The album was the last featuring Cash Money's former in-house producer, Mannie Fresh before he split from the label. The album is based on "The Carter," the empire crack house from the movie New Jack City, and his last name.
Tha Carter is generally considered as Lil Wayne's "break out" album, due to the maturity in both his subject matter, and delivery compared to his first three albums.Tha Carter was the start of a highly successful album saga for Wayne. The album has spawned three sequels, Tha Carter II which was released in 2005, Tha Carter III which was released in 2008, Tha Carter IV which was released in 2011. A fifth installment will be released in the near future.