Thought over the week about who I was going to cover come Sunday and it occurred to me I hadn't done a Weezy song yet.
Figured "A Milli" was a fitting record to dissect so here we are.
First off the video remains very sick to this day. It' a single-shot take on Wayne's life behind the scenes.
This song generated heavy buzz when it was leaked on a dozen mixtapes. At the time it came out (2008) Lil Wayne was the hottest rapper on the planet and had been for some time. There we DJ's ripping it with other DJ's tagging it (shouting out over it) and still using it on their tapes that's how hot this song was when it debuted.
Here's the original -
Wayne was pissed it got leaked so he went back and recorded an extra verse and recruited Cory Gunz (Fun Fact - Cory is the son of Peter Gunz, of "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" fame) to do a guest verse.
The final version was originally planned to be split up into several parts and used as "skits" or interludes (remember when CDs used to have these?) throughout The Carter III but that idea was eventually scrapped (thank God).
The record samples a few songs. Most notably the violin and piano from Gladys Knight & The Pips' "Don't Burn Down The Bridge". Listen to the beginning of this, it's unmistakable -
The main vocal sample comes from A Tribe Called Quest's "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo" (The Vampire Mix)
Young Jeezy also gets a sample credit for Wayne sampling the line-
"I'm okay, but my watch sick"
from Jeezy's "Go Crazy"
"A Milli" went months on Billboards Hot 100 reaching all the way to #6. It was #1 on the Hip Hop Chart making it Wayne's second official number one.
To date, it's sold over 2 million digital copies. Of which it's producer, Bangledesh, hasn't seen a penny. It's true that Birdman is as big a dirt bag as they say.
p.s. - If you want to know how ridiculously brilliant, and eccentric, Wayne is, I highly recommend reading this GQ feature from 10 years ago on him. It's long but it's an incredible glimpse into what makes Lil Wayne tick.
He is so fucking smart it's crazy. Basically all he does all day long is fill notebooks with rhymes and songs. In between writing he smokes weed, sips on codein, and watches sportscenter on loop until games start. He's obsessed with sports. He has houses all over the country but even if he's at one and not traveling on the road, he will head back to his tour bus at night to sleep. He's like a vampire needing his coffin. Weirdo. But his musical knowledge is bananas. He knows more about grunge and emo punk music I think than he does about hip-hop. I would fuckin love to meet this guy and hang around and observe for a day.