09. Lil Wayne w/ Hot Boys – Get It How U Live!
Released: October 28, 1997
How old? Wayne was only 15.
Prior to Tha Carter series, Lil Wayne tagged alongside B.G, Juvenile, and Turk as one the Hot Boys, Cash Money Records’ gangsta rap twist on the pre-packaged boy band dynamic popular at the time. Their 1997 debut, Get It How U Live!, offered a (surprisingly) charming synthesis of their four unique personalities through tales of slinging drugs, chasing girls, and unwarranted adolescent violence. Though, much props goes to producer Mannie Fresh, who assisted in streamlining their delicate balancing act between heartbreaking Lotharios and outright gangbangers. Peaking at #37 on the Billboard R&B chart, their debut arguably contributed to gangsta rap’s slow transition into the mainstream. It also gave us the glory of Lil Wayne, but that’s for another list entirely.
At that age, I was… just figuring out I could be outside after 10 p.m. on a school night.