Review Revue: Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter IV’

Robbie Daw | August 30, 2011 2:03 pm

It’s Weezy, baby! With news of T.I.’s upcoming prison release (though maybe not as soon as he’d like), we’re reminded that, oh, yeah — a year ago right now, Lil Wayne was also incarcerated. Nevertheless, the record-setting rapper was released back into the land of the free last November, and since then he’s gone about racking up hits like “6 Foot 7 Foot” and “How To Love” while working on his ninth LP Tha Carter IV. The album dropped just after the MTV VMAs on Sunday night. Now head below to see what the Internet at large had to see about Tunechi’s latest. :: First off, Billboard has some good news: “Yesterday (Aug. 29), initial first-week sales projections for Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV were hovering in the 700,000-850,000 range, but now, after a full day’s worth of sales under its belt, that number has grown. Industry sources now suggest the album may shift over 850,000-900,000 by week’s end on Sept. 4.”

Lil Wayne How To Love video
:: And now for the bad news, via Los Angeles TimesPop & Hiss blog: “The rebel has been replaced by an industry standard-bearer, one willing to warble through the sub-(Taylor) Swiftian ballad ‘How to Love.’ Equally frustrating are the hashtag rap gags that would make a Borscht Belter blush. On the ‘Intro,’ he boasts he ‘hears no evil [and] sees no evil/Hellen Keller,’ and the jokes only get more rotten-tomato-worthy from there.”

:: Equally as damning is Spin‘s review: “Some great artists burst in and burn out. Rappers, especially, struggle to sustain relevance, let alone greatness. What happened this year with Watch the Throne, the conversation-corralling collaboration between Kanye West, 34, and Jay-Z, 41, isn’t just an anomaly — it’s a frog storm. Lil Wayne is not yet 29 and has been recording professionally almost exactly as long as West. But he is now, officially, on the other side of greatness.”

:: The Chicago Tribune joined in by noting, “His flights of fancy still pop up occasionally, whether likening MCs to tiramisu and short-bread in ‘President Carter,’ declaring that ‘real G’s move in silence like lasagna’ in ‘6 Foot 7 Foot’ or contemplating the clouds buried in his fingernails on ‘Nightmares of the Bottom.’ But they’re not nearly as plentiful or sustained as on his best albums.”

:: San Francisco Weekly did a first-listen review of every track. This is from the writeup for “How To Hate:” “I miss T-Pain and I love the big hit ‘How to Love,’ so how could its evil twin miss? Well, if it’s possible to imagine, this is Auto-Tuned to the point of unrecognizable jelly.”

:: The Washington Post lamented, “A few years back, when Lil Wayne was going around calling himself the ‘best rapper alive,’ he really was… Now, with his disappointing ninth album, Tha Carter IV, the 28-year-old has taken his foot off the accelerator. And the timing isn’t good. Tha Carter IV comes after a botched left-turn of an album, his disastrous 2010 rap-rock experiment Rebirth, and a career-stalling prison sentence at Rikers Island where he served eight months on weapons charges.”

:: LA Weekly painstakingly tallied up the 60 worst lines on the album. (Yep, they found that many.) Here’s #1: “‘Don’t fuck up with Wayne/ ‘Cause when it Waynes it pours.’ (From ‘How To Hate’)”

:: At least XXL had kind — if not slightly backhanded — words: “Even with some lack of vulnerability and risk, Tha Carter IV displays the nonsensical approach that fans have grown to love. Future and previous aside, Weezy’s present is bright.”

:: Rolling Stone also scrounged for a way to compliment the album: “Weezy doesn’t have the same speed-demon intensity he had five years ago – and he’s just as casual and sloppy about his approach to official album releases. So Tha Carter IV has experiments that fail, as well as a pair of star-studded guest tracks where Wayne doesn’t appear at all. (Though Andre 3000 is great in ‘Interlude .’) Yet even the failed moments sound like nobody else…”

Do you agree with the critics’ assessments of Tha Carter IV? Let us know your thoughts below!