Weezy back as ‘Carter’

Lil Wayne
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3 Star

Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” is a tough album to review. On one hand, it’s not exactly the “epic” album one might expect. Lil Wayne was recently released from prison, but rather than the album opening with a heavy and passionate anthem to his fans, he instead chooses to open it with the appropriately titled but forgettable, “Intro.” On the other hand, Wayne’s not really the type to adapt his style to one’s expectations. Wayne doesn’t care what other people think. While he sticks to what he does and that’s a quality to be admired, that can destroy a lot of artists. Granted, Wayne has had his fair share of experimenting, including his “rap-rock” attempt on “Rebirth.” But this is “Tha Carter IV and Wayne should give it all he’s got, which he unfortunately doesn’t.

No matter what you were expecting from this much-hyped album, one thing’s for certain: it’s going to sell. It’s Lil Wayne and that’s enough for people to buy it. Unfortunately, Wayne didn’t put out the definitive album. Perhaps he’s too busy with Young Money or maybe he’s swamped with guest verses, because it seems that he’s featured in a new song every other week. Whatever the case, it sometimes feels like he’s getting either too tired, lazy or cocky. Calling a rapper “cocky” is a pretty obvious statement, but hopefully Wayne’s fame and fortune hasn’t gotten to his head to the point where he’s just regurgitating old ideas because he knows he can get away with it. For instance, “6 Foot 7 Foot” resembles “Tha Carter III’s” “A Milli” with its record-skipping beat. “How To Hate” is another Auto-Tuned drenched track featuring T-Pain that doesn’t quite capture the magic of “Tha Carter III’s” “Got Money,” and as for lazy, Wayne doesn’t even appear on two of the tracks.

“The Carter IV” could have been Wayne’s comeback, post-prison album that redefines why fans love him without losing what made him great in the first place but it only comes half way. The album sounds like Lil Wayne and if past sales tell us anything, it’s that people like his sound. The thing is, save for a couple tracks, it doesn’t show much evolution. “How To Love,” is probably the most radio friendly track on the entire album; it is the one track that actually shows some evolution in Wayne’s style.

A collaboration with Rick Ross doesn’t help much. “John” is a sloppy mess of a song and Ross is not a good rapper. There are many better rappers Wayne could have collaborated with on this album. Cory Gunz’s verse in “6 Foot 7 Foot” is forgettable at best. However, Drake kills everything he’s featured on in the best way possible and it’s because of his chorus on the single “She Will” that the song is as popular as it is.

Although it seems like more of the same, the truth is it’s not a bad album. It’s good. However, considering the success of its predecessors, it falls short. “Tha Carter III” is a much better album. Wayne seemed like he was on top of his game. Fans will remember “Dr. Carter” from that album, and how he attacked rappers who regurgitated ideas and lacked originality. The irony of it is that with “Tha Carter IV,” he’s fallen victim to that himself. The album hits all the familiar notes: large egos, women and drugs.

On “Outro,” which is one of the best songs on the album and Wayne is absent from it, Busta Rhymes closes the album with “thanks for delivering another classic with ‘Tha Carter IV.’” “Tha Carter IV” may break records sales wise but it probably won’t become a rap classic. Kanye and Jay-Z’s “Watch The Throne,” Bad Meets Evil’s “Hell: The Sequel” and The Game’s “R.E.D. Album” are all better albums. While it’s not a classic, “The Carter IV” is still listenable, just not as great as it could and should have been.



19 thoughts on “Weezy back as ‘Carter’

  1. I think you’re review is just garbage. I am listening to the CD right now. John is a great song. My fav on the CD. How to love is a great song. I hate reviewers. they are normally people who can’t do the things they want to review others for.

    1. Wow, thanks for the rational feedback…

      Nowhere do I say that How to Love is a bad song. In fact, I love it. Calling it radio friendly wasn’t meant as a complaint, not in this case. I don’t know why you felt the need to defend its “greatness” when I didn’t attack it at all.

      You seem to have the impression that I hated the album. I didn’t. In fact I blast it in my room on numerous occasions and probably still will. As a reviewer, though, I have to point out its flaws. I didn’t hate it, I just don’t feel it’s as great as it could have been. But that’s not going to stop me from listening to it.

    2. i so agree people just need to leave him alone they dont no him maybe hes just making songs about his feelings and thats how the best songs are made is by ur feelings and all the people that has been hating on this CD will regraet it when this becomes the best selling CD of the year

      1. You sound like that guy who dressed as a girl and begged people to leave Britney Speares alone when she was going through that breakdown.

