Background and development
In June 2008, after a similarly delayed release, Lil Wayne released his previous album in the Tha Carter series, Tha Carter III (2008). The album sold 1,005,545 copies in its first week of sales in the United States, and produced three top ten singles in the US, including the number one-hit "Lollipop". The album became the highest selling of the year in the United States. In a September 2008 interview with Shaheem Reid of MTV Mixtape Monday, Lil Wayne revealed that he had begun work on his next official mixtape, Dedication 3 (2008) and also confirmed a sequel to Tha Carter III, titled Tha Carter IV. Initial recording sessions for the album began in early October 2008, but these were put on hold, as later that month Wayne claimed that he did not want the album to follow Tha Carter III immediately.
No more information emerged on the album until October 2009, when Cash Money Records CEO Birdman reported that Wayne would release three studio albums on December 15, 2009: Tha Carter IV, Rebirth, an album being promoted as Wayne's debut rock music album, and We Are Young Money, a collaborative recording with members of Wayne's record label, Young Money Entertainment. However, it was later confirmed that Rebirth and We Are Young Money would be released separately and that Tha Carter IV would be released in 2011. Tha Carter IV was going to be released in late May, but was pushed back to June. Mack Maine confirmed that the album's release was postponed because they still needed time to make it perfect. On June 2, 2011, the album was pushed back further, and the album was due for release on August 29, 2011.
The album's cover was released to the internet on April 19, 2011. A deluxe edition has been confirmed for Tha Carter IV, with the album's cover being released to the internet as well.
Also the track "Dear Anne (Stan Part 2)" (originally "Anne") was supposed to be on Tha Carter IV but was removed from the album. Lil Wayne said in an interview with XXL that he was not a fan of "Dear Anne" and that it had been planned to appear on Tha Carter III. On July 8, 2011, producer Swizz Beatz hinted at Wayne possibly re-recording a new version of Anne, after he had said the verses were too "old". Prior to Tha Carter IV's release, Swizz Beatz released the song on his Monster Mondays free music program through his official website.
On June 13, 2011, a track called "Nightmares of the Bottom" from Tha Carter IV was confirmed on MTV's Unplugged by Lil Wayne performing live. On July 11, 2011, Lil Wayne confirmed in an interview with MTV that Tha Carter IV is finished and will be releasing on August 29, 2011. On August 7–8, 2011 videos of Lil Wayne recording a song called "She Will" and featuring Drake was posted online and would be on the album. The song was released on the Internet on August 12, 2011. HipHollywood released a YouTube video about T-Pain giving a song to Lil Wayne for his album called, "How to Hate," confirming that it will be on the album.