Lil Wayne’s “Cannon” Verse Shot Him to Another Level

Day 296: “Cannon” feat. Freeway, Juice, Detroit Red, and Willie the Kid – Dedication 2, 2006

I’ve spent a lot of this week talking about some of the radio singles that propelled Lil Wayne from rank-and-file rap star to Best Rapper Alive juggernaut, but, for me, in 2006, the biggest turning point was Dedication 2—specifically this song, “Cannon.” Don Cannon’s beat, which turns his DJ drop into a hook, grabs you by the collar and smashes your face into a curb. The other verses—from Willie the Kid’s “And I handle well, pedal like Cannondale / and I got the 50-cal mag, it’s a handheld (Cannon)” to Juice’s “I got niggas who don’t like rap lovin’ our shit / we got niggas who was stuck on Pac bumpin’ our shit”—make it a fire posse cut.

And then Wayne, well, I’m not sure I’d ever heard anyone rap like that. Listen to the way his voice goes all staccato on “I’m sick, I don’t spit, I vomit, got it? / One egg short of the omelet.” Nobody can do that! And the pun-loving side of me will always ride for the line “tell him catch up like mayonnaise.” This verse isn’t necessarily the most artfully lyrical verse of Wayne’s career, but it’s one of the most arresting to listen to, proof that being a great rapper is more than just having the hottest bars. It convinced me in 2006. And it can still convince you today.

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