How To Love

Album: Tha Carter IV (2011)
Charted: 48 5


  • The third single from Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV album is arguably the Young Money Head Honcho's first ballad. Accompanied by a strumming acoustic guitar, he croons: "You had a lot of crooks try to steal your heart/ Never really had luck/ Could never figure out/ How to love." Reviewers pondered how much the Detail produced tune was influenced by Weezy's love interest, Dhea.
  • the song's producer, Detail, told MTV News the R&B ballad was recorded in Miami during a session in November 2010, and he used Lil Wayne and Birdman's 2006 single "Leather So Soft" as inspiration. "We created it in a very organic way; he's a very organic person," he said. "The crazy part about it was I know Wayne plays guitar. If y'all ever seen the I Am Music Tour, he be playing the guitar. So we created something that was like 'Leather So Soft,' where he could rock out with the guitar. We're visual with that type of stuff, so we just created a simple guitar riff that he can play on tour as well, over some 808s, a smooth ballad type of a beat. It wasn't nothing special, it was just something that felt strong. That was the type of record that would rock in his iPod and rock in my iPod for days and days and days before the world got a chance to experience the pleasure of something with such organic-ness."
  • Wayne told MTV News this slowed down ode to the ladies was inspired by a 1993 song by the late Tupac Shakur. "That song is just sweeping the world. It's touching every woman, that's what it was for," he said. "It was like Tupac had 'Keep Ya Head Up' and it was a message to women and little girls across the world just to keep your head up even though things are hard."

    He added: "A lot of women don't know how to love because there's deep reasons for them not knowing how to love. And what I mean by deep reasons is deep and dark reasons. A lot of people don't open up that can and I figured that I can open up that can of worms and see what happens."
  • The song was named in a lawsuit filed by Rich Rick, who claimed he purchased several master recordings between 2006 and 2009 from a group of rap producers called Drummer Boyz. Amongst them was the beat that appears on this song and Rich Rock alleged the producers pitched the same beat to Wayne in exchange for a 35% royalty agreement.
  • The Chris Robinson-directed music video tells the story of an abused mother, who unintentionally leads her beautiful young daughter into reliving her own vicious cycle through bad choices. "I have a daughter, Wayne has a daughter, and he really wanted to tell the story," Robinson told MTV News. "We were talking about statistics of abuse in our community. We were talking about really telling this story for every young woman in the world."

    Lil Wayne wrote the story himself. "He kinda tapped into a different perspective of the song and gave a different enlightenment on how you can consider a girl and how they're in a forever pursuit trying to find love," said the song's producer Detail.

    The grown up version of the young girl is played by model/actress Chanta Patton. Other videos she has appeared in include the visual for Kardinal Offishall's "Dangerous," where she's the beautiful girl who gets followed by Kardinal, Akon, and their pals.
  • When this song rose to #3 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs dated September 10, 2011, Wayne became the first artist to feature on the chart's top three spots simultaneously since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking US music sales in 1992. The other tunes in the top three on that date were the accurately titled #1 "I'm On One," by DJ Khaled featuring Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne and at #2 "Motivation" by Kelly Rowland featuring Lil Wayne.
  • Tha Carter IV sold an impressive 964,000 albums in its US debut week, the highest sales week for any male artist since Tha Carter III moved 1.01 million back in 2008.
  • Tha Carter IV sold over 300,000 downloads via iTunes in its first four days of release, which broke an iTunes record previously set by Watch The Throne.
  • A version by The Voice contestant Christina Grimmie reached #79 on the Hot 100 in May 2014. Grimmie, known on YouTube as zeldaxlove64, is a pianist and singer/songwriter from New Jersey.

Comments: 1

  • Dannette from New York , NyGirl at this time needs to learn how to love.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Keith Reid of Procol Harum

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.


SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Corey Hart

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."