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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

7.8

Lil Wayne
Tha Carter III

After a steady run of mixtape marketing over the past few years the current 'hottest rapper in the galaxy' delivers a record that acts as a fantastic summary of everything that is so damn great about the young veteran. While originally trapped under the Cash Money / Mannie Fresh sound, this record, along with the remarkable, Tha Carter II, sees the rapper expand his sound and comfortably fit his often insane lyrical gymnastics over the wide spectrum of differing styles that feature across the record's seventeen tracks.

Lil Wayne isn't on the same level as the rappers he references and often attempts to emulate - 1994 Nas, 1996 Jay-Z or 2pac and Biggie before they died and were corpse-raped by those in charge of their estates - but he is undeniably one of the leaders in 2008. Wayne's unique rapping style - glueing together the obscurity of ODB with the conversation flow of Jigga and wrapping it all up in a thick lazy Southern drawl - is the backbone of the record and the single reason Wayne rises above others in the current hip-hop market. Even though this album still seems to be manufactured more as product than a creative piece of music, it's impossible to deny that it is not only a highly entertaining collection of songs, but also a true sign that the ever fleeting genre is still able to produce something truly exciting now and again.

The sound of Tha Carter III exists somewhere between straight-up pop, gangsta rap and a polished/harder version of the traditional New Orleans drum machine sound. The record has plenty of catchy hooks, but, besides the occasional skip-worthy R'n'b moments, there is very few blatant attempts by Wayne to take the traditional path to his destined pop stardom. His often manic, emotive style is a great contrast to the often unbelievably tight head-rocking production work and crisp beats of the record.

It's understandable that the hunger that fueled Tha Carter II is gone, as Lil Wayne has already proved himself as one of the game's premium MC's, yet it's also one of the key elements that weakens the collective impact of the third installment. The pop side of his sound is a lot stronger, however, and each song packs a lot more of a completed sense than his previous work. It could be said that this is Lil Wayne's first grown-up record.

Strangely enough, the two current singles, the painfully hypnotic A Milli and the dull, predictable 'sexy club song', Lollipop, are actually two of the weakest moments on the record. Other sluggish tracks such as 'that Babyface song' and Busta Rhymes' completely unnecessary and unfitting cameo on La La detract a lot from the overall enjoyment of the record and disrupt the overall flow, but the high quality stuff, including opener 3 Peat, the emotional Shoot Me Down and the straight-up ridiculous, sample-heavy semi-spoken word closer, Don't Get It, do more than outweigh these misses.

Wayne successfully keeps the replay level of this record high through his endlessly changing delivery and the way in which this coincides with his often insane lyrics. In fact, the endless array of quotable lines such as "up like viagra" and "swagger tighter than a yeast infection" will ensure that not only will I still be listening to this record in six months time, but also guarantees that the rewind button gets a bit of a workout as my ears continually do double takes.

It's probably not saying too much - but this is streets above any other hip-hop album I have heard this year.

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Record Reviews
Lil Wayne

 

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Comments

monachilada

CRUNK

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

"i throw it up like i am tryin to lose my gut"

was that the line you were trying to remember before mike?

1 decade ago

monachilada

no, i still cant find it.
but thats a good one too.
i still think the best is "what? i dont give a motherfuck, get your baby kidnapped and your baby motherfucked."

1 decade ago

vitalorgans

OK its taken some time but i fucken love this album!

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

do you have the one with the bonus Tha Leak disc..?

cause that's the fucking balls..

1 decade ago

Seymour

I saw Erykah Badu in spain and her show began and ended with the dj playing A Milli, her sauntering onto the stage after the "where is erykah badu at?"

1 decade ago

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