Friday, December 12, 2008

24. Lil' Wayne - Dr. Carter

Where to start with one Weezy F. Baby? First of all, I do not think he's a genius okay? Not even close (although he might be completely batshit insane), and I'm not gonna hop on board the hipster d-bag conestoga that was ready to canonize Ghostface Killah the last two years before it magically became cool for them to like Lil' Wayne either. I will say that the guy's a great rapper; he's creative, unique, and seems perfectly willing to challenger the verse + hook formula that has come to dominate a lot of hip hop these days (Hey Ludacris! Hey T.I.!!! Do you hear that!!!).

This song is a perfect example of that willingness to work outside of the hip hop box. Dr. Carter is Weezy's State of the Rap Union Address which I think is why it stands out on a great but far from perfect album. The Young Man Young Carter spits typically stream of consciousness flow that unlike some of his more lauded mixtape fare manages to stay out of the realm of the absurd. The second verse is quintessential Wayne with his game/ADHD face on (as opposed to his "I can't feel my face from all the Robitussin" face) as he flows seamlessly from giving respect to Swizz Beats, Young Jeezy, and Kanye to explaining his choice to give up writing his lyrics and convert to freestyle (apparently a combination of arthritis and haters... interestingly enough, this is also the cause for MY decision to only freestyle).

The beat is the real star of the show here though. Spare and muted, it is definitely not one for the clubs. All the listener gets is a lightly rolling snare and symbol. This matches Wayne's flow perfectly and almost makes you feel like you're in the middle of some fucked up open mic poetry night in the middle of a New Orleans housing project. You almost feel like this is Wayne saying to the true hip hop fan, "sorry for Lollipop, but I've got your back on this real shit." That same true hip hop fan can only hope that Weezy has banked enough off of this outing to finally get their back for a whole album.

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