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Old 04.19.2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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Lil Wayne
Tha Carter II
2005, Cash Money Records

It's been no secret on this forum that I'm a giant Lil Wayne fan. But what may be lesser-revealed is that other than Outkast and the very occassional stray single, I was a complete hater of Southern Hip Hop for a long time. I just didn't get any of it. The beats sounded so cheap to me. The dialect and slang was so foreign to me. None of it made any sense to my ears, so I just shrugged it off. Stopped even paying attention.

After THA CARTER II was released there was a 2-year barrage of Lil Wayne mixtapes hitting almost weekly. It seemed like every magazine, blog, website, etc was giving the dude high praises. I couldn't comprehend that someone who's name began with "Lil" could be hip hop's great savior. And then a weird piece of serendipity happened: my wife bought Robin Thicke's 2nd album. She told me there was a song it I might like with a rapper. Guess who it was?

Nothing could have prepared me for "Shooter." It was loose and bouncey. It was playful and aggressive. It built up subtly until Lil Wayne let out a manifesto equivalent of HG Lewis' theme from 2000 Maniacs. "so many doubt cuz I come from the South but when I open up my mouth only bullets come out" is "the South will rise again."

the song was enough to convince me that maybe this Lil Wayne character really was worth paying attention to. I picked up THA CARTER II and was hooked Fast. Within months I tracked down the rest of his albums, as well as a pile of mixtapes, etc. But just as important, I became a full on convert to Southern Hip Hop in general. To this day the genre makes up the majority of my listening, and this album is almost exclusively responsible for that.

Opener "The Mob" is is a slow, bass-heavy 5-minute verse. Unbelievable every time I hear it. The three-parter "Fly In"/"Carter II"/"Fly Out" is just as sick with no choruses. There's the single "Fireman" with it's sirensynths, "Mo Fire" with it's reggae tinge, "D Boy" with Cash Money fam and digs at Jay-Z (presumably also apparent in "Best Rapper Alive"). There's money songs, sex songs, emotional songs... everything is here. It's a sprawling album that needs to be digested slowly. In parts. It's amazing. And needs to be in yr collection if you like hip hop. At all.
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:18 AM   #2
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Should've done

Gucci Mane - Trap House
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:22 AM   #3
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though TRAP HOUSE may be a great album, it had no effect on my own personal musical brain-growth. The Essentials series outlines albums that had some sort of profound effect on me personally, not in the history of music itself.
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:22 AM   #4
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I think the Fly In/Carter II/Fly Out tracks are brilliant. As a whole, though, the album kinda wears me down, but it's not too bad, and your review is great.
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atsonicpark
I think the Fly In/Carter II/Fly Out tracks are brilliant. As a whole, though, the album kinda wears me down, but it's not too bad, and your review is great.

thanks man.

Personally, the only track I don't like on it is "Grown Man." Everything else I think is fantastic. But like I said, the album grows on you in sections. When I first got it, I didn't like "Hustler Music" at all. But now it's one of my favorites on there for instance. You kind of tend to like certain clusters of songs, and then another cluster, and another... So great.

Also should note that DEDICATION 2 with DJ Drama is like NR Essentials #23.5 if you know what I mean. These are like sister albums. And its' an incredible mixtape. Basically the mixtape that I compare any other mixtape to. And both albums have great Chopped N Screwed versions as well.
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:34 AM   #6
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(thanks to you mainly NR) I had exactly the same experience with this as the lighting bolt moment about non-Outkast Southern hip-hop. It was, likewise, Shooter as much as anything that really provided the click too. Stunningly good track. Also, responsible for probably my favourite ever hip-hop youtube live clip.

As an album, it's a really crazy stew, which is a large part of it's appeal. There's a run from Receipt through to pretty much the album that, as a whole, is one of most consistent (quality wise) yet shockingly schizo (style wise) runs on any rap album I can think of. Really mindblowing. Receipt is one of my favourite ever soul fueled hip-hop songs, Shooter is pure simmering funk goodness, I'm A DBoy, in the verses especially, bangs about as hard as anything I can think of... it goes on.

Speaking of a DBoy, I was once falling asleep in a lecture, and kept mistyping my notes. It got so bad that I accidentally pressed to play button on my Mac. Turns out that while running late for an earlier lecture, I'd shoved the laptop in my bag half way through the chorus of DBoy, which I'd been playing at top volume just to get me out of the door. Of course, it blazing out across the 200 person filled lecture hall, 'I'M A DBOY! BITCH I'M A DBOY! OH I'M A DOPE BOY!' before I could stop it, causing pretty much everyone to turn and look. This rendered me one crushingly embarrassed nerdy white guy, and is still a subject of jokes among my friends. Worth though, because DAMN, what a track!

