Review Summary: Does this help him soar, or bring him down to earth?
Ever since the rise of rappers like Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, and even his Young Money Crew such as Tyga, Nicki Minaj, and of course the massive success of Aubrey Graham, AKA Drake, Wayne has seen himself on the decline. I've noticed that ever since Tha Carter III, Wayne hasn't even attempted to get back on the level he was on. Sure Wayne hasn't been the most lyrical rapper out there, but thats why we have our Wu-Tang's, Mos Def's, and to a certain extent, Jay and Kanye. He doesn't have a past hustling background like T.I, or Rick Ross (Or at least what his persona tells us). Wayne is just here to rap. The reason why C3 was so successful critically and commercially is because Wayne didn't think about what he was doing, there was no concept to it, it was all over the place, but everybody bobbed their heads to the singles, and everyone was feeling the non-singles. Then he focus his next work on a certain concept. In that was the birth of Rebirth, originally a rerelease of C3. The main reason why it failed was because Wayne was trying too hard to focus on one thing, and while some songs were good (Runnin, Drop tha World), most were not. So here we are at his 8th Studio Album.
There couldn't have been a better name for his album. It seems like Wayne is not the same as you or me, and that he thinks of life differently then you or me think of it. The album opens up with a spacey beat thanks to Kane Beatz. Wayne treats this track as if it were opening Tha Carter IV, great rhymes like "And im s**tin on em like Two Girls and One cup" make this track great throughout, and while Drake provides a solid verse, he cant keep up with Wayne on this one. Drake get him back though on Right Above It, even though he's spitin his Tim Westwood "Freestyle", but Wayne doesnt slack though and give a satisfying performance. That Ain't Me is a track that I'd wish he would have saved for C4, its a well-crafted track that feels like classic Wayne, and is a definite standout. The title track sounds like a highlight from Rebirth, and is good in its own right. It leaked months ago, but Wayne added a new verse and goes with the spacey theme of the album. Probably the best track on the album though is saved for last with Bill Gates. Its the closest we're gonna get to 2007-2008 mixtape Wayne, just going on a track for 4 minutes with nothing but ill lines, and its a great way to end the album.
This album, however, is far from classic. Hold Up gives us good lines from Wayne, but an absolutely horrible verse from labelmate T-Streets, no wonder he didn't get to rap on Young Money's album. Popular sounds like a Lil Twist, Diggy Simmons type of track. Wayne using his Bedrock verse as the chorus makes this song sound kinda rushed, and serves no purpose on here. With You sounds like a poor man's Kanye beat, with Wayne telling a lazy love story with Drake singing, Skip it. Nicki is also used for the hook for the so-so What's Wrong With Them that sounds ok when you first hear it but gets worse everytime you here it.
And Single was just placed her to make the tracklist larger.
When you look at this album, even if you didn't know that Wayne was in jail, you know that it isn't a cohesive body of work. If it remained an EP, maybe I would give it a 3.5, or maybe a 4. However its not an EP, its an album. Wayne scrapped this stuff to start all over again. But in all honesty, I would take 2007's The Leak over this. Many of the tracks are good, but when almost half your album has problems, those problems take away from the many strength's that this album has. There is a very good thing about this album however. If tracks like Right Above it, That Aint Me, or Bill Gates didnt make it, then things are looking really great for Tha Carter IV.