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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weezy F. Baby!

Yes! It's finally here!

After like 6 months of delays, worries, fears and anticipation... Lil' Wayne has released "Tha Carter III".
And it's incredible! Like "classic", "masterpiece", "lived up to and exceeded all the hype that preceded it" incredible.
I have to admit I was worried about the album. My first concern were all the delays... if Weezy is in the studio every night making 20 songs a day and he's amassed like 500 songs this year, why couldn't he just pick the best 15 and release them? Were they all crap and his record company wouldn't release it? My second, and more founded concern was the first single, "Lollipop". Now I know I'm totally in the minority on this one... I mean, the song has been blowing up the charts and is the summer jam that everyone is bumping but... I thought it sucked. HARD. I just thought it was tired, cliche (come on, vocoder vocals a la T-Pain and Akon, played out "sex as candy" metaphor, and he freaking DOESN'T RAP IN THE ENTIRE SONG) boring, lowest-common-denominator "radio song" with less lyrical subtlety than the Black Eyed Peas "My Humps" (which he actually references in his inane lyrics). I was really worried that, having tasted success with such a simple, cheesy song, Wayne would of given up on his hard-core, mixtape-toting fans for the strippers and teeny-boppers who giggled at "Lollipop".

But I'm very glad to say that the album is great... it features Weezy at his best, with his most unique, genius rhymes and incredible production and beats. It's stacked with rhyme after rhyme of intense layers and metaphors, making it an album that will yield repeated surprises under intense listening all summer. While listening the first time I consciously thought that every song on this album could be a single and could envision each song blowing up on the radio (and I NEVER do that... I'm really bad at recognizing future singles and "hits"). This is (so far) his masterpiece, the album we will remember him for.

I have this theory about Lil' Wayne and his growth as a rapper. As he begun as a little 14 year-old rapping with the Hot Boys, Weezy was great for his age but he wasn't special yet. As he continued rapping and he perfecting his skill, he learned how to be the best rapper alive... I pinpoint his "coming out party" as his verse on Destiny's Child "Soldier"(which Wayne has said is his favorite guest verse). So then Wayne was on fire, spitting the hottest guest verses and lighting up the mixtape circuit... but his proper albums weren't that good. "Tha Carter" I & 2 had a lot of good songs (and were his best albums by far at that point) but they weren't yet as good as Wayne's throwaway verses on his mixtapes. I think that Wayne was a great "rapper" but not a great "songwriter", and his album sales were stagnant. So basically he was an immensely talented rapper who's mixtapes were must-haves but who's proper albums could be slept on.

But then Wayne started to make some truly great "pop" songs that managed to puncture the mass consciousness... songs like "Make It Rain". At this point Weezy's incredible verses were packed into a more accessible structure, making him an immensely talented songwriter who could make a dent on the charts as well. Which has set him up for "Tha Carter III", which finds Weezy spitting mixing both the intense, driven narratives, metaphors and boasts of his classic mixtapes with the pop songwriting sensibility that makes him truly a force to be reckoned with. And this is why I could see almost every cut on "Tha Carter III" being a successful single (and why I couldn't hate on him for "Lollipop"). He's keeping the 'heads attention while keeping the seats filled... we haven't seen somebody pull it off this good since Jay-Z did it 10 years ago.

"Tha Carter III" is blowing up too... it only came out yesterday and it's already sold 450,000 copies. It could reach a million albums sold it's first week out... if you love hip-hop you should pick up a copy! Ya dig?

Here's a cut off "Tha Carter III" with none other that Jay-Z himself... The Best Rappers Alive.
Mr. Carter

Lil Wayne A Lock To Top Next Week's Album Chart

Lil Wayne

June 11, 2008, 3:10 PM ET

Keith Caulfield, L.A.
It's all about Lil Wayne this week as The Billboard 200 prepares for the arrival of "Tha Carter III." The rapper's new Cash Money/Universal album will easily bow at No. 1 next week, as it leads Nielsen SoundScan's Building Chart, to be released this afternoon (June 11) at 5 p.m. ET.

Unweighted first-day sales of "Tha Carter III" at nine leading accounts through the close of business yesterday (June 10), stood at 423,000. Sources close to the album project "Carter" could shift between 850,000-950,000 in its first full week.

That would easily give Wayne the biggest sales week of the year, surpassing the 463,000 start that greeted Mariah Carey's "E=MC2," and the best since Kanye West's "Graduation" started with 957,000 last year.

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