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Lil Wayne Appreciation Post: Da Best Bars From Da Drought 3

Lil Wayne is one of hip-hop’s most influential rappers. You see his impact in the culture almost wherever you look. The dreads. The face tats. The ‘Lil’s. His mark on the culture is undeniable.

It’s been 25 years since Lil Wayne’s first hit The Block Is Hot (released in 1999). Since then he’s been regarded as one of the best bar spitters in the game.

Lil Wayne, real name Dwayne Carter, has 13 studio albums, 29 mixtapes, and a countless number of features. Many regard J. Cole’s current feature run as one of rap’s best, but you’d be hard-pressed to convince a true Wayne fan that he isn’t the true rap feature goat.

Weezy F. Baby is also a goat in another rap staple – mixtapes.

Tune has a bunch of mixtape series. Dedication 1-5. No Ceilings 1 and 2. Sorry 4 The Wait 1 and 2.

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But none of them, in my humble opinion, touch what he did with Da Drought series. Particuraly, Da Drought 3.

Dropping in April 2007, Da Drought 3 is perhaps the peak of Wayne’s lyrical content, over some of the most recognizable instrumentals of that time. The beats Wayne rapped on consisted of Beyonce’s Upgrade U, Rich Boy’s Throw Some Ds, T.I.’s Top Back, Jim Jones’ Reppin Time, and more.

The mixtape era in hip-hop used to be when rappers could focus on the one thing they loved most about making music – rap. Making hits and coming up with catchy hooks wasn’t the focus here. The bars on Wayne’s Da Drought 3 were top-notch. Keep scrolling to see some of my favorite lyrics from one of rap music’s most influential artists.

1. Lil Wayne – Upgrade U Freestyle

Notable Bars: “It’s a new game and I’m the coach like Avery/ Leave it to the flo, I’m getting dough like a bakery/ I don’t really want to but these n*gg*s making me/ Put a m*f*cka on ice like the Maple Leaves”

In 2007 Avery Johnson was the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. He was (at that time) the fastest coach to win 100 games. The Maple Leafs are a hockey team that plays in the NHL. We won’t penalize tune for calling them the Maple Leaves, though. 

2. Lil Wayne – Live From The 504

Notable Bars: “And to the kids, drugs kill, I’m acknowledging that/ But when I’m on them drugs I ain’t gotta problem with that”

What, we don’t like honesty from our rap heroes? At least he admitted he knew drugs were bad.

3. Lil Wayne – Dipset

Notable Bars: “This ain’t no Tommy Hilfiger, this that Polo, hoe/ We are the biggest group allowed to get that solo dough/ And we gon’ get that dough until they say it’s no mo dough/ I smoke a ounce, I got that bounce, I got that pogo flow”

Clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger has always had issues with battling the perception of being racist and “not for minorities”. 

4. Lil Wayne – President

Notable Bars: “Money ain’t a thang, but everythang to me/ Sh*t, I gotta make them c-notes sang to me/ (yeah) higher than all of the angels be/ And, no, I never choke, but I strangle beats/ And I am just a player in this game we be/ So, go blame the referee, don’t complain to me”

Rapped over Jay-Z’s Dead Presidents, one of the most iconic rap instrumentals of all time.

5. Lil Wayne – I Can’t Feel My Face

Notable Bars: “Never talked to those that sat on them benches/ Boy, I was in the game on fourth and inches”

If you know Lil Wayne you know he loves watching sports. ‘Fourth and inches’ in football means that the team has one chance to move the ball a few inches or give it back to the other team. Tune wants you to know that he’s always in the game in crunch time. 

6. Lil Wayne – Black Republican

Notable Bars: “Fly like a Eagle, but no, I’m not Donovan/ Boy you better go eat some soup with your mom and them”

Getting back to the sports bars, Donovan McNabb used to play quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also used to do a lot of soup commercials with Campbell’s Soup. 

7. Lil Wayne – Put Some Keys On That

Notable Bars: “Real talk, you n*gg*s can’t guard me, two n*gg*s can’t guard me/ You looking at Jordan/ From the side, like Spike at the Garden/ I got the hardest bars, call me the warden/ Excuse me, pardon, I break a b*tch down like Tonya Harden/ B*tch I’m cold (Cole), not dude off Martin”

And he kept going with that same rhyme scheme. More sports bars here, comparing himself to Michael Jordan, and layering that with a Spike Lee reference – who has been sitting courtside to watch basketball at Madison Square Garden in New York for decades. Tonya Harding had one of the most devious acts ever in The Olympics when she hit Nancy Kerrigan with a pipe. And I shouldn’t have to explain who Cole on the TV show Martin was. So let’s move on.

8. Lil Wayne – Get High Rule The World

Notable Bars: “Back to the ballin, extravagant crib/ I’m on the toilet, watchin Martin, just laughing and sh*t”

Again, if you don’t know the TV show Martin then you won’t have any idea how clever this line was.

9. Lil Wayne – King Kong

Notable Bars: “So you lay on top of speakers/ Holes all in you like a old pair of sneakers/ Before I do a day on the edge, I will leap first/ Bet you any money that I would land feet first”

I just really enjoy the two-syllable rhyme scheme here. The art of rap and Wayne’s ability to control every turn of it is masterful.

10. Lil Wayne – Dipset 2

Notable Bars: “And I got the haters like ‘when will he stop’/ maybe a minute after never, set ya clocks”

And I think it’s safe to say that 17 years year later Lil Wayne is still in the hip-hop streets making music. And I honestly hope he keeps that promise of never stopping.