Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV [Review]

It’s been more than two years since the man who has been deemed as Raw Tune released his critically acclaimed Tha Carter III. Yet, it isn’t like Weezy F. hasn’t kept new music in constant rotation in our iPods. Since C3 he has put out Dedication 3, a Young Money compilation, No Ceilings, Rebirth, and an apologetic mixtape in Sorry 4 The Wait. Still with that said, this is maybe the most important piece of work and most anticipated album of his career (Even more so than Tha Carter III, which sold 1.5 million in it’s first week). The reason being, Wayne has been through so much. He has had more kids (A lot, I can’t even give you the number maybe 4 more), his team has certified stars now, oh and he did an 8 month bid in jail. Since Wayne has been out, he has told people that musically he is more mature, claimed to have written a lot of rhymes while locked up, and has even hinted at the possibility that this will be his final solo album. Let’s check out if the album lives up to the hype surrounding it.

1. Intro
Produced by Willy Will
The track starts off with light horns and Wayne stating “It’s Been while Man”. The beat comes in and Wayne gave a nice verse to start the album off with. Of course the New Orleans punch line king dropped some really nice bars like “Fuck them niggas, and them hoes, them niggas pussy. Camel toes”. I must applaud Willy Will for giving Wayne this instrumental. This is the same beat that will be on the “Interlude” and “Outro”. This is a nice way to start off the album.

2. Blunt Blowin’
Produced by DVLP & Filthy
This is a very climatic type of beat that DVLP and Filthy gave to Wayne. I really enjoyed what Wayne did with this beat. He really wanted this song to reflect who he is as a person. I know that many people complain that Wayne only talks about Pussy, Money, Weed, Syzzurp, and the team he has created. If you are one of these people, you will hate this song, but it is who he is. He is proud of the person he is and it is evident on this song.

3. MegaMan
Produced by MegaMan
I always wanted Wayne to do this on an album. The reason people love his mixtapes (Sometimes even more than his albums) is because he sometimes sounds like he forces himself to stick to a format. 3 verses and a hook, but here he just roams free. The beat sounds so Lil Wayne. I became excited as soon as I heard the instrumentation. He kicks one liners like, “I’m a diamond in the rough, like a baby in the trash”. This is defiantly an early highlight.

4. 6 Foot 7 Foot
Featuring Cory Gunz; Produced by Bangledash
This is the first offering we got from this album. I must admit every time I hear it I get excited. Wayne seems to kill Bangledash beats, but the Lil guy by the name of Cory Gunz stole the show:

Word to my mama, I’m out of my lima bean
don’t wanna see what that drama mean, get some Dramamine
llama scream, hotter than summer sun on a Ghana queen
now all I want is hits, bitch, Wayne signed a fiend
I played the side for you niggas that’s tryna front, and see
son of Gunz, Son of Sam, you niggas the son of me
pause for this dumber speech, I glow like Buddha
disturb me, and you’ll be all over the flow like Luda
bitch, I flow like scuba, bitch, I’m bald like Cuba
and I keep a killer ho, she gon’ blow right through ya
I be macking, ’bout my stacking, now I pack like a mover
shout to ratchet for backing out on behalf of my shooter
niggas think they high as I, I come laugh at your ruler
Cash Money cold, bitch, but our actions is cooler
Wayne, these niggas out they mind
I done told these fuck niggas, so many times
that I keep these bucks steady on my mind
tuck these, I fuck these on your mind, pause
to feed them, on my grind, did I get a little love?
keep throwing my sign in the middle
hit ’em up, piece on my side, ’cause ain’t no peace on my side, bitch
I’m a man, I visit urinals abroad
Tune told me to, I’m shooting when the funeral outside
I’m uptown, thoroughbred, a BX nigga, ya heard?

I know a lot of people are sleeping on the young cat, but he has a lot of talent. Looks like Wayne got another one and he picked the perfect way to introduce him to the world.

5. Nightmares Of The Bottom
Produced by Snizzy & Kenoe
Wayne performed this on MTV’s Unplugged and killed it. I wasn’t sure that the audio version was going to be as good as the live rendition, sort of how “Gossip”‘s audio didn’t live up to the live version, but this was just as good if not better. Some will complain that the production is too laid back. I actually enjoyed the song. The laid back instrumental along with Wayne’s voice makes the lyrics sting even more than normal:

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
Nothing standing in my way, like nothings my security
Back to my journey, that bullshit don’t concern me
If I knew I was going to jail I would have fucked my attorney
If you sleeping on me nigga, than I hope you toss and turning
I’m so cold I’m hypothermic, ask yo bitch she will confirm it

This is also the first time you really hear Wayne speak about his situation that led to him spending 8 months on Rikers, “The bullshit don’t concern me, If I knew I was going to jail I would have fucked my attorney”.

