Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Lil' Wayne- Tha Carter III
Lil Wayne- Tha Carter III
So instead of a BEST OF THE DECADE list, I'm going to focus on all the negativity of the last X annum and write about the worst albums released between 2000-2009. These albums contributed to the overarching karma deficit of the world, with television reality mega-hit "Joisey Shore" being a painful reminder that more bad albums have come out in the last decade than good, and that we are suffering from a major karmic deficit. I think if this PRO-JECT actually concludes, and I have sufficiently delved into what this beautiful and dimpled chin writer at Solid Little Rock James concludes is the decade's compost, maybe I'll write about the good albums!?!?!?!?! Hahaha, no one reads this and nobody cares, but I FELT COMPELLED TO DELIVER A STATEMENT OF INTENT. Sincerity and a genuine character should not only endear you to me, but make all of these reviews solid little coozy fireside chats! Please child....come closer.....
With no further interruption, the first record I'm going to slag is Lil' Wayne's grammy nominated, magna von magnusson opus, Tha Carter III. No, this isn't about being iconoclastic, this is about throwing a life preserver to one of rap hop's biggest stars and begging him not to destroy himself before he can save all of humankind from Robert Christgau's final form (Not Safe for Anyone, and yes, the search term I put in was Giant Gay Man, and no, I don't meant that homophobically). Tha Carter III's main problem is that it was released after Lil' Wayne became the most critically lauded, prolific mixtape rapper of all time over the span of 2 years. As a result, the entire album is a hyper-produced brick and mortar'd beat sample of Wayne's ego. 16 tracks of codeinenated lyrics about how Lil' Wayne is the absolute best rapper in the entire world. Seriously, if you're into drinking games, start from 3 Peat and drink Robitussin everytime Lil' Wayne raps about him not just being a good rapper, but the best on the whole planet. Not only will your cough be gone, but so will your sense of three dimensional reality. Next, record Da Carter 4...hehehehe.
That isn't to say that there aren't amazing songs on Da Carter 3. A Milli is bass-bursting minimalism with Lil' Wayne's rapping style sharing more in Common (so good in Smoking Aces!!!!!) with Grateful Dead's Dark Star than Notorious B.I.G's The What. 3 Peat and Let The Beat Build are soaked with brimstone spittle over some of the best beats of Wayne's career. All of these songs have classic examples of Wayne's steam of consciousness dalliances with alliteration, consonance, metaphor, semaphore, pastoral imagery and simile. The problem is that the rest of the parts of these tracks, and the rest of the tracks on the album, especially Dr. Carter, are basically the scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where all those cultists are worshipping Khali, and the guy rips the human sacrifices' heart out. Only, all of the cultists are Lil' Wayne and the guy who rips the heart out is also Lil Wayne and the guy who gets his heart ripped out is also Lil' Wayne and Khali is also Lil' Wayne!!!!! If Lil' Wayne could go on the Lil' Wayne Tonight Show and be interviewed by Lil' Wayne, it'd still be the most viewed show on television but it'd only make Lil' Wayne more fucking crazy and self-obsessed.
You listen to songs like "Like the Beat Build," and while the term mainly appears as a lyrical theme, imagine if the producers actually increased the tension and intensity of the beat and samples as Lil' Wayne's delivery reaches full crescendo? Instead, the song is simplified in many ways and has a short breakdown where Lil' Wayne utters many of his us against them knocks of "I replenish, they (all other rappers and haters) diminish." Dr. Carter is all about Lil' Wayne self-inserting himself into the rap pantheon amongst his heroes and influences, and he fails to sound like a confident and assured rapper, appearing more like a braggart wannabe who name drops for street credibility. While one may argue that it's just a factor of Lil' Wayne's down to earth, laid back conversational side, is this the song you really want to play by Lil' Wayne: him lounging around with his budz and comparing himself to Kanye and Andre 3000? Oh, and I can relate to the song, because as a caucasian mastermind writer, I am also a legendary wordsmith! At the very least, there's no current measurable statistic of Lil' Wayne influencing the youth demographic to perform auto-felattio.
Which is ultimately why the album is so frustration (POTENTIAL). Lil' Wayne is awesome in so many ways, from his syncopated, shapeshifting delivery, to the absurd but actually intelligent rhyme themes and lyrical changes. This is a guy who's mixtapes are so popular because he takes other people's beats and destroys them by supplanting their rhymes with his. Even Lollipop is one of the best Strip Club songs of it's time, but who wants to listen to an album where almost every single second is packed with Lil' Wayne sucking his own dick forever in the hip hop version of the Ourosboros? How can a new listener pick up the Carter and not feel the least bit alienated that the guy everyone's talking about isn't going to wait to be crowned, making sure that you know he's the new king of rap? The fact that he is so critically acclaimed and that besides his Kanye, DJ Khaled raps, his ascent happened outside of the pop universe, as he appeared on internet released mixed tapes like Da Draught 3, Da Dedication 2, or his under the radar hit Da Carter 2? It's basically the equivalent of everyone in the world telling you he's good and then you liking him, is that what happened here?
The reason then, that this album is one of the worst albums of the decade is because it's a painting of Rome in decline, a civilization sill majestic and monumental but corrupt in the belly and brain. Lil' Wayne is tripping off his own-self importance instead of cough medication. If his next release, Rebirth, a rock-based auto-tune album where Lil' Wayne, I'm not fucking kidding, plays guitar, is any indication, he's so far gone in his narcissistic psychosis that 2009 may be the year that marked Lil' Wayne flying past Saturn and disappearing into a drug or personality induced black hole. Now, his last released internet mixtape "No Ceilings" does have a few tracks that are definitely a lyrical return to form, but the very fact is that Lil' Wayne's talent has a self-imposed ceiling based entirely on his own self-obsession. I can only wonder if the best rap album never made is some sort of Lil' Wayne Danger Mouse space beat album, where Lil' Wayne's choice of drink is blended Adderal and he actually produces something consistent, blistering, without the self-inflated bravado of someone who may not entirely be operating on the same terrestrial plane of existence, and I mean that in the worst possible way.
Rating: Lil'' Wayne 1982-2009
Download: Lil' Wayne- Put Some Keys On That Bitch