'8 AM open my eyes
Yeah kick my bitch tell her open the blinds
And I'm, over the stove at 9
Yeah I'm cookin breakfast for the block then I let her cook mine'

As someone who hasn't really clicked with later Wayne yet, I often end up having non hip-hop, or certainly non mainstream hip-hop, fan friends really rag on me for liking Wayne, on the basis of like Prom Queen or some shit, and I'm just like 'No, you don't get! Tha Carter II man! Tha Carter II!!!'. Every time I've actually managed to break through their scepticism enough to play them like Shooter or Receipt though, I get the same reaction, which is like 'Damn, THIS is what Lil' Wayne used to sound like?!'.\

Classic, classic album. Thanks for the original recommendation.
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:35 AM   #7
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I just can't tolerate Lil Wayne. I''m glad he's in jail, at least he won't be releasing any more music for a while.
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Eugene Felikson
I just can't tolerate Lil Wayne. I''m glad he's in jail, at least he won't be releasing any more music for a while.

1. whaaaaaaat?
2. I'm sure he's got a stack of mixapes recorded and ready to come out in the meantime.
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Eugene Felikson
I just can't tolerate Lil Wayne. I''m glad he's in jail, at least he won't be releasing any more music for a while.

Honestly, I have a feeling he'll release more music now.
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:22 PM   #10
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Yo, I blow ya minds, like Kurt Cobain
My block is hot like Lil' Wayne, I'll pop ya little chain
I'm ready, hip hop is not gon' be the same
Like the Roc and Dame, I'll dot the little change
Nigga, I ain't scared, boy, yes sir
If I wasn't a beast, you niggaz wouldn't whisper
I'm like, y'all can fuck y'all self, I'm getting paid daily
Plus keepin' it real, keep you broke, can't tell me, nigga "Walk on"
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Old 04.19.2010, 09:25 PM   #11
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^Redman.

I don't mind Lil Wayne, he has an awesome vocal style, but his music is a part of this new era of hip-hop/rap, the likes of Jay-Z etcetera etcetera.
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Old 04.19.2010, 11:01 PM   #12
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I just typed this long ass response and am too stoned now to retype it. Fuck. I'll tell you tomorrow.

For now, great review, bro. Adam, you're right about Fly In/...

Sleep time.
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Old 04.20.2010, 06:59 AM   #13
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I'm not trying to start anything but I can't stand Wayne. I just don't see it. His lyrics are weak and he barely has any flow. It seems like he just gets good producers and even then, none of his instrumentals seem all that good to me. He just seems like another 50 or jay z (new not old) to me.
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Old 04.20.2010, 07:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonikJesus
His lyrics are weak and he barely has any flow.

incorrect.
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Old 04.20.2010, 09:03 AM   #15
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Where's get the the Carter? From New Jack City? Great movie btw. Probably the best pit of acting both Cube and Judd Nelson have ever done. Of course though the movie is Wesley Snipes' show.....

"The World is Mine"
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Old 04.20.2010, 10:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicka
Where's get the the Carter? From New Jack City? Great movie btw. Probably the best pit of acting both Cube and Judd Nelson have ever done. Of course though the movie is Wesley Snipes' show.....

"The World is Mine"

actually yes. I mean his last name is Carter. So there's that. But on THA CARTER (frist album) he describes "tha Carter" as a house/structure therefore certainly a reference to New Jack City.
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Old 04.20.2010, 10:28 AM   #17
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All my buddies diss me for liking Lil Wayne but fuck 'em.
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Old 04.20.2010, 10:31 AM   #18
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People tend to hear "Lolipop" or some stray guest verse and think they know what Wayne's about. Once you submerge yrself into his ridiculous body of work, yr part of the cult. You know something that outsiders don't.
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Old 04.20.2010, 10:50 AM   #19
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Haha word, I think the amount of guest appearances on shitty rapper's songs that he's done has really damaged his cred as a "true rapper" but whatever, I don't care about the "trueness" of his cred... I like him and that's it.
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Old 04.20.2010, 11:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonikJesus
His lyrics are weak and he barely has any flow.


Correct.

Although he did make me snicker once when he said "I have so many toilets...I can shit all day".
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