Release Date: Aug 29, 2011
Record label: Universal Republic
Genre(s): Rap, Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap, Dirty South
You have to admit, it's been a minute since Lil Wayne had a chance to sound crazy. That wasn't a problem back in his madcap creative outburst of 2006 and 2007. For sheer intensity, you could only compare Wayne to the young Bob Dylan, firing out brilliant tunes faster than anyone could absorb them, with his flurry of Drought and Dedication mixtapes. But like Dylan, he had to crash sometime.
An interesting story came out as Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV leaked to the Internet five days early. Special guest Busta Rhymes, being interviewed from his tour bus, had not even heard the leak within those first 48, and seemed fascinated to hear that Bun B, Nas, and Shyne were also on his track. This was in spite of the his line “Tunechi, thanks for giving us a whole 'nother classic with Tha Carter IV” the album's final words, delivered by Busta during the “Outro,” one of two tracks on which Wayne doesn’t even appear.
Lil Wayne :: Tha Carter IVCash Money Records/Universal MotownAuthor: Steve 'Flash' JuonYoung Dwayne Carter will be the first to tell you he's not a role model. If you work in law enforcement you probably see dollar signs flashing before your eyes the moment his tour bus hit town. Even if you couldn't get Mr. Carter on a drug or weapons possession charge somebody with him would take the hit.
Like his cluster of guest appearances and the lone mixtape he’s dropped since his release from prison last winter, Wayne’s latest album, Tha Carter IV, is a collection of hits and misses. Cuts like the sinful ”She Will” and pensive ”Nightmares of the Bottom” are the studs among dull songs declaring wealth and swag (”MegaMan,” ”Blunt Blowin”). Unfortunately, C-4 doesn’t quite deliver the explosion it should have been capable of.
During "Blunt Blowin'," Lil Wayne asks us, "I've been gone too long -- true or false? Right or wrong?" Well, that depends. Sure, he had that stint in jail, and Tha Carter III came out three years ago. But have we really missed Mr. Carter since then? He certainly continued his prolific output since III, and when he got sentenced, he filmed all those green-screened cameos for other artists' videos -- and there were a lot of them.
“Bitch, real G’s move in silence like lasagna!” These words marked the beginning of 2011. Tumbling from the mouth of a newly-freed, utterly unhinged, blacked-out savant incarnation of the man born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. on an absolutely monstrous advance-single, it was a roar of immortal relevance—something that effortlessly transcended prison bars.
A lot of rappers show a lot of love for Lil Wayne on his new album. "Thanks for giving us a whole 'nother classic with Tha Carter IV," huffs Busta Rhymes. "It's important that you are more than welcome to Tha Carter IV, and y'all enjoy it," advises André 3000. "Cash Money is the company and Weezy the boss," reiterates Wayne's fellow ex-con Shyne.
Review Summary: Tha Carter IV takes all of Wayne's divergent paths– established rapper, vital pop star, failed rock star– and juxtaposes all of them on one album. Of all of Lil Wayne's series– Dedication, Da Drought, his word associations The Prefix and The Suffix– only Tha Carter has made it to a fourth installment. That speaks to Wayne's shapeshifting nature and his remarkable ability to be omnipresent and ever-adapting, a fixture in the hip-hop and pop world at all times, even when he's in jail.
At this point I don’t think anyone could tell you how many recorded hours there are of Lil Wayne rapping, and yet, judging by fan reaction to Tha Carter IV‘s leak last Thursday, you might have surmised that there’s been a shortage of opportunities to hear Weezy do his gangster Martian thing. This despite the fact that Wayne is featured on Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation,” currently at #2 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B chart, and on DJ Khaled’s “I’m on One,” currently at #1, to say nothing of the two singles from his own album, which are scattered throughout the Top 20. Wayne’s ubiquity is in no way contingent on his having a particular piece of plastic to hawk at Best Buy.
Depending on how you want to gauge it, we’re witnessing the fourth incarnation of Lil Wayne. First there was the borderline kiddie-rapper. Then there was the circa 2005 version, who made many listeners begrudgingly admit that Wayne suddenly started rhyming his ass off. And of course, there was superstar Weezy—endorser of Auto-tune, impregnator of Pop culture vixens and a man prone to the occasional drug-addled haze, a faux Rock album, and still rhyming his ass off if he felt like it.
“If I die today, remember me like John Lennon. ”“If I die today, it’d be a holiday. ” Three years after putting an official date stamp on Auto-Tune rap with “Lollipop,” Lil Wayne is back for his fourth official Tha Carter release (and ninth official album overall) at a moment when apocalyptic beats and hashtag flows dominate the hip-hop landscape.
It’s a crime of culture, really, and one that happens all too often: a bad sequel to a truly great predecessor or two. From The Godfather Pt. III to Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (I jest), it happens to the best of ‘em. But it takes a truly desperate artist to take a successful trilogy and then throw all artistic integrity to the wind and crap on in the entire series (see: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Alien Resurrection, or any installment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy).
Lil Wayne – John on MUZU.TV.
For some segments of the hip-hop listenership, it’s undoubtedly true that a Lil’ Wayne release is irrelevant. Plenty of listeners grew tired of him during 2006 to early 2009, when he was seemingly everywhere, if not during his Hot Boys days, and long ago decided he wasn’t an artist worth anticipating. But not everyone felt that way. For a great many of us, old-timers and newcomers alike, that epic era of Weezy was a much needed injection of excitement into mainstream rap culture.
Studio LP number nine from the multi-million seller could be his UK breakthrough proper. Mike Diver 2011 "I don’t need a watch / The time is now or never," Lil Wayne states on the opening Intro here – but he’s little left to prove, having been a domestic success from the start. The Louisiana rapper’s 1999 debut, Tha Block Is Hot, released when he was just 17, went platinum stateside.
Three years. That’s how long it’s been since Lil Wayne first mentioned plans to release Tha Carter IV, the follow-up to 2008’s best-selling Tha Carter III. But a name-drop didn’t mean an album drop, and so IV bookends a slew of specialized releases: 2009’s clique showcase We Are Young Money, 2010’s experimental-rock release Rebirth and EP-style I Am Not a Human Being.
There goes Lil Wayne, wearing bleached leopard-print skinny pants — women’s pants, as it happens — and stalking the stage of the MTV Video Music Awards with Iggy Pop attitude. There goes Lil Wayne, riding a skateboard and falling off. There goes Lil Wayne, who can’t sing worth a lick, taking a ballad, “How to Love,” into the Top 10 of the Billboard pop chart.
"They say we learn from mistakes, that's why they mistake me..." gargles Lil Wayne like a busted irrigation system on Tha Carter IV's 'Blunt Blowin''. Given that Lil Wayne was unmistakably convicted for carrying a 40-calibre pistol on his person while toking on some sensimilla in public, it's an audacious statement. That clichéd mistake cost him eight months in Rikers Island prison, reduced from the intended year due to 'good behaviour', which was laughably interpreted as working out and reading the Bible.