A Year of Lil Wayne: "La La La"
If you're wondering whether he really is the best...
Day 6: "La La La" - The Carter III Mixtape, 2007
Yesterday, Chance the Rapper hosted his Magnificent Coloring Day festival in Chicago, and by all accounts it was one for the history books. It's hard not to see it as a coronation of sorts, with Lil Wayne on the bill, Young Thug swinging by, Kanye West making a surprise appearance and causing a riot, and even Drake—who normally is too slick for/too threatened by Chance to acknowledge him—taking the time to post about it on Instagram. All of rap's most recent rulers see it for Chance's future; we can only assume where he might be headed.
Chance himself promoted the show by answering questions on Twitter, where he somewhat indirectly explained who his favorite rapper was by reciting most of Lil Wayne's first verse on "La La La": "Born in New Orleans / raised in New Orleans / I will forever remain faithful New Orleans / I thank you New Orleans / thank you Hollygrove / that's been my hood since a snotty nose / I come through the hood suicidal doors / I used to come through the hood on the handlebars" etc. It's worth noting that all of the aforementioned important rappers have named Wayne as their favorite, too. I'm just saying, if you're wondering whether he really is the best.
Anyway, as far as discussions of Wayne being the best go, "La La La" is also an important song because it was supposed to be on Tha Carter III, and it is exhibit A for how that album fell short of being the definitive Wayne project everyone wanted. Basically, the album leaked. This leaked collection, which was rounded up on the unofficial The Carter III Mixtape, includes some of the very best songs Wayne ever made—we'll be talking about a lot more of them at various points—including "La La La." Eventually a companion EP for Tha Carter III called The Leak was released featuring some of them, but others were lost to Official Music history, including "La La La." Another song called "La La," good but widely considered inferior to this one, ended up on the eventual album, leaving "La La La" to be shared around as contraband by Wayne fans convinced they could have pieced together a better tracklist for Tha Carter III, starting with the correct La Las. My take? I stand with Chance, and I'm glad Wayne's rhyme for "car alarm" was about keeping his mind on the Parmesan. Mmm, cheese.
Lead photo by Bryan Allen Lamb.Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.