Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter V’ makes instant impact after long wait

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By Kevin Rabacs ’19

Long-time rap star Lil Wayne has returned with another hit album, topping the Billboard Top 200 chart in its first week of existence, and taking rap fans by storm.
“Tha Carter V,” Lil Wayne’s 12th studio album, made its debut on Sept. 27, his 36th birthday.
After a long dispute ending in a departure with Wayne’s label, “Cash Money Records,” the album could finally be released and was more than worth the five year wait. Wayne thanked his fans on several social media platforms for sticking with him all these years.
The 23-song album is headlined by “Mona Lisa,” “Don’t Cry” and “Let it Fly,” with features from other famous artists such as Kendrick Lamar, XXXTENCION and Travis Scott, respectivly. Other features include Ashanti, Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg, giving the album a little bit of everything.
Something I really enjoyed about this album is that Lil Wayne clearly tries to be himself. With a young and new generation of listeners, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Wayne to use a different approach to appeal to this new audience. The Rolling Stones describes “Tha Carter V” as “an album full of fire and passion from an artist who doesn’t have anything left to prove,” “Weezy” isn’t changing the way he produces music just to attract different audiences.
The passion in the lyrics is powerful. It appears to have truly come from the heart. In “Don’t Cry,” Wayne explains the long, tough times he went through with his old label, singing, “Don’t call it a comeback/It was dark now the sun’s back/Hit me hard but I punched back.” Similarly based on his life experiences, in “Let it all work out,” Wayne describes a suicide attempt.
Another top song is “Uproar” with an uptempo dance beat. Wayne times his rap with a catchy beat and brief pauses to make a great build up. This tune led to a viral dance challenge on social media. #UproarChallenge has 13,000 posts on Instagram.
Balancing the upbeat music, “Mess,” and “Demon” are slower, more reflective songs. Both showcase the perfect blend between an uptempo freestyle, but also a slower beat and tone.
The only criticism really for this album is that while it has lots of content, it is too long. The album very rarely drags, but “Used 2,” “Open Letter” and “Dark Side of the Moon” are songs that are a little too slow with nothing too special about them and are songs that could easily be skipped on this album.
Regardless of where this stands on Lil Wayne’s long line of hits, the impact this album has already had is extremely impressive. According to Billboard.com, “Tha Carter V” owns the second biggest streaming week ever for an album, with 433 million streams in just one week. In Spotify’s USA Top 50, there are already five songs from the album. “Tha Carter V” is expected to win several awards, and is a must listen album I absolutely loved.

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