hard to believe because Jones's version was more about being wavy—not rapping well. If memory serves me right, I got put onto this at my first job, washing dishes and bussing tables at Bob Evans in Baltimore. We were in the back turning up to me playing it from my T-Mobile Dash, doing the jumpshot arm motion that was required when the song came on.

Kyle: The jumpshot motion was mandatory! I feel like people would just walk into parties around this time and yell "Ballin!" in that Jim Jones/loud sports announcer voice. And then you had to do the hand motion. And yeah, this was definitely one of those songs that was popular entirely because of the concept and in no way because Jim Jones came through with the real technical skills. So we have Wayne to thank for adding that dimension to it.

Lawrence: Lil Weezyana is one of Wayne's tapes that gets left out of his best mixtape conversation but it had a healthy chunk of great songs.While Wayne was still on a tear at this point, it wasn't quite on the level of 2006's Dedication 2. He still had plenty of quotables on this one like, "The coupe blue like the do on Marge." and "Now rub me wrong and fuck up my massage / Then it's flowers for the dead. Better get him a corsage." The real tragedy in going back to this time where Wayne had become an unofficial member of Dipset is that we didn't get more collaborative projects between he and Juelz Santana. For a short window of time they were looking like the most dynamic duo in rap. Still, like you said Kyle, the true takeaway from this one is that, once again, Wayne outraps the rapper whose beat he jacked.

Lawrence Burney is a staff writer for Noisey. Follow him on Twitter​.​

Kyle Kramer is an editor at Noisey. Follow him on Twitter​.