Lil Wayne may have dubbed himself the “Best Rapper Alive” during his heyday, but recent news of the rapper’s Tha Carter III album surpassing one billion total streams on Spotify is concrete evidence of him being among the genre’s most accomplished artists.
The milestone comes just weeks after Weezy commemorated the 13-year anniversary of the album’s release (June 10, 2008) with a post of its artwork on social media, with a caption celebrating its success in what was a dismal musical market at the time. “Happy 13th to the project that really showed me my fans/supporters have love for me,” Wayne wrote. “We did ‘Amilli’ the first week in a time where sales were down because of piracy/bootlegging!!! For that I’ll forever be grateful!”
Weezy’s first album to debut atop the Billboard 200, Tha Carter III sold over one million copies in its first week of release, the last rap album to achieve that feat. The album has moved upwards of six million units to date, making it the highest-sellng album in Weezy’s catalog. Tha Carter III is Wayne’s third studio album to surpass one billion streams, joining Tha Carter IV and Tha Carter V in that category. The album also makes its way onto a shortlist of rap artists that released albums between 1990 and 2010 that reached one billion streams, including Eminem (Eminem Show, The Marshall Mathers LP, Encore, 8 Mile, Relapse Refill), Dr. Dre (2001), Kanye West (Late Registration, Graduation), 50 Cent (Get Rich or Die Trying), 2Pac (All Eyes On Me), The Notorious B.I.G. (Ready To Die, Life After Death), and Outkast (Speakerboxxx/The Love Below), according to ChartMasters.
As of June 29, 2021, other albums released during that period that are on the verge of surpassing the billion streams mark on Spotify include Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP (909,605,359 streams), Fugees’ The Score (794,341,540 streams), and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (730,693,570 streams).