Mixtape Wayne is making his return this week.
Five years after the release of No Ceilings 2, Lil Wayne has plans to revive his classic mixtape series. Complex can exclusively announce that this Friday, November 27, he will release No Ceilings 3 on DatPiff.
“The mixtape game seemed to be a dying art and since I’m one of the pioneers of the craft, and it played such a big part in my career, I felt it was only right to resurrect it,” Lil Wayne tells Complex. “Also, it’s a lot of songs out here I wanted to kill my way!”
DJ Khaled, who hosts the mixtape, previewed songs from the project on Wednesday afternoon. “They always try to put a ceiling on our greatness, so we took the fuckin’ ceiling off,” Khaled said in the beginning of a clip he uploaded to Instagram, before playing a snippet of a Drake verse that will be on the tape. He also previewed a new Wayne freestyle over Lil Baby and 42 Dugg’s “We Paid.”
After facing blowback for his controversial decision to meet with Donald Trump before the presidential election, Wayne’s focus has shifted to the rollout of new music for the time being. To commemorate the release of No Ceilings 3, he worked with a trio of artists to create three different mixtape covers.
HustleGrl, who created the artwork for the first No Ceilings mixtape as a teenager, linked up with Wayne again for one of the three covers (seen above). “Working with Wayne years later made me feel nostalgic,” she tells Complex. “I remember being 17 and I had designed the first No Ceilings cover for him; that same excitement and ambition to kill it is there today. Since then, my design style has changed and I wanted to create something iconic for the influential artist that he is. I enjoy working with someone like Lil Wayne because I always get creative freedom, which always yields the best results possible.”
Reflecting on the process, she adds, “This time around, I was as excited as the first time getting the call to design No Ceilings. Lil Wayne is working on a new mixtape, and sure enough, the universe once again aligned our creative paths. A call like that will instantly get your brain going. I couldn’t wait to use the new techniques and styles that I’ve learned since the last time I had worked with him. I’m very happy to be a part of Wayne’s re-release and I look forward to sharing our work with the world.”
Gustavo Zermeño Jr, known as gz.jr in the art community, feels similarly. Having made a name for himself in Los Angeles for his iconic murals, he jumped at the opportunity to work with Wayne. Speaking about the experience of creating cover artwork (seen above), Gustavo tells Complex, “Growing up I can still remember when Wayne dropped No Ceilings. I’ve always been a fan of his music so being able to work with him designing the cover of No Ceilings 3 has really been a full circle moment for me. I hope his fans enjoy the cover as much as I have enjoyed creating it and bringing it to life.”
ABH, who created one of the covers, adds, “Wayne is the GOAT, period, so having the opportunity to show him in an artistic way for a classic project like No Ceilings is a fucking honor. And I’ve been on tour with him as a youngin,’ so it’s a full-circle moment for me, as well.”
While you wait for No Ceilings 3 to arrive on DatPiff this Friday, you can hear a preview of some of the music below.