A few days ago I reviewed TV on the Radio’s new album, Dear Science, following a swarm of year-end critical accolades and came to an unequivocal verdict: Believe the hype.
Today I look at Lil Wayne’s equally praised Tha Carter III and my opinion is equally unequivocal: Don’t believe the hype. The best thing about this album is its cover art… it’s all downhill once you get to the music.
I’ll admit up front that I’m not much of a rap fan. But the rap I do like — Public Enemy, Eminem, Outkast — is generally the stuff that catches the interest of critics and fans alike. So I figured Lil Wayne’s album would be along those lines, breaking new ground either musically or lyrically.
But it does neither. Lil Wayne does come up with some clever rhymes, but his subject matter is almost without exception how awesome he is as a rapper and/or in bed. Exactly what does a rapper have to accomplish these days before he’s cleared to spend an entire album celebrating what a great rapper he is?
The music is typical… R&B samples, looped drum beats, a lot of repetition. Every other track features a guest star, none of whom makes any more of an impression than Lil Wayne himself.
In short, this album is the one thing I absolutely expected it not to be: boring.