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Lil Wayne Drops Prelude Mixtape “Tha Fix Before Tha VI”

Over the course of more than a dozen studio albums, Lil Wayne has shown that he puts together each entry in his Tha Carter series with an extra bit of consideration. That’s led to some extended album cycles for each of them, and as we wait for the 6th edition, he’s giving fans something extra in the meantime with Tha Fix Before Tha VI.

A History of Wayne’s Pre-Album Mixtapes

Wayne is breaking his own personal tradition with Tha Fix Before The VI. Longtime fans know that he’s done prelude mixtapes many times before, most notably with his Sorry For The Wait series. The first edition was put out in the leadup for Tha Carter IV, and featured the Louisiana rapper hopping on his peers’ biggest hits of the time, like Waka Flocka Flame’s “Grove St. Party,” Miguel’s “Sure Thing,” and even his own protege Drake’s “Marvin’s Room.” He stuck to that formula for its 2015 sequel, necessitated by delays to Tha Carter V, where he gave his take on smashes like “No Type,” “Tuesday” and “CoCo.”

Bucking that trend, this mixtape consists of all original material. During his September 22 appearance on FS1’s UNDISPUTED, the rapper elaborated that the tracklist for Tha Fix Before Tha VI consists of leftovers and b-sides generated during the recording sessions for his upcoming album.

Taken from @liltunechi on Instagram.

Wayne’s Rapping is as Sharp as Ever on Tha Fix Before Tha VI

We start with “Act Up,” itself beginning with an extended classic piano section that gives way to a near-acapella Wayne verse. The track does a total 180 around the minute mark, exploding with 808s that announce the project in earnest. From there, things take a turn towards the extraterrestrial on the Murda Beats-produced “Birds,” a trap banger where Wayne is as acrobatic in his flow as ever. The same goes for “Kat Food,” one of Weezy’s only singles from 2023 that finds itself in the tracklist here as well.

As he did with Gudda Gudda, Raw Dizzy and Thugga on the original Sorry 4 The Wait, Wayne takes a chance to showcase label talent on this mixtape as well. Young Money signee euro earns a verse on “Tuxedo,” a cut that closely resembles Weezy’s I Am Not A Human Being era rap rock. In that capacity, the Rhode Island-born rapper performs admirably, serving up slick similes like “Too many eyes on the team / Like I’m sendin’ a text with no auto-correct.”

Some Head-turning Stylistic Experimentation

“Chanel No. 5” is the true highlight here, both because of its NLE Choppa piano-driven beat and because of the appearance by rapper-singer Fousheé. Firstly on hook duty, she also turns in a verse filled with chilly confidence that has a claim to be the best verse on the project.

“Tity Boi,” at first glance, gets its name from the New Orleans MC’s frequent collaborator, 2 Chainz. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll find its name originates from one of the most outlandish and honestly, most typically Wayne refrains you’ve heard in a while. Outside of that, his bars and overall skill are on display the same way they always are, but with production from newcomer TheNightAftr, this is a full-throated embrace of EDM trappings in a way we haven’t really seen before.

In all, Tha Fix Before Tha VI delivers on its title. If you’ve been waiting for Lil Wayne’s fourteenth LP with bated breath, this serving of album holdovers will do exactly that, hold you over, by reminding you that even two decades deep, Weezy can still rap with the best of them. The mixtape is available on Spotify now.

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