Lil Wayne, ‘Tha Carter IV’ – Album Review
After numerous delays and countless singles, Lil Wayne‘s new album ‘Tha Carter IV’ has finally arrived, albeit, thanks to a massive leak onto the Internet.
It’s a solid effort but not better than his previous disc ‘Tha Carter III.’ The most surprising aspect of the album is that most of the producers the Young Money leader worked with on the album are relatively unknown. Beatmakers Willy Will, T-Minus, Street Runners, Snizzy, MegaMan and others did a great job with giving Weezy the kind of gritty production he needs for his gruff rhymes.
Tunechi is still lyrically sharp as ever and quite impressive on a few tracks on the album. Among the standout joints: ‘Intro,’ ‘MegaMan,’ ‘Nightmares of the Bottom,’ ‘She Will,’ ‘Mirror’ and ‘President Carter.’
The LP’s guest list is bountiful with rap cameos from T-Pain, Tech N9ne, Rick Ross, André 3000, John Legend, Drake, Jadakiss, and on the incredible ‘Outro,’ you have Bun B, Nas, Shyne and Busta Rhymes.
Overall, ‘Tha Carter IV’ is a good album with several noteworthy tracks that should make the collection a platinum seller by year’s end.
You can listen to ‘Tha Carter IV’ in its entirety here (You can thank Jus Hustle for that.)
A great kick-off song on the album as Lil Wayne flips several hashtag rap flows for three minutes straight. “I keep some bud / Like Rudy Huxtable / I body slap the beat / N—a, Dusty Rhodes,” he spits. And this one is priceless: “Life is a crazy b—h / Grace Jones.” Big Sean would be proud of this song.
2. ‘Blunt Blowin’
A dramatic song with a catchy chorus but there’s nothing really exciting about it.
Weezy go bananas on this track, which doesn’t have a chorus at all. So for three minutes straight he spits one-liners over a crazy beat. There are some hits and misses but overall Wayne is on fire.
4. ’6 Foot 7 Foot’ Feat. Cory Gunz
The album’s lead single and it still sounds fresh despite being released several months back. Nothing much too say about it except Cory Gunz killed the track with his rapid-ity raps. Keep an eye out for this young gunner.
5. ‘Nightmares of the Bottom’
Wayne originally performed this song during his performance on MTV’s Unplugged show. Produced by newcomer Snizzy, this feels like a bonafide radio hit with its downing piano tickles and throbbing 808 drum kicks. On the introspective song, Weezy relays his thoughts on his life, career and family. “It’s like I have it all / But I don’t have to worry / Married to the money / A true love story / Only God can judge me / I don’t need a jury / Nothin’ is standing in my way / Like nothing is my security,” he raps.
6. ‘She Will’ Feat. Drake
One of the best songs from the album and the beat still knocks hard. We can listen to this joint all day. Where’s the video at, Weezy?! [Listen Here]
7. ‘How to Hate’ Feat. T-Pain
Wayne teams up with his good buddy T-Pain for the LP’s requisite rap ballad. T-Pizzle’s auto-tune is in full effect as he and Tunechi spit awful misogynistic lyrics about their exes who have burned them in the past. Ladies, this song is not for you if the B-word offends you.
8. ‘Interlude’ Feat. Tech N9ne and André 3000
Wow! This is a phenomenal track featuring Tech N9ne and OutKast’s André 3000. Both Tech and Three Sacks spit crazy bars over this joint. Our only gripe with this song is that it’s too short. What’s up with that, Weezy?
9. ‘John’ Feat. Rick Ross
Honestly, this wasn’t our favorite song when it was released a while back and it still doesn’t do anything for us here. As far as we are concerned, Wayne should have cut this from the album, but that’s just our opinion. [Listen Here]
Now by looking at the song’s title you would think Weezy was going to tackle a very heavy subject matter. Alas, he’s not. It’s a quasi-rock track that has nothing do with the subject of abortion. So with this song, we don’t know if we should be offended, disappointed or both. This would have been a great opportunity for Weezy to offer his socio-political views on the issue — since he has fathered children by a few different women — but maybe we’re asking too much from him.
11. ‘So Special’ Feat. John Legend
Tunechi is in mack mode as he boasts about his sexual prowess in the bedroom on this uptempo ballad, which was produced by Cool & Dre. Legend provides the soulful hook to help further entice the ladies into the boudoir. Go and get your groove on Weezy!
12. ‘How to Love’
On the acoustic-driven ballad, Weezy warbles about a young woman’s search to find true love after enduring a lifetime of pain and hardships. The rapper just dropped an heartfelt video for the song, as well. [Listen Here]
13. ‘President Carter’
The Young Money leader spit some braggadocios lyrics over plucking guitars, harrowing keyboards and a plodding beat. It’s a great song with a couple of memorable one-liners. “I’m a monster / Excorisms / Tote tools like mechanics / Mechanisms / Detrimental on any instrumental / I say you rappers sweet / I’ll pay the incidentals,” he says.
14. ‘It’s Good’ Feat. Drake & Jadakiss
The most controversial song on the album because of Wayne’s lyrical jab at Jay-Z and Beyoncé. It’s a shame because outside of Weezy’s diss, this is a great song. For the record, Drizzy and ‘Kiss didn’t take shots at anyone on the track so it’s unfortunate that they’re getting pulled into the beef. We still don’t think Hov should respond, but we have to wait and see what’s going to happened next.
15. ‘Outro’ Feat. Bun B, Nas, Shyne & Busta Rhymes
The biggest song on the album and it’s at the end — go figure. It’s a phenomenal posse track with Bun, Nas, Shyne and Bussa-Buss spitting some of the craziest punchlines we have heard, so far. We can’t stop listening to this joint. Bravo! [Listen here]
Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks
16. ‘I Like the View’
A throwaway club track with Wayne spitting non-sensical rhymes over a boring beat and whining synthesizers. Pushing the fast-forward button.
17. ‘Mirror’ (Feat. Bruno Mars)
If you do buy the deluxe edition, you will get this wonderful song featuring hook king Bruno Mars. Tunechi gets introspective on the track as he reflects on his past struggles to help him understand the man looking in the mirror. This is a bonafide pop hit. [Listen here]
18. ‘Two Shots’
We have no idea why Wayne has this song and ‘I Like the View’ on the deluxe edition. Both tracks belong on the cutting room floor. We are simply not impressed.