6. She Will
Featuring Drake; Producer T-Minus
I first saw a preview of this on MTV news. I saw Wayne going off in the booth and then later talking to Drake about the song. It turned out that T-Minus produced this. I can’t lie, I don’t think this is what he expected Wayne would do with the instrumental, but it turns out pretty special. This sounds like the strip clubs will love this.

7. How To Hate
Featuring Drake; Produced by Young Fyre
Well here comes the T-Pain feature we all knew was going to happen. I really am not a fan of these two doing songs together. It seems like T-Pain brings out the worst in Wayne (“When it Wayne, it pours”). I guess some of you cats who are going through some shit because of a woman may appreciate this. Is it me of does the beat remind you of “Shut It Down” from Thank Me Later?

8. Interlude
Performed by Tech N9ne & Andree 3000; Produced by Willy Will
Same beat as the intro except this time there is no Wayne. Tech and 3 Stacks kill this though:

[Tech N9ne:]
Heart’s what it is
Watch what the kid drops, I’ma get the prop if you’re not wit’ the biz
Not only other regions, I really popped at the crib
So hatin’ motherfuckers, you better stop with the jibs
All for the dibs, but I’m boss
It’s don’t matter what the cost when I live right across from the Wiz
Killa City will have a nigga lost in the Mids
Doin’ nothin’ but mothers stackin’ pussy coffin again
What is happenin’ is a merger, different levels of murder
Lil Weezy cook it and I’ma serve her
Further, guess what I’ma go do wit’ this women when we’re eatin’ Gerber?
Mama said to kill ‘em all, and I heard her
Thank you, baby, for what became Lil Wayne
It’s good that all the people know when Strange in the game
I been really able to hang in the fame
But when he shot at my nig was when it changed in my lane
I’m accustomed, fucking lovin’ nothin’ but to get your brain
And I be stuck in lust and quick to bust a nut and take a nigga’s dame wit’ no shame
When they be bussin’ ‘nough, they thinkin’ they thuggin’ tough
But never do knuckle up, you in the game, you bang
You druggin’, touchin’ everything, you lame?
Sucka, you cannot sustain the rain
Tech N9ne is such a cuckoo in this
Balla nigga, Strange Music, coupe through swishas
I know a lot of you prolly never knew who this is
Well, you listenin’ to Tecca Nina, soo woo bidness

[Andre 3000:]
Today, I feel electric gray, I hope tomorrow neon black
I tell a nigga all those flows are borrowed, it’s the phar-oh, Three Stacks
I woke up in Cai-ro, lookin’ at stars so bright in the sky I thought they were marbles
No car doors, whatcha call those? A whole carload of raw hoes
In a Jeep Defender, please remember, don’t feed the Simba
Three’s a symbol like nobody, he’s a symbol of what’s safari
Pulled her ponytail to my body, she’s the only girl that was smart enough to call me Mr. Benjamin in the middle of a wild party
Skin was cinnamon, I pound it harder, how come the only girls that are thought of
Are the light ones? Well, tonight, then, we gon’ do it, do it, do it for the dark ones
It’s important that you are more than welcome to the Carter IV and
Y’all enjoy it, I will go ‘head, and I’ll kiss y’all on y’all forehead

9. John (If I Die Today)
Featuring Rick Ross; Produced by Polow The Don
How many times can they possibly remix “I’m Not a Star” from Rozay. I actually like this on, even though I wasn’t feeling it until I saw the visuals from the video. This is another highlight of the album. The production is really just a darker sounding “I’m Not A Star”. I bet Wayne wanted to be apart of the remix and just took this as a consolation. Rozay actually out rapped Wayne on this one.

10. Abortion
Produced by The Comission & StreetRunner
The beat sounds like something that would have been made for Rebirth. When the song actually starts and I hear the Auto Tune, I just put my head down and hoped he wasn’t going to do it the entire song. Fortunately he avoids the use of a vocoder for the rest of the song. Still the song is pretty forgetful. It isn’t a skip, but nothing great either.

11. So Special
Featuring John Legend; Produced by Cool & Dre
I like this right here. This is probably the next single from the album. Wayne drops some nice line here too, “She crazy about that dick. Lorena Bobbitt”. I can imagine a nice video for this joint.

12. How To Love
Produced by Noel “Detail” Fisher & Drum Up
This is the single that was put out to gain crossover appeal. I know most people on our site will hate this, but I can deal with it way better than I can with “Lollipop”. Wayne says he intended to make women feel better and that this was inspired by the late Tupac Shakur. I don’t really hear it, but ok. The video is a definite heart tugger though.

