Music

I don’t understand Lil Wayne

by Winston "Stone" Ford

I really could give a damn about “popular” music. Yes, there are great singles that drop every year, but for the most part, when you get around to the albums, maybe only 10-20% actually bring something new to the table. Most often, popular music nowadays seems to try and capitalize on the latest trend. (Autotune, cough, cough) But I don’t blame the industry–people simply buy into what’s familiar. Take Usher’s new album. “Love In This Club,” is a banger (although I’m enjoying the Rockafire Explosion version better, but that’s just me), but the rest of his album is filled with tired R&B cliches. If Usher created 10 “Love In This Club,” type songs then it would a top album for me.

So yeah, having that said most of y’all know that I’m not going to like the Lil’ Wayne album. Again, it’s not that I’m a hater or that I don’t like “street,” hip-hop or any of that. I just don’t think the album is that good, and I still can’t figure out the fascination with this dude at all.

I understand why he’s popular. He’s been on every magazine cover this side of Better Homes and Gardens, and it’s state law now that every song on the radio must have a Lil’ Wayne remix. But there are two types of popular in my book: T-Pain popular and Jay-Z popular. T-Pain is popular because he is on the radio all the time. Jay-Z has amassed millions dollars because he manages to influence people and set trends–the G.O.A.T. philosophy. For me, Wayne is the former, not the latter. I feel like I’m in the minority in that assessment.

Everyone from my brother to accomplished music people are saying that Wayne one of the top 10 rappers of all time. I just don’t get it. Dude doesn’t come close on my top 10 rappers list. Dudedosent ‘ even make my top 10 Southern rappers list. But Wayne has a fiercely loyal group of backers that will go to bat for this dude if you say even the slightest thing negative. Yes, Wayne has some straight fire gems out of the hundreds of songs he released, and I respect his work ethic–he’s one of the hardest working dudes in the industry today, and he gets all the money he deserves in that respect. But for one solid song, there are 10 duds.

Wayne has a wicked spit, and cadence, but lyrically, he loses me.

And honestly, I’m enjoying Lil’ Mama’s A Milli track better than Wayne’s.

Also, I think Papoose needs more shine than Wayne too. Exhibit A:

But seriously people, am I missing something? Please let me know in the comments.

(And yes, this might be the last time I post about popular hip-hop for a while.)


  • http://solsource.org Brandon

    oooooooh…

    im just startin to get into post carter I Lil Wayne (you didnt think the first one was a 00 classic? not classic in our grown up sense, but compared to a lot of the bs out here?) and I see the genius in him. He is crazy with his metaphors, its like one tireless freestyle, plus his voice is unique. Unfortunately his idontgiveafuckness on records represents (and serves as a role model) for our youth who started absorbing and regurgitating media at age 3.
    He is a lot wiser tho than we think.
    Wouldn’t you be raised in the rap game with grown men at age 14?

  • Delvin

    Tha Carter and Tha Carter II are classics. not to mention Fuck tha World, Sky is the limit, 1000 degrees, Triggaman, Black Republicans (or anything off The Drought 3). all classics.

    But I feel you if you’re not up on his mixtape stuff, because he’s lyrically fallen off since Carter II, and Carter III isn’t truly reflective of his potential….

  • http://www.vibeconductor.com/blog DJStylus

    I do not wish to breathe the same air as people who believe that Lil Wayne is one of the 10 best rappers of all time.

  • http://thecouchsessions.com Stone

    Yo…thank y’all for this…

    To be honest, I haven’t really followed the dude’s career that much. Back in the day I pledged to No Limit (stupid, I know) so I never really checked Hot Boys.

    Having that said, the dude has some great songs, but I gotta agree, his recent output has been lacking for me. I don’t think the dude is dumb at all. I know that he is a skilled lyricist when he wants to be, but its quality over quantity.

  • http://www.myspace.com/pvizzle Praverb

    lovely blog…I share the same sentiments…it’s a matter of polarity…for ever good verse or song, three others will be average or bad haha

    P

  • http://afropunk.ning.com/profile/jahluv Michael in LA

    What’s the demo of the folks who think Wayne is the shit? If your old enough to remember Schooly D blowing you mind, or Kraftwerk being played on Black radio – then you know what the deal is. If your history falls off around Tupac/BIG, then yeah – you might think cats like Wayne, Jeezy, or TI are the best the genre has ever produced. Now where’s my Ice-T “Rhyme Pays” album!

  • http://thecouchsessions.com Stone

    Yeah Michael, I think it is a demographic problem. When you think about it….every generation has had their rap heroes except the present one. Your generation had everyone from Run DMC to Ice T, my generation had folks from Jay-Z to Outkast. My brother’s generation (I’m talking about 20 and younger) hasn’t had a rapper on the level as any of those dudes. I think that people are trying to rushing to lift Wayne as the G.O.A.T. just to establish a new head figured in rap since Jay-Z is bound to retire soon.

  • http://www.dontsleepdc.com Cam

    Allow me to represent for the 25 and under crowd…

    To understand his rise, you have to recognize a.)what the music industry has become with the power of the internet, and b.)the dominance of southern rap aesthetics.

    a.) rewind to two-three years ago, he was probably the most prolific cat–that was actually pretty good. And when you come cool metaphors all the time, the internets and young hip hoppers love you b/c that’s pretty much all they care about besides the beat. three years later, his prolificness has watered down his image as a writer (if you will). If he put out 20% of what he records instead of 85%, we’d probably all think he’s better than we’re currently calling him.

    b.)the south has dominated mainstream hip hop, and in particular the club. Especially for the hood. Forget about grown n sexy b/c they follow trends. These dj’s had wayne joints that were on the mixtapes, so he had presence on the internet and you could also hear him when you go out at night. I remember hearing duffle bag boy and i’m me plenty long before they hit the radio. Plus wayne is good, so he gave the people what they wanted in terms of a drawl in the lyrics, plus shit rhymes they thought that are hot which they could rap along to when the dj dropped the music out. When the dj drops the music for other mainstream artists, it’s usually to say something ignorant. Wayne is kind of ignorant, but his shit is mad clever and witty. He simply stood out.

    I’ll also add that he’s able to pull off being a club/radio dominant force and maintaim some quirkyness and eccentricity in his music. Not many can maintain that balance.

    Unfortonatly though, i wouldn’t be suprised if in about 3 years he ends up like cam’ron. 6-10 years to serious drug-induced health problems if he doesn’t slow down on that stuff.

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