Clear Tha Set - Lil Wayne
Now we get to Lil Wayne’s first solo song, except “Clear the Set” isn’t from one of Wayne early couple of albums but instead from the Hot Boys’ 1999 album Guerrilla Warfare. Here Lil Wayne stepped up to the level of his fellow Hot Boys members B.G. (a very, very underrated gangster rapper) and Juvenile (a national star at this point), making it seem fitting that Wayne comes away with the album’s best solo song.
The bubbling and scattered percussion from Mannie Fresh is a great beat for Wayne to stare down on anyone who dares to cross him. Not too different from a certain controversial young rapper, Wayne here—and throughout his earlier work—is mostly talking gunplay and street violence in a matter of a fact (“Bust a nigga wide open and put his brains on display “) but also a more metaphorical way (“Jump out quick out the Jag, and blow fire like a dragon.”). This type of content seemed to appear more with the younger Cash Money members (B.G. and Turk), while older members such as Juvenile, Birdman and Mannie Fresh displayed a slightly broader worldview.
Yet this isn’t too surprising, seeing as these young rappers were plucked from the project to the recording booth and were put to work recording album after album (by 2000 Lil Wayne had 2 solo albums and 3 collaborative efforts). As Wayne grew up, his range of rap topics increased, yet when this period of his career is disregarded, people forget that Wayne’s rap ability had been on an upward trajectory for years. (This is a few steps up from the guy on “Back That Azz Up”).