Lil Wayne
Tha Carter II


4.0
excellent

Review

by joshuatree USER (5 Reviews)
November 1st, 2007 | 116 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mainstream rap sucks? Not anymore baby, not anymore.

Hip-hop has been both alive and dead recently. When it’s alive, it’s really alive: excellent singles from Chamillionaire and Kanye West have reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, underground rappers such as Blackalicious and Pharoahe Monch continue to enjoy an ever-rising profile, and two of the five albums given at least a 4.5 rating from Rolling Stone were hip-hop albums. But when it’s dead, there certainly is no denying it: Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy, Chris Brown, Hurricane Chris, MIMS, and T-Pain have all received large radio play (that speaks for itself), mixtape distributors are shut down everyday by the smarmy RIAA, and recent albums by acclaimed and talented hip-hop artists such as Outkast, Nas, and Public Enemy have been disappointing critically and financially. Hell, Interscope had to fabricate a supposed “sales battle” between 50 Cent and Kanye West, who are on the same label.

Where does Lil Wayne fit into all of this, you ask? Actually, Lil Wayne has managed to contribute to both sides of this equation: countless collaborations with untalented artists have resulted in countless ringtone hits, but underground mixtapes such as Da Drought 3 and Dedication II have thrived commercially and critically. Lil Wayne manages to be as talented as the genre’s forbearers and as annoying as the hapless generation that inherited hip-hop. Lil Wayne’s biggest vice, besides the pointless collaborations, is that he can never achieve the same type of crackly greatness that he achieves on his mixtapes on an actual, RIAA-approved album. And this remains true: his Da Drought and Dedication tapes are much better than Weezy’s fifth album, Tha Carter II. Those acclaimed mixtapes came after this release, so, rather than witnessing Weezy’s full talent, you instead witness his growth to his current state of the best mainstream rapper out there.

Tha Carter II is a mixed bag, with some foreseen tracks (club-bangers such as “Fireman” and “Money on my Mind”) and some that are completely surprising (the smooth R&B track “Shooter”). Quite frankly, this album is a ***ing beast, lasting 77 minutes and spanning 22 varied tracks, and featuring the usual plethora of producers: Robin Thicke (who guests on “Shooter”), Heatmakerz, Big D, Yonny, and Cool & Dre are just some of the knob-twirlers featured on this album. The resulting sound is dark and soul-based, with less focus on the under-produced disco tracks that crowded earlier works by Wayne. These soul samples are the perfect companion to Weezy’s raspy voice, which even recalls Miles Davis.

Calling Tha Carter II a coming-of-age album is admittedly corny, but there’s nothing more accurate to describe it with: in his earlier days, Weezy could never of pulled off a more raging freestyle than what “Tha Mobb” is, nor could he simultaneously sounded as laid-back and chilled as he does on “Fly In”. Weezy also keeps you guessing throughout, keeping with the tuneful soul found on “Tha Mobb”, adding a nimble reggae touch with “Mo Fire”, and even adding political commentary on “Feel Me”, where he states: “I got to bring the hood back after Katrina/Weezy F baby now the F is for FEMA”.

It’s a shame that Weezy doesn’t fill this album with as interesting of subject matter found on “Feel Me” or Dedication II’s excellent “Georgia Bush”. Most deal with the usual hip-hop matters: cars, drugs, the hood, killing every mother***er in the way. It’s all been done before, and Lil Wayne could easily apply his nimble flow to commentary that is both more realistic and more important. Tha Carter II is admittedly overlong, as most albums that last 77 minutes are, and, while most songs here are as varied as it gets, some are just not memorable enough and get buried beneath the load of great material found here. Songs such as “I’m A Dboy”, which features a stoned and boring verse by label executive Birdman, “Hit ‘Em Up”, and “Oh No’ will be skipped often and should be skipped often, and probably should have been thrown away than cooked with these other spicy gems.

Tha Carter II is a monumental growth for Lil Wayne, and maybe hip-hop in general. It manages to prove that you don’t need to be underground to be critically successful; that you don’t need big-name and talentless producers to produce your album, and that a mainstream hip-hop artist can actually fill an album with mostly good songs, and not just one great ringtone and twenty other boring ***heaps. Get used to hearing Lil Wayne’s nimble and raspy flow, because you are definitely going to hear it a hell of a lot more.


user ratings (475)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
blackened07
November 1st 2007


949 Comments


Good review. I hate lil wayne, I have the carter 1 from my rap phase.

Correction
November 1st 2007


188 Comments


This needed a review. I needed to write a review. We met and had sweet, sweet love.

Correction
November 1st 2007


188 Comments


Oh and thanks for the pos, tha carter I sucks more than this, but thats when lil wayne was still developingThis Message Edited On 11.01.07

Flyggeli
November 1st 2007


45 Comments


ya this album is awesome, but the first carte rsucks.

south_of_heaven 11
November 1st 2007


5433 Comments


He used Fear of the Dark in one of his songs :mad:

Correction
November 1st 2007


188 Comments


lol he used a maiden song? if its on this album, than i completely missed it.

Wyko
November 1st 2007


150 Comments


Mm... I've never heard any Lil Wayne song but judging by his guest appearance on Kanye's new record he's pretty awful.

tuff
November 1st 2007


62 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great album

south_of_heaven 11
November 1st 2007


5433 Comments


lol he used a maiden song? if its on this album, than i completely missed it.

Yeup. "Best Rapper Alive" uses parts from the song "Fear of the Dark" by Iron Maiden

Correction
November 1st 2007


188 Comments


Mm... I've never heard any Lil Wayne song but judging by his guest appearance on Kanye's new record he's pretty awful

I agree, his verse on "Barry Bonds" was pretty horrible. But he's better than that, by far.
Yeup. "Best Rapper Alive" uses parts from the song "Fear of the Dark" by Iron Maiden

Cool, I actually have that song somewhere. I gotta check it out, I never noticed the Maiden riff.This Message Edited On 11.01.07

negrodamus
November 1st 2007


17 Comments


Dammit I was going to write a review for this.

astrel
November 1st 2007


2614 Comments


lil wayne is ok in my book. (It would be horrible if he wasn't, because he is my roommate's favorite rapper)

Correction
November 1st 2007


188 Comments


My friends actually got me into him. I usually don't listen to my friends at all music-wise.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2007


16088 Comments


I dont like Lil Wayne all that much but good review.

awia
January 5th 2008


60 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dang i almsot forgot but this album...shit i been in rock to long i gotta download that fly in and fly out songs again....those songs were sick along with a few others

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I want this. Weezy rules.

jakeispissedoff
January 29th 2008


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im not into rap at all, but lil wayne i can listen too along with a couple others. other then that rap or hip-hop has been soaked by top 40 like radio stations, and teenage girls ringtones.

JordanS
January 29th 2008


319 Comments


I want to try and listen to more Mainstream Hip Hop.

Chan and John, you both made me feel like i is dumb in my Girl Talk review.....

Good starting point?

Jawaharal
January 29th 2008


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ya get both Carters and Da Drought 3.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2008


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a really good album but I haven't heard any of his other stuff.



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