We all expected to feel a little emotional when listening to Tha Carter V.
Lil Wayne is one of the last remaining legends in the music industry.
A lot of artists can say that they are changing the game, or want to change it at least. But there are not many who can say it and actually mean it. And there are even less that can say it and mean it to the extent that Weezy can.
So to listen to Tha Carter V with the knowledge that this is (allegedly) the last full length solo album that Wayne is ever going to put out evokes strong feelings, to say the least.
Add to those feelings the fact that the world has waited years upon years to hear the album in full – and Tha Carter V was never going to do anything less than land with a bang.
And that it did. If you were anywhere near a device with WiFi enabled this past week, chances are you’ve seen posts about Weezy’s new album. Good or bad, it seems everyone on the planet has something to say about Tha Carter V.
Though we were expecting emotions, nothing could have prepared us for this.
From the Intro, I Love You Dwayne, a recorded message from Lil Wayne’s very own mother, telling her son how proud she is of him and how much she loves him we are on an emotional rollercoaster.
Tha Carter V is truly a ride that Weezy takes the listener on. It is a testimony to how he came to be as big as he is today. Each track is thought through, down to the last second, making listening to the songs in the order they are intended almost like a trip through time (starting with that lighter click.)
Straight after the emotional intro we are hit with the powerful “Don’t Cry” wailed by the late controversial Xxxtenacion which, regardless of your opinion on him, makes for a haunting opener.
Added with darker lyrics from Wayne, such as “Staring into the clouds, Am I rising or they comin’ down? I see death around the corner” it is clear this album isn’t going to skirt around more serious issues and prove he is a rapper who can stand the test of time. These deep, personal lyrics open Wayne up on a new level, a huge step lyrically from “Say he so sweet, make you wanna lick the wrapper, so I let her lick the rapper.”
However, this does not at all mean that we a deprived of the classic bangers that we are used to.
Uproar for example, is 3 minutes 14 seconds of pure 2008 Weezy magic. Beginning with a crowd chanting his name, it is impossible not to get hyped along with them. The simple backing track of crowds roaring and effortless flow with classic lines such as “Hair trigger pulled back like a cornrow, extra clip in the stash like a console” are reminiscent of early Lil Wayne. And the rise of the Uproar challenge, proves the people still love it.
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These two 🤙🏾
Another thing the album doesn’t lack are great features.
Nicki Minaj, for example, provides rare melodic vocals on the ethereal Dark Side Of The Moon, a song which seems to hint at the current state of not only the rap world, but the earth in general. The melancholic track offers an escape to whatever planet it is Weezy is from for four minutes at a time, and it is a welcomed change in pace on the album and in Lil Wayne’s discography.
By far the standout feature, and most anticipated one, is the Kendrick Lamar collaboration Mona Lisa.
The song, which tells a story of a woman playing a pawn in the robbery of several male victims, is in-depth and fast-paced enough to feel like a full length drama film. The flow and talent of the two rappers on the track give it an insane replay value, regardless of its length and relatively slow beat.
Even with the story coming to a conclusion within the track, I for one would be fine with another 30 chapters (think Trapped In The Closet, but darker.)
Wayne’s solo tracks are equally as phenomenal though. These are the tracks which show two different sides of the rapper. One doesn’t seem too far from who he used to portray himself as, bragging about his conquests with lines like “She gon’ suck the prototype then swallow all the proteges” in Open Safe.
The other one seems to have matured and shows a deeper side to the rapper, with thoughts like “I was talking to myself the other day, my homies call me cray, my momma tell me ‘Pray,’ she said I need a day,I said I need a bae, she said believe in faith, mom, they love me either way.” This insight into the mind of Lil Wayne, and snippet from troubling times in his personal life and relationships are rare but give context to how he has been since we last heard from him. This also helps bridge a relationship between him and his fanbase.
One thing to take away from this deeper, personal side is that it is equally as amazing to listen to as the earlier Wayne.
If this truly is the last full-length album we receive from Weezy, then he is leaving the music industry on an almighty high. And if he decides to return one day, then that day can’t come soon enough.
Do yourself a favour and listen to Tha Carter V here:
Featured Image Credit: Charlie Peacher