13. President Carter
Produced by Angel “Onhel” Aponte, Christopher Allen, & Infamous
When I first saw the title of this song, I assumed he would be doing a conceptual song like he did with “Dr. Carter”. I was wrong. Although he touches the idea of being the head of our country with lines like, “Smoking weed and getting head in the oval office” he doesn’t go to the same depth that he has the ability to go. I do however like the song, but it doesn’t meet my expectations.

14. It’s Good
Featuring Jadakiss & Drake; Produced by Cool & Dre
This is the most controversial track on the album. The beat is dope. I forgot Cool & Dre had this type of talent. With that said, Jadakiss didn’t wow me at all but Drake showed people he can still rap (He been on that R&B shit for the past 9 months). The controversy comes from Wayne and his verse. I remember when he said that he would play around with Jay-Z’s “Baby Money” line, but I wasn’t expecting this:

Talkin ’bout baby money? I got your baby money
Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘how much you love your lady’ money
I know you fake nigga, press your brakes nigga
I’ll take you out, that’s a date nigga

As surprised as I was, this is a pretty weak diss. I doubt this will push Hov to respond.

15. Outro
Performed by Bun B, Nas, Shyne, & Busta Rhymes; Produced by Willy Will
All of these legends hop on the beat to show their respect for Wayne. Everyone does their thing on here, except for Shyne who seems uncomfortable and out of place here. Nas and Busta kill this though.

[Verse 2: Nas]
Look who crept in with automatic weapons, reppin’ QB till the death of him
That nigga that inspired lyrical tyrants like Kanye West and Em
Track record goes back to “The Essence”,
Smack adolescents who ask who the best is
I’m nasty like gas from a fat man, attested,
I pass it, you gaspin’ for breath and you die fast
But I’m like a gastric bypass,
Bunch of Nas African actors seemed to get typecast in the same role
Since 16 I ain’t grow a day old yet my brain grow, cocaine white Range Rov’
Tats on my body like an art exhibit, I did real good for a project nigga
Was once a Bacardi sipper, now it’s Chandon,
Fat blunts in the car with strippers
Guns in compartments hidden, I was real young, little youth, a novice nigga
Blessings, bowed down, respected, chowed down now my food’s digested
Pow pow, with my shooters are Techs, bust louder than the noise I just spit
Let’s get one thing straight that my crown ain’t for testin’… testin’
Chop heads off like King Henry the 8th, guillotine to ya neck, bitch!
I’m a king in this thing, don’t be dumb
Been in this shit since ‘91
Niggas can’t fuck with the style I use
Your fate is sealed, no Heidi Klum
Calm now, was a wylin’ dude, studied cowards that made power moves
Watched Wild Planet seen lions devour food, you can say that’s how I move
A monster nigga, and I don’t really like doing songs with niggas
There go my nigga Wayne, let them niggas hate
I love my nigga Drake say “we ain’t got time to respond to niggas

[Verse 4: Busta Rhymes]
They say I’m underrated, but un-compete-with-able
Understandable, being that my rating levels are unreachable
Anything said other than that should be silenced, unspeakable!
And the thought of you being nicer than me, unfeasible!
They ask is what I do ever gonna stop, this shit will never end
That’s when you hear a car crash in the vocal booth got em sayin’
“There he goes again!”
See now they nominated a nigga to come and flatten everything
Now let me dominate it, nigga run
And they be knowin’ that I be blackin’ on everything
And make it complicated like a nigga constipated with a gun
I gotta make it what they want and wake ‘em when I come and shake ‘em
And bake ‘em and take ‘em to another place
Ain’t no fakin’, ain’t no kind of mistakin’ how I be breakin’ up
Everything and be creating a s-s-s-situation when I’m done (Damn!)
You see I spit National Treasure, discography rich
And I done killed more cats than curiosity, snitch!
Most of you niggas sorry and owe apologies, quick
What the fuck you niggas still hangin’ around here for, you apostrophe bitch?
OK, now enough of that, see now I’m out the door
Tunechi, thanks for giving us a whole ‘nother classic with Tha Carter IV

So what do we get with Tha Carter IV? Well after you try and put away your unbelievably high expectations, you notice you get a pretty solid album. Is this the album that I wanted from Wayne? No! I feel like he is one of the most talented emcees that the game has right now. I feel that sometimes he doesn’t put his best foot forward, because he knows an average Wayne track is better than most of artists that we have out right now. I fully believe Wayne will have a classic before it is all said and done. On this album you will hear Wayne reference time a lot. Although he didn’t answer the question of is this going to be his last album or not, you can tell that it is something on his mind. I fully believe we will hear Tha Carter V within the next couple years.