Lil Wayne - Tha Carter Iii
Going into Tha Carter III, I knew nothing about Lil Wayne. I had heard the debates of him being the "best rapper of all time," but even that didn't strike my interest. It wasn't until I was standing on a New Jersey boardwalk this summer, waiting for my brother to get off the tilt-a-whirl, when I heard the massively successful single "Lollipop" for the first time. From then I was hooked.
Tha Carter III is deserving of the recognition it earned this year; it is experimental, bombastic, catchy, and just plain unique-a sure standout in the languid top 40 rap world. Opener "3 Peat" is layered with strings, but blasts a thumping bass line over it all, letting Wayne flaunt his achingly impassioned, and strangely sexual, rapping ability. Wayne is naturally irreverent-never afraid to speak his mind-able to craft a catchy line out of unadulterated misogyny: "Watch me, bitch watch me, bitch watch me" and "I told my girl when you fuck me, better fuck me good / Cuz if another girl could, she gon' fuck me good." Lyrically, Lil Wayne is just as absurd as he is obscene, from shout-outs to Stuart Scott from ESPN to blatantly sexual similes, "I'm up like Viagra," Wayne's humorous character pours out of his songs.
There are so many hits on this album: "A Milli" is one of the simplest beats-a painfully repetitive loop of the phrase "a milli" over a booming bass line-but it flows extremely well. Wayne's vocal delivery makes even the most stripped down songs catchy, so when T-Pain comes in on "Got Money," it is almost a guaranteed hit. I don't know how many times I've seen "Bitch I'm the bomb like tick tick" plastered on some asshole's t-shirt or facebook page, but it still gets me every time I hear it. Simply put, Lil Wayne knows how witty he is, and he executes it perfectly-having more than a little experience in making a hit single.
Some songs are growers and some fall flat, but this is to be expected with the tremendous innovation of Carter. Lil Wayne says that "he controls hip-hop" because when others are sleeping, he's "up, feet up, like a paraplegic." He knows that he is doing something new, eschewing the trite formula for a radio hit, like most of his contemporaries are spewing out. Just listen to "Shoot Me Down," an emotionally grating, poignant reflection of where Wayne is now "please don't shoot me down cause I'm flying." For an album of radio appropriate singles, this is the dirge, as its mournful and elegiac guitar hook cast Wayne in a different light: disheartened, almost vulnerable. "Shoot me Down" gives the album a more rounded feel; Carter certainly isn't wallowing in sadness, but it is not as self-aggrandizing as it may seem. All in all, after half a year of listening to Tha Carter III, I might not just crown Wayne the "best rapper of all time," but I haven't found much to go against the argument, either.
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on 2009-01-18 blackxdan Said:
i probably would like it. hahahaha
on 2009-01-18 kev_stev Said:
listen to the album a few times without thinking about the hype. i'd be surprised if you weren't into it after that.
on 2009-01-17 blackxdan Said:
it annoys me how much hype this guy gets. I really don't think he is that great. I think he is extremely overrated.