The controversial rapper Lil Wayne has revealed the cover artwork and release date for his upcoming album, Tha Carter V, which he’s said will be his final record before retiring from the hip-hop game. Wayne unveiled the album cover, which features a picture of the rapper as a young boy with his mother, on ESPN’s Sportscenter on Thursday, August 14.
Wayne regularly uses baby photos for the covers of his albums, though he said he’s particularly proud of the image for Tha Carter V because of his mother. He added that his announcement was the first time she would learn about the image herself. “I’m sorry, moms. I didn’t tell her about the picture that I was using for the album cover,” he said. “I don’t think she’s going to be upset, but I know personally that she don’t really like that picture of herself ’cause she’s not looking in the camera.”
“It’s perfect. I always go with a baby picture, and I wanted to go with one with my mom on it this time,” he continued. “This album means a lot to me. People been waiting on this album, and I’m just at the point in my life and stuff to have my mom on there. It’s more than an accomplishment, it’s an achievement.” Wayne said that the album will drop on October 28 and feature guest appearances from Nicki Minaj and Drake. Including some collaborative efforts and his records with his early group Hot Boys, this will be Wayne’s eighteenth studio album.
Aside from being hugely prolific, Wayne is also best known for being a massive stoner and for spending ten months in prison in 2010 on charges related to attempted criminal possession of a weapon when a handgun was discovered among his belongings on his tour bus. His incarceration led to a huge “Free Weezy” campaign among Wayne’s fans and made the misbehaving rapper a household name for even those who don’t listen to hip-hop or whatever’s topping the Billboard charts.