(thanks to you mainly NR) I had exactly the same experience with this as the lighting bolt moment about non-Outkast Southern hip-hop. It was, likewise, Shooter as much as anything that really provided the click too. Stunningly good track. Also, responsible for probably my favourite ever hip-hop youtube live clip
As an album, it's a really crazy stew, which is a large part of it's appeal. There's a run from Receipt through to pretty much the album that, as a whole, is one of most consistent (quality wise) yet shockingly schizo (style wise) runs on any rap album I can think of. Really mindblowing. Receipt is one of my favourite ever soul fueled hip-hop songs, Shooter is pure simmering funk goodness, I'm A DBoy, in the verses especially, bangs about as hard as anything I can think of... it goes on.
Speaking of a DBoy, I was once falling asleep in a lecture, and kept mistyping my notes. It got so bad that I accidentally pressed to play button on my Mac. Turns out that while running late for an earlier lecture, I'd shoved the laptop in my bag half way through the chorus of DBoy, which I'd been playing at top volume just to get me out of the door. Of course, it blazing out across the 200 person filled lecture hall, 'I'M A DBOY! BITCH I'M A DBOY! OH I'M A DOPE BOY!' before I could stop it, causing pretty much everyone to turn and look. This rendered me one crushingly embarrassed nerdy white guy, and is still a subject of jokes among my friends. Worth though, because DAMN, what a track!
'8 AM open my eyes
Yeah kick my bitch tell her open the blinds
And I'm, over the stove at 9
Yeah I'm cookin breakfast for the block then I let her cook mine'
As someone who hasn't really clicked with later Wayne yet, I often end up having non hip-hop, or certainly non mainstream hip-hop, fan friends really rag on me for liking Wayne, on the basis of like Prom Queen or some shit, and I'm just like 'No, you don't get! Tha Carter II man! Tha Carter II!!!'. Every time I've actually managed to break through their scepticism enough to play them like Shooter or Receipt though, I get the same reaction, which is like 'Damn, THIS is what Lil' Wayne used to sound like?!'.\
Classic, classic album. Thanks for the original recommendation.