It was starting to look like the long-delayed release of Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V and the subsequent legal battle with Cash Money Records had gotten the best of the New Orleans rapper. Two years ago, the artist described himself as being held “creative prisoner” by the label, which has never accounted for holding back the album. When Wayne tried to use Tidal as a creative outlet for a project, he was slapped with a $50 million lawsuit by Cash Money (he is a co-owner of the service). Earlier in September, a dispirited Lil Wayne tweeted about feeling defenseless and bowed by his record-label woes. But he’s regained some fight in him, and has released a kind of farewell-to-Cash-Money via Tidal.
On the “Grateful” track, Wayne talks up starting a new chapter in his life and moving on, presumably from his longtime label. The song was produced by StreetRunner and Rugah Rah When he invokes the track’s title—“’Cause I know it’s tough to be interesting / I know it’s tough to be anything but be grateful”—it’s hard to tell if he’s referring to himself or Cash Money. But at least Wayne sounds reinvigorated.