Tha Carter IV – Review

After last night’s MTV Video Music Awards, Lil Wayne electronically released his new album, Tha Carter IV on iTunes. For those of you who still purchase the compact disc versions, you can find the album in stores tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Tha Carter IV is Mr. Carter’s 9th studio album and judging by the social media critics and other great hip-hop predecessors, the number nine is not a number of charm.

Jay-Z, arguably the greatest rapper of all-time, didn’t fair too well with his ninth mark releasing one of his worst albums to-date. “Kingdom Come” wasn’t an album for Jay-Z fans and many listeners found him to be null and void after returning to the hip-hop community due to retiring for the first time with his release of The Black Album back in 2003. The three year hip-hop era sans Jay-Z or the mixtape period of hip-hop could find Lil Wayne at the peak of not only his lyrical abilities, but also of his rap career. Other hip-hop great, Nas’s ninth studio album release was also a debacle. The Untitled Album received a lot of negativity before it was released due to the vulgarity of the desired album title- The Nigger Album. Another reason this album didn’t seem relevant to the hip-hop community was because of Nas’s previously released album- Hip-Hop Is Dead. Moreover, nine doesn’t seem to be a lucky number for rappers. Snoop Dogg’s ninth attempt also was a trap. In 2008 he released Ego Trippin’ which had Sensual Seduction as its only hit single. Rappers tend to flail out during the ninth inning stretch; however, although it may see as though Weezy has hit a plateau in the hip-hop world with Tha Carter IV, there is more that meets the ear about the quality of his work.

What exactly do fans want from the prison-released rapper? @MontyTheMack on twitter tweeted: Carter IV just gave me a headache. Why is it that people aren’t taking to the likes of President Carter?

The titled, “Intro” track does not live up to any of the previous Carter albums intros. Weezy delivers a non-nasal flow compiled of set-up punchline driven metaphors that play around with the semantics of the English language:

“Real nigga, nigga/ proud of what I am/ Young Money is an army/ Bitch, I’m Uncle Sam.”

The first track falls flat; however, the let the beat build antics used in the song “Blunt Blowin'” and “MegaMan” gives fans a taste of the Weezy that hip-hop has came to love; for example, Weezy thunders: “Stunner I got ’em. I’m back on them bitches./ All about my riches. My name should be Richard.”

While it may seem that it is easy to keep a man locked up, it is not easy to stop his underlying will to be free. Wayne is making his money from shows, album sales and his Young Money record label headed by up and coming superstars Nicki Minaj and Drake.

“I’m a bad motherfucker ’cause the good die young./ Erybody sellin’ dreams, I’m too cheap to buy one/ Man, when that cookie crumble, everybody want a crumb.” While these bars by Wayne may ring true for people of financial and spotlight success, Weezy doesn’t fail to break bread with his record label or other hip-hop greats.

For his ninth album, Weezy committed album suicide by featuring non-relevant rappers. Wayne employs rappers such as Tech N9ne, Andre 3000, Bun B, Busta Rhymes, Nas, and Shyne. For all hip-hop fans, these names have to ring a bell in the mental bank, but not in the importance of rap today. Anyone born after 1990 may not recognize the aforementioned names which can also be a reason why twitter fans of Wayne don’t approve of the Carter IV. This doesn’t just give us insight of the fans, but also to hip-hop as a whole. Rap is a young man’s sports and while Jay-Z is 40+ still making hit music, he doesn’t share enough in common with those of us who aren’t a “twenty-something.”

With his leading single, “How To Love,” an auto-tuned ballet, Weezy is winning in the love and female-friendly music. Songs like “How To Hate” ft. T-Pain and “So Special” by John Legend, and “She Will” ft. Drake, Wayne just might end up on top of a few ladies rather than the charts this time around.

Because of all the rap beef and its success in promoting albums, “It’s Good” featuring Drake and Jadakiss takes a shot at Jay-Z and a possible kidnapping of Beyonce. Those are the songs and lyrics that fans truly want to hear. Weezy’s growth as an artist will forever be overshadowed by his past career. Wayne in this album has taken the time to address critical issues that plagued the world in which we live. “Abortion” and “President Carter” are two of the tracks that parrallels the genius of Wayne at his most creative moments.

“Abortion” displays Wayne’s best lyrical verse on the entire album.

“Life is a gamble better check the point spread./ And when life sucks, I just enjoy the head./ I’m so sick of these niggas I need meds./ Smoking on that hallelujah. Thank ya Jesus./ Help me focus on the future and not the previous./ Double R, I’m a rebel without a reason.”

When you’re in the belly of the beast, never think of abortion according to Weezy. The political speech at the end of “President Carter” merits a rewind on the first listen. Produced by Infamous, beatmaker for southern rap artist, makes what is the best beat from the entire Carter 4.

All in all, Tha Carter IV may not be Wayne’s best work altogether, but it is of listening quality. Everyone is a critic now with the bloom of social media. Instead of comparing this album, it is important that you note the artistic growth and maturity of Wayne as an artist and record label owner. The 4th version of Tha Carter should be celebrated.

@drunkoffkryst tweeted: Lil Wayne should stop tryna fuck the world. Listening to Tha Carter IV I would agree that as much as he’s been through, if she tried to screw the world, it would be hard to get aroused.

~Keep Hip-Hop Alive~