Artist: Lil' Wayne
Album: Tha Carter III
Record Label: Cash Money Records/Young Money Entertainment
Release Date: June 10, 2008
Lil' Wayne is one of the busiest, most hard-working and sought out emcees in hip-hop. For the last three years, the 25-year-old phenomenon has hopped onto any and everybody's songs, from Destiny's Child to The Cool Kids to Fat Joe. He has also managed to become the cash cow for Cash Money Records and is the CEO of his own label, Young Money Entertainment.
Business endeavors aside, Tha Carter III has been highly anticipated in the hip-hop community, topping several "most-anticipated of 2008" lists and being on the receiving end of endless hype. With the bandwagon growing and the hype on a steady increase since the release of Tha Carter II, one can imagine the pressures of being able to put out an album that will live up to and possibly surpass expectations.
Tha Carter III opens up with "3 Peat" a track that glorifies Wayne's personal trifecta of his current and past albums, also the anchor on which most of the album relies on. "Mr. Carter" is among the most enjoyable songs, as Dwayne Carter and Shawn Carter follow-up 2007's "Hello Brooklyn" from Jay-Z's American Gangster and team up together once again for another classic hip-hop song.
Other standout tracks include "Tie My Hands," in which Weezy steps up as the frontrunner of New Orleans and takes on political challenges. Aside from clichéd shots at the president, the song is a must-listen. "Shoot Me Down" and "Dr. Carter" are also choice selections from the record.
One of Tha Carter III's strong suits is diversity. Although there are many songs on TC3 that tackle drug addiction, politics and the pressure's of the hip-hop community, Weezy manages to lighten the mood in several songs with an abundance of ad-libs, snarky comments and his trademark laughter, all of which he has patented in his own style.
The production team behind Tha Carter III is another beneficial asset to Lil' Wayne. The record is comprised of pristine work from some of hip-hop's finest, including Kanye West, who lent his talents on four songs, including "Shoot Me Down" and "Let That Beat Build." Other notables include Swizz Beatz and Just Blaze, among many others.
Another advantage to Tha Carter III are its guest artists, who deliver and in most cases, overshadow Weezy. Along with Jay-Z, Fabolous, Robin Thicke and Babyface all make cameos on the album. T-Pain, 2008's go-to guy for hooks, makes an appearance on "Got Money," which will surely be a huge summer hit.
For every impressive track on the album, there is an equally appalling track. Aside from the atrocious single "A Milli," songs like "Phone Home" and "La La" are filler and do nothing but stunt positive feedback about the overall product.
To sum up, Lil' Wayne will become a casualty of his own hype. Aside from singing his own praises, Weezy does very little to supplement his claims for being "the greatest rapper alive." Regardless, the album will sell like hotcakes due to his dedicated fanbase.
For an artist who spends countless hours in the studio hopping onto remixes and releasing mixtapes, you would hope that he would put as much effort into an official studio release to support his outlandish statements. Despite being one of the most charismatic rappers, Tha Carter III is a lackluster testament to the legacy of Lil' Wayne.
(i've thought about it for a while, and my review didn't really justify a D. i think my bias against wayne was getting in the way of giving it a fair score, haha. sue me.)