Lil Wayne: The Carter IV (The Game)

This is the newest addition from arguably today’s greatest hip-hop/ rapper icon. However, after only one listen (bear in mind, one listen doesn’t always have the album leap out at you), i’m a little torn on what i think of this new record. First of all, let me say that i’m a fan of Lil Wayne. I think that he’s the best at what he does and what he does is a blend or  Freestyle Rap and Hip-Hop and other not so immediate influences texturing some of his songs. In terms of lyrics he’s got some brilliant lyrics and some not so brilliant lyrics. There’s no dispute though that no matter what you think of him or his music or his lyrics, Lil Wayne has become the face of modern hip-hop  not only having an extensive back catalogue of his own original songs, but he’s also featured, in some way shape or form, on every other hip-hop single on the radio by other popular artists including,  but not limited to Tech N9ne, Eminem, Jay Sean, and Drake.

Anyway, on with the review:

I’m going to start off by saying that this isn’t my favorite Lil Wayne record, but it’s a strong record nonetheless and definitely worthy of your attention. That being said, i do have a few complaints about  some aspects of the album. First off, in terms of lyrics, I feel like to some extent he’s recycling some of his lyrics and recycling a lot of his ideas, but twisting them a little bit so that he’s not repeating anything. i mean, if anyone else thinks i’m full of shit on this, then please let me know what you think, but some of the songs on this record kinda felt familiar not in the tune itself, but i felt like i heard him say the same thing before on “Rebirth” or “I’m Not a Human Being”. There wasn’t anything new or different on this record that makes it stand out more so than any of his other records, it’s simply another Lil Wayne record. Nothing wrong with it and it certainly has potential to be album of the year, but there’s nothing groundbreaking on this record in particular. But then again, let’s be honest, Lil wayne is one of those artists where the old saying, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” applies. As long as the tunes still kick then Wayne will remain at the top.

Another thing, sorry Lil Wayne, but don’t do ballads anymore. Seriously, ballads just don’t come across very well when you’ve got vocoder vocals flying on top of everything. The song i’m referring to in particular is “How to Love”, but “How to Hate” can also apply to this rant (sorry T-Pain). Lil Wayne just simply shouldn’t be doing ballads like that. I’m not saying don’t do slower tempo songs, but if you do, you need to change your singing style a little bit to accommodate the song. What Lil Wayne does for “She Will” is alright though. Thats a better example of what i’m trying to explain. And another thing, while i’m thinking of it, why does every other song on this record need to open up with the clicking of a lighter. We get it, you smoke a lot and you like to sing about it a lot as well, but we don’t need to hear your lighter in the beginning of every song.

Now on to the positives on this record:

Like i said before, this is another strong Lil Wayne record, nothing new, but nothing’s overdone or dated. Every Wayne record to some extent is something of a declaration that this is who he is and he doesn’t compromise with anything and that sort of declaration translates very well on his records because you can hear the ferocity and anger in his rapping . It might just be me, but i felt like this record had a lot more moments where I thought he was saying, “Fuck this”, “Fuck that”, and “I am who I am, If you don’t like it, then go fuck yourself”. It’s that confidence and do-it-yourself attitude that Lil Wayne seems to portray so well that I think is the main reason why so many people gravitate towards him. Most rappers and hip hop artists in the past went through very hard upbringings and therefore have deep messages under the surface of all of their songs (artists like Biggie, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Tupac, etc.) and lets be honest, Lil Wayne didn’t really go through some of the hard times that the aforementioned rappers went through. I’m not saying that he was born with a spoon in his mouth, but because he was never a hustler or anything like that, he doesn’t have much to talk about, which is why he’s more political than most rappers (thanks to Katrina and George Bush according to Wayne). Lil Wayne’s lyrics and themes are more focused around whats going on in the world around him as opposed to directly within him. I guess what I’m really trying to say about Lil Wayne is that it’s not always necessarily WHAT he says but HOW he says it. I mean, Wiz Khalifa sings most of the same stuff that Lil Wayne does, but what’s the major difference? Songs. Lil Wayne’s got songs. He’s also got a career twice as long as Wiz’s but thats beside the point.

I’m getting lost in that rant so i’m going to quit while I’m ahead before people get majorly confused.

Anyway, to bring this review to a close, it’s another great Lil Wayne record. If you like Lil Wayne, you’ll like it. It may not be your favorite, but it’s got great songs and at the end of the day thats all you need.

Enjoy,                                                                                                                                                                                               Luke Helker


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