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Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm

Entertainment

Lil Wayne’s Triumphant Transformation

default article imageThere’s no greater trademark in rap music than Lil Wayne’s lighter flick, and I’m happy to report that he’s back.

Wayne’s twelfth album, Tha Carter V, finally dropped on Sept. 28.

This was Weezy’s first album in five years, and it might be his most ambitious project yet in terms of emotional connection, musical experimentation, and featured collaborators, which include Snoop Dogg, Ashanti, Kendrick Lamar, and much more.

The album was supposed to be released in 2014, but tensions between Wayne and his surrogate father-figure and mentor, Birdman, caused the album to be pushed back several times.

What ensued was a lengthy battle of lawsuits and even violence between Birdman’s Cash Money Records and Wayne’s Young Money Records.

One incident involved a shooting at Wayne’s tour bus in 2015.

At one point, Wayne sued Birdman for a $51 million breach of contract lawsuit and threatened to take his Young Money signees with him, most notably Nicki Minaj and Drake. 

Wayne and Birdman settled the lawsuit back in July for “an undisclosed dollar amount.”

After all the disputes and lawsuits, we’ve finally made it to the Tha Carter V.

The first song, “I Love You Dwayne,” is a recorded phone call from his mother.

The two-minute song has Jacida Carter audibly holding back tears about the love and pride she has for her son.

She calls him her “rock” and praises Wayne’s treatment of her.

The third song, “Dedicate,” is a statement about his influence in rap music. He claims his face tattoos, diamond-encrusted gold grills, and drug-addled lifestyle “changed the culture” of hip-hop.

Today, numerous rappers have imitated Wayne in resemblance, sound, and choices.

The next noteworthy song is “Let it Fly” featuring Travis Scott. Scott tackles the first verse and Wayne raps on the remainder of the song.

However, Wayne’s lines aren’t as crafted as other songs on this album.

Weezy rhymes ‘’mind” with “mind,” and “line” with “line.”

Perhaps, Wayne should’ve checked out a Dr. Seuss book before heading into the studio with this one.

One of the highlights of Tha Carter V is two songs later with “Dark Side of the Moon” featuring Nicki Minaj.

This song is a soothing, R&B romantic piece about an otherworldly love where Minaj sings; and she sounds lovely!

The key line is found in the chorus: “I’ll meet you on the Dark side of the Moon/ And if you happen to get there before me/ Leave a message in the dust just for me.”

“Mona Lisa” features Kendrick Lamar and discusses deception and infidelity.

Lamar’s verse contains a quoted conversation with himself and an unknown woman that escalated to Kendrick aiming a gun at his head.

On the track “Famous” featuring his daughter, Reginae, Weezy has written a bittersweet reflection on being in the limelight.

Reginae’s soulful choruses resemble Gladys Knight.

Weezy mentions both the allure of stadium lights and millions of fans cheering for him, but also missing holidays and not seeing family members for long periods. Wayne sings, “Superstars don’t sparkle, we high-beam.”

Plenty of emotions are expressed on many different songs like humility and reverence on “Took His Time,” insecurity on “Mess,” and heartbreak on “What About Me?”

There’s a couple songs that we can do without, such as “Hittas,” “Open Safe,” and “Demons.”

Also, Weezy has a few titles that are too explicit to be published.

The artist’s vulgarity throughout the album has reached a new high for Wayne’s standards.

Despite the profanity and lurid content, V was worth the delay.

In a few regards, this was a family affair; literally featuring his mother and daughter, but also showcasing frequent collaborators that are on his label.

From the first lighter flick (four seconds into ‘Dedicate’) until the very last beat, Wayne demands the listener’s ear.

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