A lot of people out there jump to conclusions and assume
that Lil’ Wayne is only about money,
bitches, drugs, and Evisu®…and they’re right, but I gotta say, Tha Carter II is hot.
Rather than waste time tackling tough introspective topics, Wayne keeps it simple. The Carter II is being billed as Lil’ Wayne‘s grown up album, a disc
where we get to see growth from the former Hot
Boys. I didn’t hear growth, but I did hear more of the
potential that folks have been saying he’s had since 1999’s Tha Block is Hot.
On Money on My Mind we get the
arrogance we’ve grown to love, with Lil’
Wayne riding bass heavy percussion while preaching the importance of the
almighty dollar. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of sex, guns, bragging, and
comedy to satisfy even the most conservative rap purist.
The good news is that for all you Lil’
Wayne fans out there who have been waiting to hear him on something other
than a typical Mannie Fresh beat,
the wait is over. The self-proclaimed Birdman Jr. shines
on Mo Fire, a West Indies inspired
track, and even diversifies to include some west coast flavor with none other
than Kurupt on Lock and Load. Mannie Fresh
and the Doe Boys lend production
assistance on the album, which also features guest appearances from Fresh and Cash Money staples Baby and Lil` Mo, among others. The flow
that made the youngest Cash Money
Millionaire a millionaire is there. The brash yet playful arrogance is
there too. But three things make this Carter
an instant classic;
First, he specifically addresses the common view that southern artists don’t
know shit about lyricism. On Shooter
(a great ballad track that’s easy listening and slightly funky) he politely
ends all debate: And to the radio stations, I’m tired of
being patient/ Stop being rapper-racist/ Region haters; spectators, dick-taters,
behind doors dick takers/ It’s outrageous/ You don’t know how sick you make us/
I wanna throw up like chips in Vegas. But this is southern, face it:/ If we too
simple, then ya’ll don’t get the basics.
Second, he obviously senses something bigger than rhyming. For example, he
somehow simultaneously capitalizes on the experience his nine year (5 album)
rap career and his never-ending youthful swagger. Put it like this: dude’s got
a track called Best Rapper Alive and
he’s not referring to Jigga. Now
that’s pretty bold. The amazing thing is that even if you don’t quite believe
him, you root for him.
Finally, he somehow takes his recently devastated homeland New Orleans and reps harder
than ever, without coming off as corny or commercial for one second. His
signature flow complements most of the tracks, and the clever lyrics are sure
to keep your rewind button employed. For instance I’ll bet you didn’t hear him
on Tha Mobb when he said: I’m awkward like Cartwright, fuck with a nigga…
Shot ugly but my arch right, (c’mon dog- bark, bite). Or on the title track when he said: Naw, I ain’t even in the school yearbook/
I don’t do too much posing; got a cold killer look/ Career crook, get your
career took/ I’m back like a brassiere hook.
Honestly, the biggest reason Tha
Carter II could be considered a classic is because words
just don’t do it justice. Like how he claims to be the best but doesn’t seem
preoccupied with proving it. It’s like he just knows it, and if you don’t,
that’s your ignorance. Or how the album is clearly formulaic; complete with
club songs (Fireman), radio songs (Hustler Musik), and even chick songs (Grown Man), but still sounds seamless.
And of course there’s bar after bar that just make you squint your eyes and
make the “that was ridiculous” face.
You might say Weezy F.Baby
is at his best. You might even say that he is the best. But whatever you do,
please say the Baby.