        Again, I’m not hating on it. I gave it 3 stars out of 5. That’s not a terrible score, and no where in my review do I say that I hate it. Just because I didn’t say it was the greatest thing ever doesn’t mean I hate it. There’s no point in me being a critic if I’m not going to pay attention to some obvious flaws in the material. You sound like someone who would love anything Weezy puts out no matter what.

        As for this being the best selling CD of the year, you are exactly right. It probably will be. But Avatar is the higest grossing movie of all time. The same goes for that as it does for Tha Carter IV-I didn’t feel it was a bad movie, just not as good as people make it out to be (it’s awfully boring). But if you’re really going to make the argument that sales determine the quality of a work, just look at the Twilight films: steaming piles of horse shit yet they still make money. Before you jump down my throat, no, I don’t think Carter IV is a steaming pile of horse shit. I’m just making the point that the sales a product makes doesn’t reflect how good it is. People will still buy this CD because it’s Tha Carter IV. It’s why I bought it, and I was disappointed. So the point here is that everyone who buys it isn’t going to like it, so to sum everything up: don’t bring sales into an argument about quality.

  2. Considering the immeasurable amount of pressure ostensibly placed on this album’s release, I’m not sure it would have lived up to anyone or everyone’s, expectations. While it may seem disjointed in places, I’m sure that can be attributed to Wayne’s time away, and, undoubtedly the fact that some material leaked. To accuse him of laziness or cockiness, at this point is almost unfair. Out of prison, with pressure to make an ‘epic’ album, I think this album is being judged quite harshly, which is fair but should be noted..It may not be ‘The Carter III’, but what can be? All pieces should be left to stand on their own; comparisons are merely more speculation and outrageous expectations usually lead to disappointment..

    1. Thanks for the rational response.

      I did have high expectations for the album, and I don’t see a problem with that. It’s Tha Carter IV. At this point, we should have high expectations for Lil Wayne and if he doesn’t deliver we can call him on it. As I stated, it’s not a bad album, just a little disappointing.

  3. I think Allison is wrong, to be honest. As an artist, you’re expected to deal with the pressure and deliver to your fans the music that they made you famous for. If anything, his time in prison should’ve helped boost his writing for the album. I mean, you’re in prison. What else is there to do besides work out and try not to get stabbed? Lil Wayne really should’ve stepped up after he was released and given his fans an album they would’ve been proud of, kind of like a thank you for their support during what must’ve been a difficult time. Just sayin’.

      1. The funny thing is that it’s not even close to being a negative review. When I eventually write a review for something I absolutely hate, they’ll know the difference haha

  4. thats fucked up lil wayne is the bast there is and he knows it he keeps all of his fan at and geussing game we never no what hes going to do next people just need to stop hating on him and in lil wayne takeover he says that he aint going to quit til the day he dies and hes only 27 going to be 28 on the 29th of this month and he aint repeating shit hes just being him and giving his fans what they want and thats lil wayne

    1. I’m not hating on him. I’m giving legitimate reasons why I didn’t think the album was as good as it could have been. As I’ve stated, I still liked it. As far as the best there is, that’s your own opinion, but this album doesn’t reflect that statement. Right now, Eminem and Kanye are better than him, and even Drake is well on his way to surpassing him. But that’s me.

  5. Kanye West is the best rapper alive. Lil Wayne is an idiot who thinks we should feel bad for him because he’s rich and has a lot of tattoos. His voice is annoying, his beats are usually annoying, and his best verses come in other people’s songs. The song John literally sounds like he’s orally pleasuring the microphone, and him trying to sing in How to Love literally makes him look like he has no talent. Let the hating begin….

  6. All I can say is that thank you all so much for your insightful commentary and opinions. This is what makes hip-hop culture the greatest because the real heads appreciate real music. That being said, I thought I was the only one that thought C4 was utter cow dung and straight trash. I thought I would be an outcast for going against the grain on this one but now I feel vindicated by the true hip hop heads like u as well as the media who hate this album. We can all see that Wayne has fallen off and his time is up.  He is not creative, there is no reflection no intelligence no growth what so ever. Its like he’s stuck in a time warp. That’s why he’s throwing rocks at the throne to stay relevant. He’s pathetic. It just proves what we all know: fads and trends come and go in hip hop but consistency and truth is what gives u the power. 

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