Tha Carter III is the sixth studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne, released on June 10, 2008, by Cash Money and Universal Motown. It follows a long string of mixtape releases and guest appearances on other hip hop and R&B artists' records, helping to increase his exposure in the mainstream. The album features appearances from Jay-Z, T-Pain, Robin Thicke, Busta Rhymes, and Kanye West, among others. It also features Static Major, who is credited posthumously following his death in February 2008.
Amid release delays and leaks, Tha Carter III became one of the most anticipated releases of 2008. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling over 1 million copies in its first week which made it one of the fastest-selling albums in the US. It reached sales of 2.88 million copies by the end of 2008 and produced four singles that achieved chart success, including the international hit "Lollipop" and Billboard Hot 100 hits "A Milli", "Got Money", and "Mrs. Officer".
Upon its release, Tha Carter III received widespread acclaim from music critics and has since been regarded as one of Wayne's best records. It earned Lil Wayne several accolades, including a spot on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2009 Grammy Awards and won for Best Rap Album, while "Lollipop" won Best Rap Song and "A Milli" won Best Rap Solo Performance. It has been certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Lil Wayne stated that producers would include The Alchemist, Cool & Dre, Deezle, Jim Jonsin, Just Blaze, Kanye West, Mannie Fresh, The Runners, Timbaland, Danja, and will.i.am. In an interview with HipHopCanada.com, Solitair of the Black Jays stated that he and Cipha Sounds produced a track called "Outstanding", which later eventually leaked. The Runners have stated that they have produced three tracks for Tha Carter III. Lil Wayne revealed that he has a track for Eminem, which he has yet to send to him. He described this song as the "craziest". Some believe that his request was turned down, but it most likely turned into "Drop the World" on his 2010 album Rebirth.
The album features guest appearances by Fabolous, T-Pain, Brisco, Bobby V, Babyface, Betty Wright, Static Major, Robin Thicke, Jay-Z, Juelz Santana, and Busta Rhymes. MTV reported that Wyclef Jean worked on a couple of tracks for the album and that a song featuring Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, and Timbaland was likely to appear on the album. However, that Timbaland-produced track did not make the final cut. David Banner confirmed that he will be credited for five tracks on the final cut of Tha Carter III, but only one is featured on the album. After the copyright controversy of "Playing with Fire", the track was later removed and replaced with another David Banner-produced track "Pussy Monster". Swizz Beatz stated he was also working on the album .