Rick Ross' "Idols Become Rivals" is a Missed Opportunity for Lil Wayne 

 

Lil Wayne was once the best rapper alive, the undisputed people's champ once upon a time.  He did songs with literally everyone, his shows were legendary, he'd perform for hours and still leave you wanting more of his hits and features.  However, part of being a legend is realizing when you are being knocked off. Wayne has seen this coming for awhile in the form of protege Drake. Who now stands at the top of the rap game. Wayne even lamented as such on one of his standout features from 2016 on Curren$y's "Fat Albert" as he says

"You know never know yo lover til she cheat on you/You know you never know your brother until he dethrone you." 

Referencing Drake sleeping with his girlfriend and taking his title as the top guy in hip-hop.   

In reality, Lil' Wayne isn't much of a rapper these days. He is still good, but he is more so of a cultural figure, a remnant. He can still sell out medium sized venues where his fan base is strong but this is based on past hits and not current Lil Wayne aka Tunechi. Currently being held in label purgatory by a man he openly referred to as his father, the infamous Birdman aka Baby aka Stunna. Fans like me have been waiting for Tunechi's conclusion to Tha Carter series for what seems like forever.  We have waited so long that we lost hope and even jammed to Young Thug's Barter 6 in the process. In an interview on the RapRadar Podcast, Wayne's manager Cortez Bryant stated that Cash Money has told Wayne that they simply do not have the money to pay for the already completed Carter V.  Wayne has current litigation against Cash Money for a myriad of issues involving himself as a Cash Money artist and his Young Money label. 

A friend and frequent collaborator of Lil Wayne Rick Ross released his 8th studio album on March 17th titled: Rather You than Me. The talk around the album was buzzing and then hit a fever pitch the day before release when lyrics started to show up online from a track many said was aimed at Birdman.  Idols Become Rivals, double entendre named after a Drake lyric from Thank Me Now from his debut album Thank Me Later.  Rick Ross uses the song this to talk about the legendary shady business practices of a man he once idolized Birdman.  Idols Become Rivals is truly one of the great rap narratives of our time, about one of its most polarizing figures. The song has been quoted all over the internet and even with Drake releasing an album on the same weekend, this song had the most potent impact. 

As I listened to Idols Become Rivals, I was excited but also let down. While I was happy Rick Ross made the song to tell the story and stand up for his friends Lil Wayne and closer friend DJ Khaled. I felt that this story would have been much more powerful coming from Lil Wayne.  Who better than to tell that tale of Cash Money, lies, drama, mishandled money than the artist who lived through it all!  The artist who made an impassioned plea to his Hot Boy brothers in one of his best songs: "I Miss My Dawgs."

"Idols Become Rivals" is a great record, but the truth is that people like raw emotion. We love hearing the story from the source, that's what makes Drake so infectious and at the same time so polarizing. We don't want more "Believe Me" "Grinding" and "Blunt Blowing" from Tunechi.  We may not even want Carter V.  We want THE story. We want to know why we've never gotten Carter V. We want to know how Baby and Slim defrauded you out of the ownership of Young Money.  We want to know how revenue from two of the biggest hip-hop stars of all time, that you mentored, have not been paid to you.  We want to know why the producers, have never gotten paid. We want to hear the story of how you trusted a man with your livelihood and he gave you back scraps.  We want to know how a man you trusted, formed a relationship with a new artist who attempted to take your album title and shot at your tour bus. We want to hear it from you this time, not Rick Ross.  That is what can get you back to being, the best rapper alive.