Lil Wayne has come a long way since his days rapping under the alias Baby D on the 1995 album True Story. Since those humble beginnings, Dwayne Carter has steadily climbed through the ranks toward hip-hop super-stardom.
His latest solo-release, Tha Carter IV , was officially released Aug. 29, although an illegally leaked version of the album made it’s way through the web weeks before.
I’ve been a fan of Weezy since his days with The Hot Boys, but he really stepped the game up with 2004’s Tha Carter, quickly followed up with 2005’s Tha Carter II—both 5 star albums in my eyes.
It was the time shortly thereafter that Wayne really shined the brightest. He became a mixtape maniac, with a handful of new songs and guest appearances seemingly recorded everyday. Once the crossover hit “Lollipop” invaded the airwaves, he was seemingly sitting atop the throne, taking home a Grammy in 2009 for Best Rap Album with Tha Carter III.
As time progressed, he started to lose some of his shine. He became too self-serving with his lyrics and got into a spell of auto-tune overload.
With his latest Carter release, Wayne aims to bring back the spark that once burned so brightly within.
On the albums first track, “Intro”, Weezy speaks nothing but the truth when he spits off the line “I don’t need a watch; the time is now or never.” The beat is alright and there’s a couple decent line’s scattered about, but as a whole it doesn’t compare to the opening songs on his previous Carter releases.
Wayne’s signature lighter-flick is noticeable as the first few notes begin to play on the next track. “Blunt Blowin’,” my favorite on the album. It features an epic beat reminiscent of a movie-score that slowly builds during the opening verse before exploding into a booming bassline over the hook. The lyrics leave something to be desired, but the track is definitely a head bopper.
Keeping up with the banging beats, comes the trunk-rattling tune “MegaMan,” another bright spot. Although the lyrics may not be all that deep, the bass sure is.
The lead single “6 Foot, 7 Foot,” is rather irritating with its over-played sampled hook. This track did sprout one of my favorite lines in “Real G’s move in silence like lasagna,” though.
I was more impressed with the second single off the album, “John” featuring Miami’s own Rick Ross. Although there is no chance of Lil’ Tunechi going down in history alongside John Lennon, the track still goes hard.
The latest release off the album, “How To Love” is a ballad that’s sure to destroy what’s left of the former Hollygrove resident’s street cred. Reputation aside, I still think it’s a nice song.
There has been much controversy as of late about the supposed shot to Jay-Z and Beyonce’ in the song “It’s Good.” But I’m going to follow in the footsteps of Hova here and just keep quiet on this one.
My only complaints with the album were that I would have liked to see Wayne with a verse featured on “Interlude” and “Outro” rather than letting a handful of guest artists steal his shine. Also, his collaboration with T-Pain really did teach me “How To Hate.” My heartaches just trying to sit through Teddy’s over-tuned intro.
Overall, The Carter IV is a solid production from the hip-hop veteran. Lil Wayne isn’t exactly known for his thought-provoking lyrics, but he does fire off witty one-liners with precision. If you’re looking to explore your soul, look elsewhere. But if you want music to keep your head bopping, Weezy’s bound to please.