Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter IV’: Summer Preview
By the time Lil Wayne’s eternally tardy Tha Carter IV actually drops, it might be more fit for our Fall Preview. Or Summer 2012 Preview. Or Summer 3012 Preview. But no matter. Certainly the recent Bonnaroo performer has been keeping busy as one of the most prolific guest rappers in the game (though lately Nicki Minaj is giving him a run for his money) — in 2011 alone, he’s already guested on 13 tracks, for the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Kelly Rowland, and Enrique Iglesias, amongst others.
In fact, we dare you to turn on Top 40 radio for an hour and not hear a rhyme by the 28-year-old New Orleans native — seriously, just try. Then head below to get the full scoop on everything you need to know about Tha Carter IV.
ALBUM: Tha Carter IV, Lil Wayne’s ninth studio album overall, and the fourth (naturally) in his Tha Carter series (the other three dropped in 2004, 2005, and 2008, respectively). However, he has released two albums since Tha Carter III — Rebirth and I Am Not A Human Being, both from 2010, the latter of which was released while Weezy was in prison on a gun possession charge. Does being so prolific in 2010 excuse the long wait for Tha Carter IV? Given that Tha Carter III was the top-selling album of 2008 (moving over 3 million copies, far more than his subsequent two LPs combined), it’s no wonder he wants to get his next Carter just right.
RELEASE DATE: August 29 (but don’t hold your breath).
SINGLES RELEASED SO FAR: The LP’s first single was the relentlessly catchy “6 Foot 7 Foot,” which samples Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and features Cory Gunz (plus an Inception-inspired music video). The less successful second single, “If I Die Today (John),” featured Rick Ross and failed to do much for us. More notable is “How To Love,” which has Lil Wayne singing a surprisingly touchy-feely ditty (sans Auto-Tune, no less). We also got a taste of (potential single?) “Nightmares Of The Bottom” when Weezy went unplugged on MTV2 on Sunday.
NOW-LAUGHABLE QUOTES ABOUT THA CARTER IV: Lil Wayne told MTV back in March:“It can come out tomorrow ’cause I’m so finished. But you know, [my manager] likes to sit on stuff. No homo.” But that was back when the LP was supposed to drop in May (in other words, two release dates ago).Could that possibly still be the reason for a further delay? Does Weezy’s manager really think it’s a good idea to sit on an album for so long? We feel like there must be more the story.
COVER ART: It’s hard to stay mad at Lil Wayne for teasing us with a release date more times than we can count — when we look at the album’s cover art, we just want to pinch his cheeks and give him a cookie. (Tha Carter III’s art featured an even Lil’-er Wayne.) Young Dwayne Carter, Jr. was just 9 years old when he signed with Cash Money Records, so despite the mildly disturbing tattoos and piercings on this otherwise-angelic tyke’s face, it’s a cute and clever throwback to where Weezy’s coming from (just don’t expect the disc to be as squeaky-clean as that artwork might suggest). ALBUM PRODUCERS: Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” producer Bangladesh returned for “6 Foot 7 Foot,” bringing a similar flavor to that tune. Detail produced “How To Love,” while “Maybe She Will” was produced by T-Minus and Noah “40” Shebib. A track rumored to be called either “She’s Always In My Head” or “Blow My Brains” was produced by Jim Jonsin and is said to be similar to Tha Carter III’s smash “Lollipop.” (Lil Wayne also worked with Swizz Beatz on the recently-dropped “Dear Anne (Stan Part 2),” but despite earlier rumors, that track won’t be appearing on Tha Carter IV.)
GUESTS: Most of this is speculation at this point, but supposedly Drake and Rick Ross will appear on “Maybe She Will,” while Pitbull co-wrote and might be featured on “Blow My Brains” aka “She’s Always In My Head” (mentioned as the fourth single). Other rumored guests include Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Eminem, Bon Iver, Kevin Rudolf, T-Pain, Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Jadakiss and Tech N9ne, though these are yet to be confirmed as we await an official track list. (One surfaced a couple months ago including Swizz Beatz’s “Anne” but no “How To Love,” so who knows if any of it is accurate?) We’ll see how many of these artists actually materialize on the final LP. For now, take this with a grain of salt.
TOUR PLANS: Lil Wayne extended his I Am Still Music tour through this summer until mid-September (another likely reason for Tha Carter IV’s delay). Perhaps, as the release date looms closer, new tracks will find their way into the set list?
OUR THOUGHTS: Sure, we’d like this album to actually drop one of these days as scheduled, but we’ll give Team Wayne the benefit of the doubt and assume there is a good reason for the constant push-backs. We’d much rather wait and have Weezy deliver something of quality than rush out a half-baked collection comprised mostly of filler. Remember what we got when he shot nine music videos in one weekend? Early buzz from insiders on Tha Carter IV is good, at least two out of the three singles are strong, and Lil Wayne tends to reserve his Tha Carter titles for albums he really puts his all into. Let’s hope this is one of them.
Want the 411 on LPs that have a (much) better chance of arriving on time? Check out our Summer Preview write-ups on Owl City’s All Things Bright And Beautiful, Eminem and Royce Da 5′9″’s Hell: The Sequel, Weird Al Yankovic’s Alpocolypse, Beyonce’s 4, Selena Gomez & The Scene’s When The Sun Goes Down and Pitbull’s Planet Pit.