It’s been a while since Lil Wayne released any music so it’s easy to forget the amount of horrendous Hip-Hop he’s made throughout his career. That being said, Lil Wayne is the go-to scapegoat for the commercialisation of Hip-Hop, so while the masses ignore the other co-conspirators (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Kanye West etc.) Wayne slowly became the figurehead of Rap’s downfall. For the last several years many people have been happy to point the finger at Lil Wayne and say “it’s all his fault” but for me that’s too easy – there’s numerous rappers who are to blame for Hip-Hop’s decline in quality, rappers who people strangely hold in high regard. Having said that, Lil Wayne does have his part to play in the unfolding ruination and bastardisation of the genre, and being on a hiatus or between labels isn’t enough of an excuse to be immune to criticism. So, since I’ve already written about the other aforementioned Hip-Hop ransackers, here’s a piece about Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known to the world as Lil Wayne….
Lil Wayne’s cataclysmic career in Hip-Hop began with a group named Hot Boys (a name that’s definitely not gay in any way, so get that thought out of your mind). The Hot Boys’ abhorrent début album “Get It How U Live!” which dropped in 1997, was released to a slew of bad reviews including a 2 star rating from Rolling Stone. But this was a small blip in the discography of the Cash Money label who seemed to go from strength to strength in the late nineties and the noughties. Building on the style and content that Master P and No Limit made famous a few years earlier, Cash Money, Hot Boys, and Lil Wayne took the ingredients of amateurish production, club-focussed disco-esque sounds, dumbed-down lyrics, and tacky album covers to a whole new level. Once Universal Records took over distribution, peculiarly every single artist that was signed and every single album released by the company from 1999 onward became a massive success. With a major label behind them and a little plugging by the corrupt mainstream media, the Hot Boys’ second album “Guerrilla Warfare” became a platinum selling, Hip-Hop-wrecking turd.
Following from the success of the Hot Boys’ sophomore album , Lil Wayne’s first solo offering “The Block Is Hot” ushered in yet more cheap-sounding rapid snare drums and more talk of “Cristal” and “bling”. The accompanying album cover was again worthy of the accolade of “worst album cover in Hip-Hop history” but none of this seemed to matter to his fans. With his wavering vocals which sounded like a teenager whose voice was breaking, it was astonishing that Wayne’s solo-shite gained a relatively large following. I still can’t believe that when Wayne rapped “wuh, huh, whatcha wanna do?” that people actually listened to this crap let alone buy the fucking thing. But, like many other mainstream musical lumps of dung, the album went platinum (whereas something like Screwball’s “Y2K” went plywood) people must have been suffering from mass auditory hallucinations – hearing something that wasn’t there (although I don’t think this condition is supposed to make you think bullshit is good shit).
“Lights Out” Lil Wayne’s second album was worse, and although it only went gold, his off-beat, weird-voiced crap continued. Wayne seemed to have a knack for rapping about nothingness and even though he had nothing to say he filled a CD with 19 tracks of it. With horrid choruses like “Uh oh, there go the fucking Po Po, and if ya know like I know, better get the fuck off the corner!” and wack-as-fuck amateurish production like that on “Beef”, you wondered who was listening to this; a deaf, money-wasting prat suffering from sun stroke?
Wayne’s next album was “500 Degreez” and it included more trash including the R’N’B-infused “Lovely”, the vocoded title track, and the Neptunes-sounding “Look At Me” (proving that Pharrell has a lot to answer for when it comes to spoiling Hip-Hop). Overall the album was garbage but surprise surprise it went gold, which isn’t bad considering how ghastly it sounded.
“Tha Carter” followed and it was more of the same; more crap songs and more gold certifications. The album included the craptastic “Go DJ” and the corny-as-fuck “Hoes” which featured amazing lyrics like “You do better gettin’ yo ass off up in that coupe bitch, Sit yo ass on that new leather and regroup bitch, It’s only me you bitch, on our way to tha stoop”. “Hoes” had a chorus which had to be listened to be believed, it was not only misogynistic, it was also simplistic and contrived… “Hoes! Let’s just talk about hoes, can we talk about hooo-oes? These hoes (I don’t love ’em). Hoes! Let’s just talk about hoes, Can we talk about hooo-oes? These hoes (Motherfuck ’em)”
Lil Wayne’s next offering “Tha Carter II” was a little better than its predecessor. Yes, bringing in varied producers such as Heatmakerz and Young Yonny gave it a slight sense of credibility and Wayne even tried to slow down his delivery and quit with his annoying vocal stylings, but for every decent song like “Mo Fire” there was the ironically-titled “Best Rapper Alive”. This album was an improvement over earlier efforts but “Tha Carter II” definitely wasn’t a 8/10 like the hipsters at Pitchfork said. Stood in front of a Rolls Royce on the black and white cover, the album wasn’t Wayne maturing as was reported at the time, it was just him getting better at masking his hollow content.
In 2008, Lil Wayne released “Tha Carter III” and it was even bigger, selling 3.6 million copies and receiving rave reviews from pretty much everybody in the business. But despite the interlopers at Rolling Stone giving this album 4.5 out of 5, the album was average at best. The opening track was trash, and like the other rapping Carter (Jay-Z), Wayne was now beginning to get so overrated that it was impossible to go anywhere without hearing some middle-class soccer mom playing both these fuckers in their unneeded 4X4. Since both these rappers share not only a surname but also an interest in commercialising Hip-Hop, it was quite apt that both these Hip-Pop-converting, money-centric, industry-plants appeared on the song “Mr. Carter”. With Jay-Z rapping “Now my name’s being mentioned with the martyrs, the Biggies and the Pacs and the Marleys, and the Marcuses… Garvey” it just showed his delusions of grandeur – yes he’s in the same league as the Notorious Big and Tupac, but Bob Marley and Marcus frigging Garvey?! Founding Roc-A-Fella isn’t the same as forming the UNIA-ACL… what a tit! Not to be lyrically outdone, Wayne also rapped “And next time you mention Pac, Biggie, or Jay Z, don’t forget Weezy, baby!” – well how about KRS-One, Ras Kass, K-Rino, and G Rap? Shows what kind of mainstream Hip-Pop music both these lames listen to.
