The 5th installment in rap mogul Lil Wayne’s "Tha Carter" catalog, Mr. Carter returns to the main stage after a 7-year feud with his YMCMB associates. Unfortunately, the ingenious light that makes Wayne one of the greats has faded on a longer-than-necessary project that fails to fulfill its unprecedented hype.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to face the facts.
Take off your shoes, pour yourself a drink, have a seat and get comfortable. I know most of you already don’t like the direction this is going in, and you are more than entitled to your own opinion.
Unless you live under a rock, you, like me, have partaken in the colossal hype leading up to the long-awaited release of Tha Carter V. Millions of tweets and posts of the same nature.
I’m certain you don’t want to hear this, but it’s time somebody embraced it.
Lil Wayne has hit the end of the road.
AND THAT’S OKAY.
Look, I’m not saying this album is bad, but in essence what this album stands as is a shell of what could’ve been in Weezy’s dramatic return. First, let’s start with the positives:
This album starts out very strong. Like very, very strong. The intro is a heartfelt voicemail from Wayne’s mother, followed by an explosion of four fantastic tracks. “Dedicate” is reminiscent of some of Wayne’s earliest work, and the addicting key-oriented mixed with Wayne’s flawless delivery make for one of the albums highlights. The transition between “Dedicate” and “Uproar” is a snippet from a speech by Barack Obama, where Obama says;
They might think they’ve got a pretty good jumpshot, or a pretty
good flow. But our kids can’t all aspire to be Lebron or Lil Wayne!
Lil Wayne knows he’s a diamond in the rough, and this proves his self-awareness quite well with this snippet.
Next is “Uproar” an incredibly catchy track that will more than certainly inspire a couple dance challenges on the likes of Twitter and Instagram. “Let It Fly” and “Can’t Be Broken” hold their own as two formidable records, but nothing can prepare the listener for the albums 8th song.
“Mona Lisa” is in a league of its own. Weezy and Kendrick Lamar are two of the game’s all-time greatest lyricists, and this song is one of the best duo tracks from Wayne in a very long time, rivaled by “No Love” with Eminem. Wayne spits an impressive verse, blending his flow impeccably with the structure of the beat. Kendrick on the other hand, he’s on a whole different level, which comes as a shock to no one.
On “Mona Lisa”, Kendrick is a metaphorical Claude van Goh, painting the story of a famous couple on the brink of chaos, questioning each other’s loyalty at every turn. His voice on this record is haunting, and at the escalation of the couple’s inevitable demise he switches his tone to one of pure fear and anger. This track is beautiful, and has the ability to give any fan of rap hope that Wayne still has it.
This, unfortunately, is where the album begins to drop off.