He Is Music: Lil Wayne's Rise (Tha Carter Era)

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Tha Carter II (2005)

Wayne's fifth solo album was another huge step. His first without long-time collaborator Mannie Fresh on the boards, the LP proved he could hold his own without the hit producer's bounce, debuting at No. 3 on the charts and eventually hitting platinum. This time, when Weezy called himself the "best rapper alive," it was hard to disagree.

(Photo: Courtesy Young Money Records)

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