The year in music
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Lil Wayne( John Bazemore / AP )
By Ann Powers, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
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This year, Lil' Wayne truly became rap's ruling lyricist by leaving his mark on a bewildering number of mix tapes, freestyle rhymes and other artists' hits -- most available for free online. The quality's mixed, as you'd expect from nearly 100 notable appearances. But there's no better symbol of the next phase in pop than Wayne's inexhaustible talent and hunger to share.