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Lil Wayne: Tha Carter IIITha Carter III (2008)
Universal Music Group
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Meet Dwayne Carter. The man who, by most accounts, is supposed to be the savior of hip-hop. That's a mighty weight on the shoulders of the man from New Orleans. While Nas makes albums about how hip-hop is dead and Joe Budden is indicting everyone responsible, the self-proclaimed best rapper al.
Meet Dwayne Carter.
I lost everything, but I ain't the only one / First came the hurricane, then the morning sun / Excuse me if I'm on one, and don't trip if I light one / I walk a tight one, they try to tell me keep my eyes open / My whole city under water, some people still floatin' / And they wonder why black people still votin', cause your president's still chokin' / Take away the football team, the basketball team / Now all we got is me to represent New Orleans / No governor no help from the mayor, just a steady beatin' heart, and a wish and a prayer."On "Shoot Me Down," Wayne slows his flow to perfectly match the hollow, brooding production, and on "Playin' with Fire," he sounds positively manic. Throwing any semblance of structure out the window, he lets his ego get the better of him ("And you know what they say, when you're great it's not murder, it's assassinate / So assassinate me bitch, 'cause I'm doin' the same shit Martin Luther King did"), but even then, the originality of his approach makes it all all right. Rounding out the best stretch of the 16-song album is the smash "Lollipop," and though detractors will contest that Wayne overuses Auto-Tune and doesn't really rap on the song, those same people are unable to explain why that's an inherently bad thing. The slow, twinkling groove is almost hypnotizing and Weezy's southern drawl is a flawless accent. Though it's a heavily criticized song, it's a perfect illustration of how Wayne will take chances that other rappers simply would not.
Not every such idea was a sure shot, however.
The odd, ET-themed "Phone Home" is well produced thanks to David Banner, but the cries of "phone home" in the chorus sound far too similar to "Mike Jones" and, even by Wayne's standards, the lyrics are near incomprehensible. "La La"'s baby-like noises are too much of a distraction to even try to listen to Wayne or guests Busta Rhymes and Brisco. He also gets shown up on his own track again by Fabulous (first time being "Six Minutes of Death") and Juelz Santana ("No Other") during "Nothing on Me."
Missteps aside, Tha Carter III asserts Lil Wayne as one of the most creative and talented voices in hip-hop. Whether he has the capacity to expound on that is a story that Tha Carter IV is just itching to tell.
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