During the years he was most prolific, Lil Wayne was firing off records at a rate few could keep up with. From roughly 2005 to 2010, he was the consensus best rapper alive, a warbling alien force capable of gut-busting punchlines, surrealist double entendres, and heart-wrenching turns of phrase, producing voluminous mixtapes alongside guest spots and glossy major-label studio efforts. One storied album from that period was a 2009 collaborative record with auto-tune crooner T-Pain—then also at the height of his fame—called T-Wayne.
In 2010, Weezy went to jail, a setback that effectively ended his hot streak. Since then, he’s alternated between uncharacteristically bad efforts, head-turning throwback verses, and headline-grabbing label problems. Amid the furor, T-Wayne never saw the light of day, and as recently as 2015, T-Pain said the album wasn’t any closer to coming out, thanks to Weezy’s label problems.
This morning, though, he posted the album’s artwork on Instagram.
Then he dropped the whole damn thing on Soundcloud:
It’s a vintage effort from both talents, and for rap nerds, an unexpected bonanza of new, old Weezy. It begs the question: How much more does he have in the vaults like this?
In a few follow-up tweets, T-Pain said we have Noisey writer Kyle Kramer to thank for the record’s belated release, and tossed on a few hashtags referencing The Carter V, Weezy’s long in-limbo record that has remained unreleased for years as Wayne feuds with his old label. Nobody has heard that record but—you guessed it—rich asshole Martin Shkreli, who claims he bought it legally. At least that fucking guy can’t stop us from hearing T-Wayne.