And you heard it here (not-even-close-to) first. But I couldn’t wait anymore for a video or a whatever to babble about it. For all the goodness the leak cycle’s been springing of late, it’s Lil Wayne’s latest that’s on endless loop in my player, and in my head when the phones aren’t plugged. In today’s NY Times, Jon Pareles says “Tha Carter III is Lil Wayne’s determined push into pop,” and nobody that’s taken a spin through III is arguing. The wordplay runs deep — you can throw darts blind at a lyric sheet and never miss a line worth quoting. From “Mr. Carter”:
Man, I got Summer hating on me cause I’m hotter than the sun / Got Spring hating on me cause I ain’t never sprung / Winter hating on me cause I’m colder than ya’ll / And I would never, I would never, I would never Fall / I’m being hated on by the season / So fuck ya’ll who hating for no reason
Right. See also: any song on the album, the endless disses (“you’re like a bitch with no ass, you ain’t got shit”), the boasts, the disillusionment with the state of the art (e.g. “Dr. Carter“). He’s funny, he’s pop-cult savvy, and he’s getting emotional (“But I wear my heart on my sleeve like it’s the new fashion”). The beats are silly good, too, and to underscore Pareles’s point, there are more tracks to contend for Summer Jam status on just the album’s first half (which I can’t barely even get beyond, they’re so repeatable) than the rest of the pop field combined. Thank the producers — everyone from Kanye (“Comfortable,” which has a croony Babyface hook, and the gospel-y “Let The Beat Build“) to Just Blaze (sped up vocal sample style on “Mr. Carter“) to Swizz Beatz (the already mentioned, awesome, game-assessing skit-song “Dr. Carter” — see Fluxblog for more on that one).
Jay-Z’s on board, sorta. “Mr. Carter” is the torch-passing song, in which Sean gives it on, to Dwayne, in a guest verse or two (“Young Carter go farther, go further, go harder. Is that not why we came? And if not, then why bother?”), and then Lil Wayne insists (like he does) “next time you mention Pac, Biggie, and Jay-Z don’t forget Weezy, baby.” Which may seem like an act of humility from Hov, but where Weezy’s got “A Milli,” Jigga’s got, like, “A Billi.” Naturally.
Anyway, you can hear most of Tha Carter III here. I tried doing this on Gabe’s Videogum post but it didn’t really take, so we can do it here: If you have a favorite line from III, post it. I just wanna see how quickly we wind up transcribing the entire album.