Our friends at the Oxford American magazine posted a classic deep cut  from their archives this afternoon: our own associate editor David Ramsey‘s feature on Lil Wayne and a year spent teaching in New Orleans. It’s a memorable snapshot of New Orleans life post-Katrina, and a necessary reminder that Wayne, whose guest verses (and guitar solos) now mostly inspire groans, was once a crucial creative figure and a meaningful rallying point for the community.

The piece was collected the 2009 edition of Da Capo’s Best Music Writing series, and it’s also a great excuse to revisit some essential, mixtape-only Wayne tracks like “La La La.”