Lil’ Wayne dropped his long awaited Tha Carter V, a little delayed and in confusing manner – but nonetheless he dropped it. Now, I’m here to tell you how it is.
I’ll start by saying I had little to no expectations going in – Lil’ Wayne has been one of those artists I speak about when I say “Name an artist you liked their music 20 years ago and still like it today.” I’ll wait…it’s not Lil’ Wayne. No chance. But alas, here I am.
The intro starts with Lil’ Wayne’s mother, talking emotionally about her son. Fine for die hard Wayne fans, but useless for me. Let’s get into some highlights.
Standouts: Not surprisingly, one of the songs I was most looking forward to was Dark Side of the Moon ft. Nicki Minaj. Wayne and Nicki have connected on tracks before and been gold. Unfortunately for Wayne, Minaj pretty much carried this song; however, it’s still a standout for me. The next duo of Wayne and Kendrick Lamar goes very hard and is one of the best songs on the album. Mona Lisa will be played at my next tailgate for sure! What About Me was one of the bigger surprises as I loved Wayne in this song. The song is another feature with Sosamann, whose part was definitely the worst thing about this song – but overall a good track. Famous ft. Reginae Carter is another softer song that I just really, really enjoy. This is the Lil’ Wayne I love – not the garbage Wayne that I hear too much of.
Skips: Uproar is a “Live”ish song that’s pretty much garbage in my opinion. I hate to be that guy, but the duo with the late XXXTENTACION (Don’t Cry) is a firm skip for me. I wasn’t ever a fan of XXXTENTACION’s music to begin with and this is no different. Open Letter just didn’t work for me. Wayne just kind of rambles on top of a boring beat and is a skip in my book. Problems is just a bunch of mumbling over another boring beat. This is the garbage Wayne I refer to above. The duo with Snoop Dogg (Dope N****z) had two things working against it. It features Snoop Dogg – who I’m not a fan of his music – and the beat was GARBAGE. Who is producing these now days? Hittaz – you made the skip list. We’re in the dog days of the album and I’m not enjoying this anymore. I guess I should skip to the next feature? Took His Time, Open Safe, Start This Shit Off Right (INCLUDING FEATURES) – yeah we really have hit a snag here. Perfect Strangers might be the best skip on the list (for what that’s worth) but it suffers from the Wayne solo stigma. Wayne NEEDS a feature. Used 2 might get some likes for a banger, but by the time this rolled around, I was a bit exhausted.
Average: Can’t Be Broken starts with a grand intro that slowly builds suspense into hard Verses by Wayne. Let It Fly, the duo with Travis Scott, will be a great hit among “Trap” fans, but has no real substance for me. Demon could be an honorable mention, I guess? Maybe I’m reaching. It’s got the crazy shit you’re used to in the background and some change up lyrics. Mess was a good track. I actually debated putting it on standouts, but I’m sticking it on average. It’s definitely the best average song on here (and Demon is the worst). Dope New Gospel ft. Nivea is so perfectly fitting for the average list because that’s what it showcases. Nivea is a nice change of pace, which I do like – but this is just stuck on average. The album finale – Let It All Work Out – lands on the average list. I was hoping to go out on a banger, but it falls a little short of that. Still a decent song.
Biggest Surprise: The features on this album are great. Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, among others, all bless Wayne with features. Famous was probably my favorite track on the album. Just a nice song that’s deep and tells a lot about fame and the price you pay. The only downside is it’s the last standout at track 11 on an album of 23 songs.
Overall thoughts: This album was pretty much spot on with what I expected. Actually maybe a couple more songs I really enjoyed than anticipated – but a lot of the same old Wayne. So, if you liked Carter IV, you might like Carter V. If you like “Lil’ Wayne” because “Lil’ Wayne” – you’ll probably enjoy. I’m just not that guy anymore. Give me some songs of substance and I’m much more likely to enjoy. I’m giving Tha Carter V a fitting 5/10. I didn’t like how the album started with the intro and first song – then it picked up slightly but hit a big snag in the middle and ended a bit weak also. It was basically what I expected – but thank you for the standouts Wayne. Salute.