A Year of Lil Wayne: Wayne's Biggest Missed Opportunity, Feat. Vanessa Carlton
I would walk a thousand miles to hear Lil Wayne rap on this beat he gave to Dizzy.
Day 140: "Downtown" feat. Dizzy – Lil Weezy Ana , 2007 / "Ashanti (Remix)" feat. Curren$y – Young Money The Mixtape Vol. 1, 2005
Today, the entire Noisey editorial operation was derailed by this website that lets you create mashups of your favorite hits from the 2000s, enabling such winning combos as Nelly's "Country Grammar" and Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" or, more notably, 50 Cent's "In Da Club" and Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles." "A Thousand Miles" is objectively the stone coldest classic of all stone cold classics, a slap for the ages so great that, among other things, it inspired Soulja Boy's best tweet, its video redefined the genre and led to a classic remake via D.R.A.M. and Lil Yachty, Cam'ron is supposedly making a movie that samples it for the theme song, and it compelled Irv Gotti in 2006 to sign Vanessa Carlton to his label, Murder Inc., home to Ja Rule and Ashanti (more on that later).
It also is used as a beat on Lil Wayne's Lil Weezy Ana mixtape, which might be cause for celebration—if it weren't for the fact that Wayne doesn't rap on it. Instead, he passes it to Dizzy, who raps about being from downtown New Orleans or some shit that honestly doesn't matter because you spend this entire song waiting for Wayne to come in and demolish what should be the greatest freestyle of all time. How could Wayne do this to us? To his credit, the piano does come through at the very end of his song "Triggaman," right before this, but there's no sign that he recognizes the change. Still, we deserve more.
Today, though, upon revisiting Vanessa Carlton and then discovering her hip-hop bona fides, I decided to dig a little deeper. Upon learning that Vanessa Carlton was signed to the same label as Ja Rule, I realized it made sense to look into Wayne's Ja Rule collabs—of which I could find only one, "Uh Oh," which I've never heard of and doesn't seem to have charted, despite Wikipedia's insistence it made it to number 69 on the rap charts (nice). What about Wayne and Ashanti? Also none, although I did find this anecdote, as told to Yahoo Music: "I was in the studio with Wayne in Miami, he was like, 'Turn the music down. I got to tell you this. I was in the same cell as your stalker and none of us liked him.'" That's right, people: Lil Wayne is not friends with Ashanti's stalker. Count it.
Musically, however, the connections are slimmer. There is, in fact, a song called "Ashanti (Remix)" on Young Money The Mixtape Vol. 1, which is just Curren$y rapping over Ashanti's "Only You," a song that I realize now, in the context of someone rapping over it, is also, like we discussed with "Snitch," an unrecognized early vaporwave classic.
Anyway, there's no happy ending to this story, unless it turns out that Ashanti, Vanessa Carlton, and Lil Wayne are all in the studio together right now. I suppose we can hope.
Photo: Screen grab of Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" via YouTube
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- lil wayne
- Ja Rule
- Vanessa Carlton
- Lil Weezy Ana
- Young Money the Mixtape Vol. 1