Hip-HopVibe.com Staff Writer
Lil Wayne’s fifth installment of his Tha Carter album series is here after a delay of over four years due to issues with his good friend Birdman over rights to the release of his music. The two have since buried the hatchet as Wayne reached a settlement this summer where he received over $10 million and earned the rights to release his music at any time. Wayne and Baby also stood side by side at his annual Lil Weezyana Fest to show that it’s all love now. Wayne also has complete control of his Young Money label.
Tha Carter V dropped at midnight of 9/28 which concluded Wayne’s 36th birthday. Wayne had previously made an announcement on Wednesday that the project would be out on his birthday. The project contains 23 tracks with appearances by Travis $cott, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Ashanti, Mack Maine Nivea, Sosamann, Snoop Dogg, the late XXXTentacion, and his daughter Reginae Carter.
Tha Carter V opened up with the song ‘I Love You Dwayne‘ which features vocals by his mother. She details how she’s proud of him and how he came so far in life. She continues to show love by saying that he’s her rock as she continues to be in tears. She prays for even more success in his life and is excited for Tha Carter V to release. It set the tone for the passion that Wayne brings to this project.
It was rumored that the late XXXTentacion would appear on Tha Carter V and it was official as it was the first official song on the project. The record is called ‘Don’t Cry‘ and X is featured on the hook. He uses his high vocals and it makes fans reminisce of X’s great run while he was still alive. Wayne cements his legacy as he wants to be buried in a “New Orleans tombstone.” Wayne also notes his comeback as the previous years being dark but now the sun’s back.
Lil Wayne takes pride in himself on ‘Dedicate‘ where he takes claim for popular trends that we see many young rappers become into these days such as face tattoos and even the blood related term “Suu woop.” Wayne defiinitely takes the crown for the face tats but the suu woop claim still remains up for debate. He also gets a little political with the line “We need Barack, man” and that is relatable in the most serious way in our current political climate. He closes the record with an audio of President Barack Obama saying he aspired to be like LeBron James or Wayne.
Uproar definitely had one of the most energetic instrumentals of Tha Carter V. It opens with a crowd chanting “Weezy! Weezy!” and Swizz Beatz setting the tone for the track. Swizz Beatz produced it and it definitely matched the uptempo records that he’s usually apart of.
Let It Fly featuring Travis $cott is sure to go platinum in my opinion. The Houston rapper opened the track with the hook “Let it fly like the birds in the sky. Hotter than the weather in July. I done did so much I can’t decide. Word, word to my guys. She just get so wet, I slip and slide. Had to get it back to give them five.” He continued the momentum as he opened up the first verse. It fits the club vibe on lines such as “Always down to ball, I’m tryna drain these nights. See the smoke clouds through these entertainment lights. The way it go down we taking fours and keeping doors tight.” Weezy still held his own on his own track with the bars and metaphors that fans have known him for throughout his whole career to close out Let It Fly.
Wayne shows his strength throughout the drama he’s been through on Can’t Be Broken. He says that nothing can be broken among him and his closest friends as well. Overall, the song serves a smooth vibe that old Wayne fans can appreciate.
Dark Side Of The Moon featuring Nicki Minaj is another record that is a hit right off the jump. What I noticed on a few records on Tha Carter V is that Wayne’s somewhat utilizing the Drake side of him where he gets emotional, especially in regards to women sometimes. That applied here with Nicki adding some very solid vocals on the hook.
Mona Lisa featuring Kendrick Lamar had everyone on social media buzzing. The record showcased both artists’ lyricism and brought up the debate of why they’re arguably the top five rappers alive according to many hip-hop fans.
Wayne continued to open up to his softer side on What About Me featuring Sosaman. He expresses his jealousy on line such as “If you saw me, would you understand? That I can’t stand you with another man. I see you happy where your life is at. I see you smile I can’t live with that.” It’s different but it’s definitely a sound I can keep on getting used to by Wayne.
Wayne said some relatable bars on Open Letter and it did feel like a letter about life for sure. Wayne details people not needing him until he’s gone, chasing dreams, and his purpose in life. It’s a record that people can play to for many circumstances in life.
Famous featured Wayne’s daughter Reginae and this was the first time I’ve heard her on a track. Reginae talks about the high-profile lives that they live and Weezy adds on to the topic by discussing the dangers of it. It was a solid collaboration overall and I hope we get more records from the Carter family together.
It was good to hear a Zaytoven beat on the record Problems. Weezy detailed the popular issue of despite being comfortable and well off as being rich as its problems.
Dope N*ggaz features Snoop Dogg on the record and it’s dedicated to all the real ones around Wayne. Snoop assisted on the hook with the trap-friendly lines “I get the money, I’m a hustler. So if you’re buying what I’m selling, you’re a customer. See I can get it to you anywhere, anything.” It was good to hear the OG make an appearance on this highly anticipated project.
Wayne made it known that he’s officially back after a long hiatus on Hittas. The Young Money rapper has plenty hittas around him ready for the green light to go after snitches. The instrumental made up most of the success on this record.
Took His Time was another personal favorite off of Tha Carter V. Wayne recognizes his own greatness as his mom said God took his time when he made him and he’s blessed to make it out where he come from. This record definitely brings out that motivation.
Open Safe is another party record where Wayne is feeling like money and it’s a celebration despite the possibility of him getting caught up in some possible legal issues. I can definitely see different artists hopping on their own freestyle to this beat produced by DJ Mustard and Mike Free.
Start This S*it Off Right gave off a good 2000s vibe. The record featured Ashanti and fellow Young Money talent Mack Maine. Maine hops on the hook detailing the party he’s at with different women and Wayne soon follows the lead. Ashanti’s soft vocals continued to make fans reminisce of her dominance in the early days of her career.
Wayne is able to conquer his demons on the song Demons despite the fact that he is tempted by revenge and feels that they’re so close to him they’re starting to become intimate with him. Despite the bad auroas, Wayne is able to laugh it off and still be himself.
On Mess, Wayne expressed how much of a mess his busy schedule is along but so are the women around him. Despite the drama, Weezy takes it all in stride and continues to be the best person he can be and that’s evident in reality.
I wasn’t too impressed with the lyricism by Weezy on Dope New Gospel but Nivea provided some really good vocals on the hook expressing enjoying someone else’s company by saying how long it’s been.
Perfect Strangers features Wayne taking a step back to be in his feelings again where he’s disappointed that a woman doesn’t call much anymore and he can feel the separation as they now begin to act like strangers. This record was a fan favorite on social media and a video for this would be approved.
Used 2 reminded me of the Wayne from a decade ago. Metro Boomin and Prince85 were behind the production and Wayne flat out bodied it. It reminded me of that raw New Orleans sound he displayed on the first two Carter albums. This is the Weezy I’ve been waiting to hear for a while and I hope this continues should he decide to release one more album.