Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Review of Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter V”

Announced way back in 2012, “Tha Carter V” is finally here. “Tha Carter V” is the latest album by rapper Lil Wayne and it does not disappoint.
Boasting a track list of 23 songs, “Tha Carter V” features a load of popular musical artists. An emotional love message from Lil Wayne’s mother, “I Love You Dwayne,” opens the album. In an interview, Wayne talked about how important his mother is to him and this recording is a beautiful testament to that. The first actual song is “Don’t Cry,” featuring the late rapper XXXTENTACION. Continuing the emotional first track, this song flows right out of it, with the same level of emotion. Wayne and XXXTENTACION tell Wayne’s mother not to cry and that he loves her.
The next couple tracks are more conventional rap tunes, toting Lil Wayne’s signature style of scratchy vocals and smooth rhymes. They also allow Wayne to brag a bit about his admittedly vast influence on modern rap as a music genre.
Next is “Can’t Be Broken,” a unique sounding track about the unbreakable things Lil Wayne has in his life. Lil Wayne and his legacy in rap can’t be broken down: he has had too much of an impact already. The filtered chorus and clever lyrics in this track compliment each other well to create a new classic Lil Wayne song.
“Dark Side of the Moon” comes next in the tracklist and is the story of love surviving great hardship. Featuring Nicki Minaj, the song has psychedelic harmonies and soothing vocals from Lil Wayne. “Mona Lisa” is another powerful love song on the album, however it is definitely not a happy one. The song features Kendrick Lamar and tells the story of two men using a lying woman against each other and how her misleading nature is like that of the famous Mona Lisa painting. Lamar plays the woman’s boyfriend, as Lil Wayne plays the the person with whom she cheats.
Continuing with the relationship pieces, “What About Me” is Lil Wayne struggling with a relationship in which his girlfriend seems to be more interested another man than him.
The middle of “Tha Carter V” consists of several tracks about the positives and negatives in Wayne’s life, from his successful career all the way to his struggles with suicidal thoughts. “Famous” is a notable track here that features Wayne’s daughter Reginae Carter. A strange combination of sympathy and bragging is found here, with Wayne trying to convey the risks and rewards of fame. The listener can sympathize with Wayne when he describes his low points and struggles On the other hand, we also get Lil Wayne’s signature cockiness. “Open Safe” breaks away from the ‘pros and cons’ mold of the previous few tracks and instead is Wayne showing off his lyrical talent with long verses and a driving beat, reminding us of his versatility as a rapper.
“Start This [Expletive] Off Right” features several artists besides Lil Wayne including Mack Maine, Mannie Fresh, and Ashanti. This song is a fun throwback to an older style of hip hop that gives the album as a whole even more musical diversity. Finally, the last few tracks on the album are Wayne’s self-reflecting pieces, where he looks back on his life and tries to leave his demons behind. Overall, “Tha Carter V” is a lengthy but rewarding album that showcases Lil Wayne’s style, versatility, and potent emotional struggles.
I highly recommend the album to any rap fan and there’s enough interesting tracks on it to entertain general music fans as well. Lil Wayne fans will be especially pleased with this triumph of an album.

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Review of Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter V”