On Monday, Lil Wayne made a puzzling announcement at a concert in Pennsylvania: that he had joined Jay Z’s Roc Nation. “It’s the Roc,” he said. “You know I’m a member of that team now. We’ll talk about that later, though.”
As of this writing, no details have come through to light about what kind of affiliation this is, exactly. But it marks yet another strange chapter in Lil Wayne and Jay Z’s long and complicated relationship. For a summary of the pair’s first eight or so years of interactions, check out our 2011 feature, which goes from Wayne’s 2004 freestyles over Hov tracks to the duo’s back-and-forth disses in “H.A.M.” and “I’m Good” in 2011.
But what’s happened since then that led up to this week’s still-ambiguous announcement?
Lil Wayne Disses the Throne at a Pre-Grammy Party
Date: February 11, 2012
What happened? While at Cash Money’s pre-Grammy bash, Wayne got onstage and delivered a brief rap that included a mic-dropping shot at Jay’s duo with Kanye West, the Throne: “I met a bad red-bone, I took the bitch home/I asked her what she wanted to watch/She said, ‘Surely not the Throne’.” Check the 1:44 mark on the video below.
Jay Z Responds to “I’m Good” Kidnapping Threats on “La Familia”
Date: June 30, 2013
What happened? The lyrics to Jay’s song “La Familia” were released via his promotion with Samsung. Eagle-eyed fans quickly noticed that the song contained a response to Wayne’s threat in “I’m Good” to “Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘How much you love your lady?’ money.” Hov’s response? “Wanna kidnap wifey?/Good luck with that, bruh/ You must gonna hide your whole family/What you think we wearing black for?”
Jay Reveals Why He Never Signed Wayne
Date: July 10, 2013
What happened? While talking to radio station Power 105, Jay says that he was seriously considering signing Wayne back in 2008. However, a legal threat from Birdman (“[W]e received a letter at our office for, I think it was, ‘Torturous interference’,” Hov recalled) prevented him from making it happen. However, in Wayne’s recollection, it was because Jay didn’t offer enough money.
“Hov, Fuck Wit’ Ya Boy”
Date: May 14, 2014
What happened? Wayne releases the track “D’usse” as part of his “Weezy Wednesdays” series. In the beginning, he gives a very surprising shout-out: “Hov, fuck wit’ ya boy.”
Weezy later explains that “Hov is the god—I’ll give Hov a big shout out at all times.”
Wayne Releases “Glory” on Tidal
Date: June 3, 2015
What happened? In a harbinger of things to come, Lil Wayne releases his song “Glory” exclusively on the Jay Z-owned streaming service Tidal.
“I Just Signed A Deal With My Motherfuckin’ Idol Jay Z”
Date: June 13-14, 2015
What happened? While performing at KMEL’s Summer Jam, Weezy announces from stage, “I just signed a deal with my motherfuckin’ idol Jay Z.”
After hours of frantic speculation about what kind of deal this is, Wayne’s manager Cortez Bryant tells Billboard, “When Wayne was speaking about the partnership with Jay Z, he was speaking about his new deal as an artist owner with Tidal.”
Wayne Releases ‘Free Weezy Album’ on Tidal
Date: July 4, 2015
What happened? Wayne puts out an entire project, the Free Weezy Album, exclusively on Tidal. It takes less than two weeks for Birdman to threaten to sue Jay and Tidal for $50 million, claiming that Cash Money has exclusive rights to Wayne’s music. However, the lawsuit was never actually filed.
Tidal 10/20 Concert
Date: October 20, 2015
What happened? Jay Z put together a giant concert in Brooklyn to promote Tidal. On the bill along with Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill, Usher, and Rick Ross was Lil Wayne. Hov and Weezy even dueted on “Hello Brooklyn 2.0.”
“I’m a Motherfuckin’ Roc-A-Fella Millionaire”
Date: November 12, 2016
What happened? While performing at the Camp Flog Gnaw, Wayne ends his song “I’m Me” by changing the line “I’m a motherfuckin’ Cash Money millionaire” to “I’m a motherfuckin’ Roc-A-Fella millionaire,” thus setting off yet another round of speculation about his relationship with Jay.