Release Date: Feb 2, 2010
Record label: Cash Money Records
Lil Wayne :: RebirthCash Money RecordsAuthor: John-Michael BondOne problem the music public faces when reading reviews is the absolutely insane assumption that the writer whose critique you're reading isn't a liar. That we don't have preconceived ideas about a record before we even listen to it, or that the comparisons we make between one artist and another are based on actually listening to those artists ourselves. When a band reaches a certain level of popularity they become so culturally known that their very name has connotations attached to it that allow music writers to lazily use that name to symbolize their perceptions of the band, even if those preconceptions are absolutely bullshit.
‘American Star’, the opening track on Rebirth, with its “Born and raised in the USA” refrain, at first calls to mind the stars, stripes and ticker-tape strut of Apollo Creed in Rocky 4. We are a long way from backpacker rap here. Lil Wayne embodies everything that rap has come to see the American dream as, coming from the piss poor background in New Orleans, getting where he is today in spite of it.
It could be worse. "Everybody say they just do it, well, I just don't," claims Lil Wayne on Rebirth, his unlikely, unqualified, and quite unbelievable rock album. And he's speaking the truth: This album is not the logical official follow-up to 2008's best-selling Tha Carter III. At all. In any way ….
You might think Limp Bizkit's oeuvre and their ghastly fanbase of hooting fratboy morons might act as a dire warning to anyone trying to meld hip-hop and heavy metal, but apparently not. Artistically, at least, rap-metal seems to be pop's own Red Bull Flugtag: the best you can hope for is an inglorious plummet, with a load of berks in big shorts cheering you on, but that doesn't seem to stop people getting involved. Either people view it as a challenge or they've noted that, ever since Walk This Way revived Aerosmith's career and catapulted Run DMC to mainstream stardom, it's carried the promise of untold riches: you might think Limp Bizkit's records are unlovable by anyone who isn't an idiot, but their sales figures suggest there might be a lot of idiots knocking about the place.
It wasn’t just [b]NME[/b] who proclaimed [a]Lil Wayne[/a] to be the best rapper alive in 2008. Time magazine, Rolling Stone and [a]Kanye West[/a] were all schnozzing superlatives up his backside, and it seemed the new crown prince of hip-hop could do no wrong. But sitting atop his career peak, Wayne started to get vertigo.The recent [i]The Carter[/i] documentary shows him at his most out-of-control, knocking back litres of cough syrup for the codeine kick.
Lil Wayne is tragically aware of how much we love him. He cackles at the end of every punchline. He flashes cutesy smiles in every video. He grants incoherent interviews and tosses off lethargic guest verses because why not—we’ll extol him unwaveringly even if he’s too high to complete a sentence.
Like Michael Jordan walking away from the NBA for a shot at pro baseball, hip-hop MVP Lil Wayne decided last year to pick up a guitar and pursue his own field of dreams: recording a rock album. Jordan returned to the basketball court after one ill-fated season in the farm leagues; we can only hope for the same for Wayne. A nimble, almost balletic rapper on countless mixtapes, singles, and Billboard-topping collaborations, the 27-year-old comes across both muddled and belligerent on the much-delayed, extensively leaked Rebirth.
It used to be that rap was the place rock musicians went to embarrass themselves. Seemingly open to anyone who could talk, the stripped-down style of the ‘80s created an attractive mirage for misguided rockers, who failed to recognize that rapping required a totally different skill set, a delusion that created more disasters than is worth remembering. With Lil Wayne’s Rebirth, we get the same type of base misconception, where one of our best rappers believes that he can do anything.
Now that may seem like senseless bashing, so below I describe in detail why this album – which includes exactly one good song, Drop the World, during which Weezy mercifully drops the Auto-Tune and picks up Eminem for a guest verse – deserves every bit of derision it receives. Let’s break these songs down. I. The MusicIn discussions of the riffs and instrumentation, the only real debate among critics is whether they most closely resemble bad Nickelback, bad Staind, or bad System of a Down.
LIL WAYNE“Rebirth”(Cash Money/Universal) Sure, Lil Wayne’s rock album, “Rebirth,” is a misfire, the kind of thing that happens when a star overestimates his skills (and calls his opening track “American Star”). But if Kid Rock can rap, why can’t Lil Wayne try being a rocker?. .
Rebirth could've been exhibit A at Lil Wayne's trial for drug possession. [rssbreak] The rapper's pathetic foray into hard rock is evidence enough that he's using mind-altering drugs. The writing is like that of a prepubescent child. And when he sings, it sounds like an infant gurgling with a mouth full of baby food over 90s-era nu-metal.