Lil Wayne: Tha Carter V Review

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Hey Pulsers, sorry for the wait, but Lil Wayne’s elusive Tha Carter V album finally arrived and you can listen to it on the MTN-Tidal App. But wait, for a rapper who no longer has anything to prove, dropping Tha Carter V on his birthday makes more sense and that’s exactly what Lil Wayne did for his long awaited Carter V album as a birthday gift to his fans. ‘Tha Carter’ series is the New Orleans rapper’s flag Album series.

Tha Carter Series.

Tha Cater was released on June 29, 2004, by Cash Money Records and Universal Records. The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 116,000 copies in the US. On September 7, 2004, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America after selling over 1 million copies in the US.

Tha Carter II was released on December 6, 2005 and it was certified Platinum after six weeks dating on March 23rd.  On September 28, 2006 Tha Carter II was certified Double Platinum. Tha Carter III, perhaps the best in the series was released in June 2008 and was certified Platinum in the first week! It latter went on to be certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA. Although Tha Carter IV it achieved the highest first-week album sales since Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, it wasn’t as successful as the Carter III only getting Double Platinum certification.

The Carter series have held special places in the hearts on many music lovers around the world. They are majorly the reason Lil Wayne enjoyed a few years in the late 2000s as “the best rapper alive”, a tittle he gave himself after rising through the hip-hop ranks over the last decade.

Enter Tha Carter V.

Lil Wayne first announced the Carter V in 2012 with a planned release sometime in 2014. What followed was a nasty surprise even for Weezy F Baby himself. The culmination of Tha Carter series follows an exhausting legal battle that saw Weezy freed from the grasp of Cash Money Records to become the sole owner of his Young Money Entertainment label. Weezy learned that his then surrogate Father and boss, Birdman was stealing his money and this all put the release of the Carter V on hold. Wayne spent years learning skateboarding tricks in a bid to cut down on frustration. Nonetheless, he kept in the studio cranking out underwhelming mixtapes.

After all the mixtapes and postponement of dates, Lil Wayne announced that he would release Tha Carter V on his 36th birthday. We can’t expect it to be like the first four. We can’t even expect it to get close. Lil Wayne has nothing to prove anymore. Maybe we don’t even want to see him try.

While many thought the Album would sound stale and outdated after years in the shelf, Wayne’s big return feels miraculous. The album smashed certification within the first week. We are quite happy Lil Wayne kept the Weezy in him in the world full of his imitators. The Carter V was worth the years of waiting it took the diehard fans to hear it.

On this Album, Weezy doesn’t bolt down on words like he’s mad at them. No twisted reality every time he has a new idea. The rap game has internalized his ways, and Weezy knows it. Few were hoping for his comeback, Weezy knows that too.

Throughout the over 90 minutes of rap on Tha Carter V, Wayne still has a way with nasty little one-liners and major punch lines that he’s been known for in his Rap music career.

Some notable lyrics on the Album.

“She tell ‘im, ‘Ooh, daddy, let’s go to your place/ And if he say, ‘Yeah’, then we meet him there/ She feed him lies with his silverware/ She don’t want love, she just want her share.” – “Mona Lisa” Feat. Kendrick Lamar.

“Mona Lisa” is perhaps the best track on the Album. Two heavy weight storytellers in hip-hop seemingly pried the best performance out of each other on this track. In the storyline, Wayne is the mastermind using a girl’s connection to his buddy to set up robbery. K-Dot is on the other side of the coin and embarrassment of what has happened makes him commit suicide.

 “It’s alive, it’s alive, I’m revived, it’s C5/ Been arrived, kiss the sky, did the time/ Please advise it is advise or be advised/ You not fuck with me and mine/ And keep in mind, we do not mind losing our minds.” – “Let It Fly” Feat. Travis Scott

“I sip from the fountain of youth/ So if I die young, blame the juice/ Bury me in New Orleans/ Tombstone reads ‘Don’t cry, stay tuned/ Bring me back to life/ Got to lose a life just to have a life/ But if heaven’s as good as advertised/ I want a triple extension on my motherfuckin’ afterlife/ Rest in paradise – “Don’t Cry” Feat. XXXTentacion

Tha Carter V wasn’t teased much before it was dropped. There were no singles released to create anticipation. Apart from the unreleased version that was got from Lil Wayne’s old Bugatti, the rest of the album remained a complete mystery. Lil Wayne was confident the world was ready for it.

There are bad songs and good songs there, but that’s just what many albums out there are. He raps over beats by major producers like DJ Mustard and Metro Boomin but it’s his power of Lyricism that we liked most. Wayne sounds energized and engaged. Sometimes, Wayne raps breathlessly for an entire song.

We are lucky to once again get to hear Wayne, restored and focused, ready to repossess his spot. He is just like Bruce Willis in the last Diehard movie, not operating at peak capacity. The Mixtape Weezy is no more. The Carter V maybe be just 70% of what he once was. But if it’s the mark of Wayne to high-level rap for rap’s sake, 70% would be enough.