I have to admit that Bangladesh’s “A Milli” and the various remixes were catchy but that didn’t warrant the shear unadulterated hype that this album received. I mean there was also the godawful “Get Money” featuring the autotune-obsessive T-Pain – one decent song doesn’t mean you should buy a mediocre album. For me this LP was worse than “Tha Carter II”; it included the horrid “Lollipop”, the crapily-produced Kanye West/Babyface shite “Comfortable”, and the garbage “Mrs. Officer”, and it was Rap-N-Bullshit tracks like this that crossed over and further fucked up this genre. And whilst talking about “Tha Carter III”, what was Mobb Deep affiliate Alchemist doing producing a song for this wack twat? I guess everybody goes where the money is, nobody has any sense of pride or willpower.
Although the first “Carter” only went gold, it was Wayne’s quadrilogy or pentalogy of shite that made him a household name. Discounting 2004’s “Tha Carter”, it was the critical praise, over-hyping, and over-promotion by radio, television, and media in general (and then the subsequent acceptance by a white mainstream) that made these overrated albums such a big deal in the noughties. Thanks to the corruption at every level of the mainstream media, not to mention the sheep-like actions of the buying public, “Tha Carter” II and III and Lil Wayne blew up like the levees in New Orleans and flooded the market with ghastly garbage.
Wayne’s next trashy LP “Rebirth” was at least called trash even by the media suck-ups, and with the racist arse-magnet Eminem appearing on the LP it was one of the worst albums of Lil Wayne’s career…
…but that didn’t stop his career in shittery. The platinum “I Am Not A Human Being” (an apt title since he looks like a Fraggle) followed and it contained the revolting track “Gonorrhoea” (which he skilfully rhymed with “diarrhoea”). Songs like the wanky “I’m Single” (featuring Drake doing his best Wayne impression) further ruined Hip-Hop music, in fact that’s another thing Lil Wayne is responsible for; bring in Hip-Poppers like Drake and Nicki Minaj to further obliterate the genre and amalgamate it with R’N’B and Pop.
Then came “Tha Carter IV” a double platinum crapfest of epic proportions. Upon hearing the album, I thought to myself how could anybody come across the Pop-as-fuck “How To Hate” featuring T-Pain and not want to stomp on their damn headphones? The LP also contained the song “Mirror” featuring that stunted, goggle-eyed prick Bruno Mars. On this track Lil Wayne rapped… “I guess I did take ’em to Mars this time” – Ooh Wayne you’re such a card!
I’d like to take this time to pay my respects to the label Motown who once was responsible for Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, The Jacksons, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Smokey Robinson, but during the noughties it briefly morphed into “Universal Motown” and partly became responsible for Lil Wayne’s musical travesties – thank god it’s now defunct.
I’ve never listened to Wayne’s next two albums (“I Am Not A Human Being II” and “Free Weezy”) but frankly after all the excrement he’s released over the years I don’t want to be subjected to any more of his shite. At this point in time, Wayne’s “Tha Carter V” is unreleased but who really cares? I’ve heard all I can tolerate from the man – he’s made a name and masses of money from destroying Hip-Hop, now I’d like him to piss off and retire and maybe take the rest of the lames with him. Speaking of lames, Weezy and Yeezy and any other fucker that rhymes with sleazy and queasy, the whole fucking lot of them make any fan of Hip-Hop sick of their repetitive, bitches-n-hoes, bling-n-Bentley’s, mainstream-dick-licking bullshit. It’s pretty weird because I read somewhere that Lil Wayne, a faux skater and a wannabe guitarist is a fan of Nirvana! But how does someone listen to “Heart-Shaped Box” and then make “Pussy Monster”? Shows that influence doesn’t always translate into a kindred creation. For me, Lil Wayne’s main influence is No Limit, his career was built on Master P‘s style, from the tacky album covers to the trash raps. In the nineties after No Limit pulled a few blocks in a musical game of Jenga, Cash Money followed them by pulling a few more, and they almost collapsed the entire Hip-Hop genre in the noughties.
Lil Wayne who is apparently a Roman Catholic has made some hellish music that surely should get him excommunicated from the religion. Whilst making all that infernal Hip-Pop music, it’s strange that he didn’t pay attention to the tattoo on his eyelids… “Fear God”. And whilst I’m on the topic of his tattoos, Wayne’s face sports the most ironic tatt of all time, reading “I am music” (which surely needs the word “lame” inserting between the “am” and “music”). Wayne’s idiotic ink doesn’t stop there, there’s many more tattoos on this man’s body and mug, but ignoring the smiley face in his inner-lip, and the “C” on his glabella (which could stand for “Cunt” rather than “Carter”) it’s the teardrop near his left eye that’s the most relevant and appropriate tattoo on his skin. This tear I assume, refers to the fact that Lil Wayne helped murder Hip-Hop music. Rest In Pop.
A Lil Wayne, A Lil Lame, A Lil Blame.